Photo: Pin Pointing
Zappos Labs, the research arm of the Zappos online apparel site, has been experimenting with Pinterest—and the results are not encouraging.Will Young, director of Zappos Labs, told Bloomberg that Pinterest users are far more likely to share a purchase than Twitter or Facebook users—but that shared items generate far less revenue than Twitter or Facebook.
This is a big problem for Pinterest, because the whole idea of the site is that it’s supposed to be better at monetizing social activity than Twitter or Facebook.
Young told Bloomberg that Zappos customers were 13 times likelier to share an item they bought with friends on Pinterest than on Twitter, and 8 times likelier than on Facebook.
But a post on Twitter generated far more revenue—$33.66 an order—than Facebook, at $2.08 an order, or Pinterest, at 75 cents an order.
That’s great news for Twitter, which will surely tout these figures as it makes a push for retail advertisers.
But it’s kind of bad news for Pinterest, which recently raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation on the premise that its site—which is all about sharing beautiful images of things to buy—should be good at this kind of social commerce.
It’s not great news for Facebook, either, which has ambitions to make commerce a bigger part of the site than it is today.
In May, a study by Shopify, an operator of online e-commerce storefronts, came to a different conclusion, concluding that shoppers who came via Pinterest spent 10 per cent more than visitors from other social sites.
A Pinterest spokesperson whom we alerted to the study declined to comment.
One note: Amazon owns Zappos, and Amazon.com is a rival of Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce giant that is also is an investor in Pinterest.