By George Anderson
February 22, 2012
Depending on whom you listen to, Pinterest, the social scrapbooking site is either “a gift from the social media gods for style-conscious retailers” or “digital crack for women.” Come to think of it, perhaps those are two sides of the same thing.
According to an article on the Adweek site, retailers including The Gap, Nordstrom and West Elm are seeing referrals to their sites from Pinterest. The site allows consumers to grab images of products they like from all over the web and share them with others via virtual pin boards.
Pinterest’s referral traffic has grown from 0.17 percent in July to 3.6 percent in January, according to Shareaholic. While only a fraction of Facebook’s 26.4 percent referral traffic, Pinterest’s numbers are better than YouTube, Reddit, Google Plus and LinkedIn.
The Gap began creating its own pin boards after it noticed that consumers were grabbing images from its site to use on Pinterest.
“I think for any company that has an e-commerce presence, they absolutely have to be paying attention to Pinterest,” Rachel Tipograph, social media director at The Gap, told Adweek.
Petula Dvorak, a Washington Post columnist, who made the “crack” analogy, wrote that the whole idea of a Pinterest “sounded useless” to her and then she visited the site and “fell down the black hole time suck that it is.”
Interestingly, not all sites are feeling the love for Pinterest. According to a Mashable report, Pinterest has added code to its help section that sites can use to prevent consumers from grabbing images. When someone attempts to pin an image, they get the message: “This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”