“There is a seismic shift under way,” he said of me-first fashion. “The idea that consumers are asserting their own control, demanding what they want and sourcing from each other.”
As fashion is a core category for Pinterest’s 100 million users, the platform is able to both observe and capitalize on me-first characteristics.
One key area is mobile phone usage, Rubin said: “The long-promised interplay between the phone and real-world shopping is here finally, and we’re seeing a real role for Pinterest in that.”
He shared recent statistics that found 37 percent of mobile transactions overall are on fashion and luxury, and that more than 40 percent of in-store consumers research using their mobile device on site. He said although Pinterest started out as a desktop platform, its development is now all mobile-first; as much as 80 percent of Pinterest users access Pinterest on a mobile device every day, and 85 percent of daily pinners use their Pinterest research in stores.
Thus, Rubin said, buyable pins, which were introduced in June and allow mobile buying directly through Pinterest, were the number-one requested feature since Pinterest’s launch in 2010. Buyable pins, of which there are now 60 million, have helped to drive new customers, and generate incremental and higher sales, Rubin said. (Pinterest does not take a portion of the sales made through Buyable pins.)
In addition to the impact of mobile devices on me-first fashion, fast fashion has increased the amount of personalization, as it has forced faster trends and created a proliferation of choice, Rubin explained. “In 20 years,” he said, “there will be five times more clothing available.”
Thus, he said, Pinterest users who create personalized inspiration boards reveal their future intentions to purchase. According to Rubin, 93 percent of users use the platform to plan for purchases, 96 percent use it as a research tool and 87 percent of users have purchased because of Pinterest.
Topshop, for example, has experienced a 260 percent increase in Topshop profile impressions after using its color palette recommendation tool that is based on individual users’ boards.
Finally, Rubin emphasized just how much Millennials are shaping the platform and the industry. They want something new, unique and personal, he said. For example, “Who looks like me, or who has a style I want to emulate?”
Millennials, of which there are 33 million monthly active users on Pinterest, trust each other more than they trust classic sources of information, Rubin shared.
Thus, “authenticity is what makes social media and Pinterest come into play.” Pinterest’s role, he said, is as a catalog. Rather than social media, where users go to broadcast to others, they go to Pinterest to discover for themselves.