Pinterest, an image sharing and search based social media platform, is expected to bring a new shopping paradigm. According to the survey portal Statista, US online shopping market will reach $684 Billion by 2020. It was $343 Billion in 2015. So it is expected to grow to double in 5 years.
Online shopping in the US has been dominated by retail e-commerce companies like Amazon and E-Bay. In the future, however, social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook would play more roles in online shopping as their traffic increases.
As social media sites expand their influence, so-called social media stars have been born. They are usually found in various fields including fashion, food and makeup. Their followers or fans are 1 million or more, and they have a similar position and role of traditional stars. Their fans are highly interested in social media stars’ fashion, clothing, and accessories, and are highly want to buy the same or similar product.
Because stars born through social media have a high impact on society like traditional Hollywood stars, they are also called the Social Influencer in the United States. Therefore, many companies want to expand their business using social influencer power. Sometimes there is a fierce competition on a certain social influencer.
Pinterst Visual Search
To keep up with this trend, image sharing and search specialized Pinterest provides a visual search service to assist online shopping. Visual search service acts like following. When a user takes a picture of a product and uploads to a Pinterest page, Pinterest will show the similar product pictures with product related information. A user can also connect to online stores selling products.
To launch the service Pinterest acquired startup company VisualGraph in image recognition technology earlier in 2014, and are leveraging its extensive photographic data. Pinterest is saying that when users like a product in a picture they don’t know where to buy it and therefore a purchase is not made. The new service will help to solve the inconvenience of consumers.
This new Pinterest service will inevitably lead to a competition with Google. To search for things via Pinterest, and eventually leading to a purchase is similar to Google’s platform. Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, said that combining online shopping service by photo sharing social network Pinterest will upgrade the experience of consumers inspired by the photos to the next level, and provide opportunity to combine the inspiration to consumers’ real life.
The Future of Marketing
Pinterest is walking to a new path of combining social media and shopping, which is different from other traditional online shopping methods. Buyable Pins are already popular for business owners. It is a marketing platform for business owners and while users are browsing photos and click buyable pin of a desired product, they are connected to an online store selling the product. Thirteen percent of Pinterest traffics are connected to other online stores and many of them results in a purchase.
According to Forbes, about 80 percent of consumers feels more confident on the products used and reviewed by social media stars than those advertised by famous actors or celebrities. Therefore, social media marketing will grow even more in the future.