Pinterest

Fashion brands wanting to get noticed on Pinterest should get real.

This story first appeared in the September 14, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Pinterest researchers spent a year investigating Pin performance and found Pins that show “real-life” iterations of products tended to lead to higher click rates and higher checkout rates, the platform shared exclusively with WWD. Pins that showed someone modeling the items led to a 115 percent higher checkout rate, while Pins that showed products in real-life settings led to a 30 percent higher click rate and a 170 percent higher checkout rate than those with a plain background.

There are 8.3 million fashion Pins added daily (and even more during fashion week), but researchers specifically looked at the more than 10,000 Promoted Pins from 1,000 advertisers. Promoted Pins are “regular” Pins that a company can pay to promote so they are more likely to be seen, although that’s not necessarily enough to guarantee re-Pins and purchases. After a Pinner has re-Pinned a Promoted Pin, it reverts to an organic Pin — but any impressions, shares or purchases on that Pin still are linked back to the original, said Pinterest researcher Larkin Brown.

“Even if someone saves it and it is no longer considered a Promoted Pin, that traffic includes more impressions, that is earned on top of the initial investment,” Brown said. “So that means more bang for their buck. Retailers want it to live on and continue to create a lot of value.”

Brown and her team considered 20 creative categories, including visuals, text overlay and promotional language, and compared the save, click and checkout rates in their research.

In addition to finding that showing “everyday usage” helped boost a Pin’s popularity, they also found that a Pin’s description should contain a call-to-action, which resulted in a 30 percent higher checkout rate and a 60 percent higher click rate. However, putting text over the image had the opposite effect. Having too much text over an image resulted in 42 percent lower save rates and a 50 percent lower checkout rates.

Additionally, variety is key. Pins that showed multiple styles or colors saw a 65 percent higher click rate and a 50 percent higher checkout rate. And images with branded product placement enjoyed 60 percent higher click rates and made Pinners want to learn more about the brand.

Fashion brands are particularly suited to connect with customers on the image search platform, as compared to the general public. Pinners are two times more likely to follow fashion trends and 53 percent use Pinterest to decide what apparel and accessories to buy.

For retailers that have a variety of Pin types, Brown said, they should consider this criteria when considering which ones to promote. For major advertisers still getting their footing on the platform, Pinterest has as service called the “Pin Factory,” at which a team of creative strategists will advise the brand.

Already, Brown said, she is seeing a number of spring trends become popular on the platform, including off-the-shoulder tops and cutouts, colorful statement heels, flats, ballet-inspired tulle and statement earrings.

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