I have been a big fan of Pinterest for several years. Pinterest is a social media platform, that allows users to share and save (Pin) creative ideas, building their own pinboards to be used for inspiration. I love Pinterest because it allows me to channel my creativity, without having the harmful concerns surrounding traditional social media platforms. I am able to find inspiration for my next cake recipe, DIY project, and many more without worrying about followers and likes.
People from a wide range of demographic and psychographic groups benefit from Pinterest because it:
- allows people to browse millions of posts to find inspiration for absolutely anything
- help people tap into their inner creativity, allowing them to think outside the box
- is an informative platform that is not followed by a toxic reputation
Pinterest is able to stand out from its competition by targeting all age groups, hobbies, and interests. The majority of Pinterest's competitors such as Tastemade and Houzz focus on a specific hobby, such as cooking or interior design. By allowing users to find all of their inspiration on one platform, Pinterest has remained relevant through various stages of people’s lives. This early onset market share enabled Pinterest to have a huge user base, hence more photos for possible inspiration, compared to its competitors.
With over 450 million monthly active users, there are many ways the engagement of people looking for inspiration can be improved. There are 4 major customer segments to consider:
- Creators, those looking to build or create
- Knowledge seekers, those looking to obtain informative content
- Buyers, those looking to purchase items
- Browsers, those looking for an escape
Creators include DIYers, bakers, cooks, interior designers, artists, and anyone looking to find inspiration in order for them to recreate the outcome. Creators like to quickly grasp the process, so it can be replicated, which can be quite difficult with strictly photos, without audio and video.
Knowledge seekers use the platform to learn tips and tricks for various interests, whether it is meditating or yoga poses. Educational posts on social media have many pitfalls, ensuring these users are only getting accurate information is a challenge.
Buyers are those looking for pieces to purchase, through the inspiration they are seeing. Since there is no direct shopping integration, this can get very tedious and time-consuming.
Browsers use Pinterest for relaxation purposes, browsing through their dream house decor, or perfectly organized pantries may bring them joy. Ensuring Pinterest’s algorithm is spot on in these cases, will be critical to providing the most relaxing user experience.
Diving deeper into the pain points of Buyers, there are two ways to purchase an item found through an inspiration post:
- Direct link to the store’s website may be linked on the post
- Users will have to search for the item themselves
Hoping the direct link is featured on the post, the user can simply navigate to the link and complete the purchase on the store’s website. Although, if no link is found, it can get extremely difficult to find specific items. Users may use other hints such as tags or brand names listed on the post or comments section. This will require extensive effort, in which the user may turn to Google Shopping or Amazon to find inspiration and make the purchase there instead.
I propose Pinterest should integrate a shopping feature on the platform. Allowing users to directly purchase items on the platform, will ensure buyers follow their purchasing journey end to end on Pinterest alone. Ideally, the user should be able to tap an “Add to Cart” button on various items on a single post. Then, the item will be added directly to their shopping cart on the platform, where the user can easily complete the purchase. Pinterest can ask its users to tag each item when sharing posts while using an AI model to link untagged items.
This feature can easily tie into other areas of improvement such as revenue. Pinterest will have to obtain partnerships with brands in order to directly sell these items. By doing so, Pinterest can treat this as a new source of revenue. There is also the possibility of targetting Creators with this feature, by allowing the user to easily purchase materials required to complete a project.
The main trade-off of this feature would be the concerns surrounding Pinterest turning into a toxic social media platform. Would these brand deals and partnerships lead to an unhealthy mindset while finding inspiration and follow the negative trends of other major social media platforms? Although this can probably be contained by focusing on strictly selling items, rather than allowing users to endorse brands, it is still crucial to consider.
I am a business analyst at a major consulting firm. I come from a software engineering background, with a passion for client service and using technology to solve business problems.
If I can contribute to your growth, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!