According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are predicted to spend a whopping $602.1 billion during the 2013 holiday season and statistics show that 78% of shoppers research products online before buying.
It's a fact of modern commerce: Retail Therapy no longer requires currency, just a Pinterest account. And with 70 million users hunting, gathering and stashing DIY tips, fashion photos, recipes and mood boards as a way to pass the time, Pinterest should be a white-hot spot for brands to strut their stuff - especially around the holidays.
Except only 30 percent of brand-related pins originate on the brands' own Pinterest boards. The rest – a healthy 70 percent— of the brand specific content on Pinterest is found elsewhere, then brought into the Pinterest hive by consumers themselves to be curated and shared repeatedly. So how do brands get in on the Pinterest conversation if their boards are being ignored?
The answer is simple: don't act like a brand. pinterest for the holidays
Beauty is Pin Deep
Business owners who count Google+ among their top social networks for marketing purposes have some new goodies to play with. At an event today, Google unveiled several updated features for Google+ that are meant to improve Hangouts as well as photos and videos.
Hangouts, which are used to privately or publicly video chat between friends or colleagues, are getting a number of upgrades:
- Location sharing and SMS support for Android. Users can now send a map of their current location instead of having to find and type an address. Also new is the ability to send and receive SMS (text messages) instead of having to switching between apps.
- Ability to schedule Hangouts On Air. These are the video conversations that are broadcast publicly. Now users can schedule a Hangout On Air, then promote it with a dedicated watch page.
- Full-screen video. Conversations now happen full screen across mobile and desktop devices. Additionally, Hangouts can automatically fix and enhance webcam lighting. So, no more looking like you're broadcasting from a dark cave.
There's no beating Facebook when it comes to driving traffic to publishers. The world's largest social network directed 10.4% of traffic to websites this past September, according to data from 200,000 publishers.
Coming in an unexpected second place, Pinterest drove the second-most traffic to publishers with 3.7%. The photo-sharing website drove three times as much traffic as Twitter, which clocked in at 1.2% in September 2013.
Created by Statista, the chart shows the amount of traffic driven to publishers by eight social networks; it is based on data from Shareaholic.
Retailers' investments in social media are paying off. According to Adobe's Q3 2013 Social Intelligence report, consumers are using social media throughout every stage of the so-called purchasing journey.
On Facebook alone, cost-per-click (CPC) is down 40 percent, while the click-through rate (CTR) is up 275 percent, leading to an increase in ROI of 58 percent.
Pinterest and Twitter are gaining in importance for ecommerce. Adobe Analytics found that, while Facebook still dominates when it comes to referring people to retail sites, those referrals are down 20 percent. Meanwhile, Twitter was up 258 percent, year over year, when it comes to referrals.
I had a bad brand experience this week.
A trendy online retailer with the tagline "Europe's largest provider of high quality repro designer furniture" sold me some stuff that never arrived – and is clearly never going to arrive.
I came to this realization while on the phone to a man called Anthony who apologized for delays at the warehouse. After 20 weeks? What a ridiculously poor excuse I thought (or words to that effect). I wondered if anyone else had been given similar excuses...so I Googled the company. And my search query returned page after page of customer "reviews" talking of lost deposits, unpaid refunds, even upheld county court judgements.
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