According to new data sourced by the social marketers at Piqora (previously Pinfluencer), the value of a pin on Pinterest growing – today, a pin generates 78 cents in sales, on average. That’s up by nearly 25 percent from Q4 2012, says Piqora. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that a pin can drive both pageviews and orders several months after its original pinning.
Pinterest pins deliver two site visits and six pageviews, on average, and more than 10 re-pins. That’s more viral than Twitter, the company notes, where posts are only retweeted 1.4 percent of the time
Piqora, which originally arose to track Pinterest usage before Pinterest itself got into the analytics business, has since expanded its reach and rebranded to reflect its broader footprint across other social networks, like Tumblr and Instagram, for example. But it still has a deep understanding of what’s going on across the Pinterest network, thanks to its earlier efforts.
Today, hundreds of brands turn to Piqora for its insights, including Overstock.com, Steve Madden, Crate&Barrel, ZGallerie, AMC, Sephora, Orbitz, HauteLook, and Shape, to name a few.
To reach its conclusions about the growing value attached to a pin, Piqora’s engineers analyzed 1,000 brands on Pinterest from February of this year through the end of October, including both e-commerce brands and other publishers. It found that, overall, Pinterest was maturing as a social commerce platform, as more brands began to add “Pin It” buttons to websites, and introduce more Pins that led back to product pages.
In terms of the pin’s value calculation, the company explains that includes the visits and orders driven by the re-pins across the Pinterest network, too. And if you’re surprised by the number, remember that it includes a wide range of brands – not just e-commerce sites that appeal to Pinterest’s core, and largely female, audience, but also other publishers.
Says Piqora CEO Sharad Verma, some categories among e-commerce brands could do even better, when they’re more in line with what Pinterest users like. “Martha Stewart was getting 10x more traffic last year from Pinterest than from Facebook,” he says. “So obviously there are cases where a publisher or retailer in a visual space like food, fashion or home decor is very likely to be getting way over two site visits [per pin].”
In other words, a pin’s real value depends on what you’re selling – so the numbers will vary from site to site.
But what’s interesting about the collected data is that it shows the network can enable product discovery over a period of time, well after the first pinning takes place. Half of site visits take place 3.5 months after the first pinning, while half of orders take place 2.5 months after the pinning.
“Good pins are frozen in time on Pinterest,” explains Verma. “The network has a very strong memory – if a product is pinned, it signals it’s a product worth buying.”
The reason products do well for so long on Pinterest is the way the site is structured. On social networks like Twitter and Facebook, information discovery and the user experience is concentrated on the feed. Users are not browsing much beyond their feed to look for other information. But on Pinterest, users navigate to other categories and popular sections, allowing them to find more items.
These new findings are relevant given Pinterest’s high valuation following several large funding rounds, which value the network at $3.8 billion. Over the course of this year, Pinterest has finally started its monetization efforts, initially by introducing tools for brands like rich pins and product pins, as well as pin recommendations (ads) that appear in users’ feeds and category pages.
Verma notes that Pinterest’s traction on mobile could be a hint toward where the company could go with those monetization efforts in the future. Piqora’s analysis found that Pinterest’s mobile user base grew by 50 percent this year with 75 percent of the usage happening on mobile (according to data from brands’ own analytics).
“I do believe that Pinterest is gradually becoming the Google of the visual web,” Verma says. “We believe that Pinterest is emerging as the starting point of product discovery and product entertainment on mobile devices.” Users could begin turning to Pinterest when they want to look something up in the product realm, and that could lead the network to own e-commerce product discovery. “Advertisers could then pay for persistent and prominent product placements, just as those advertisers did on Google,” he adds.
It’s worth noting, too, that the clicks and revenue data Piqora collected comes ahead of the 2013 holiday season, when those are likely to surge as users go online shopping for gifts this month and next. Last Q4, the company found a pin was worth 64 cents, and ahead of the holidays, it’s already worth much more. Piqora should have additional analysis around Q4 2013 when this shopping season wraps.
[Image: Modified from Shutterstock]