November 8th, 2012 by Kelly Liyakasa

Just in time for the holiday season, Pinterest has begun rolling out “Secret Boards” for users to create a wish list or share details around a special event with family and friends by invitation only.

The limit is three, for now, and existing boards cannot be “switched” to secret mode because of  previous repins, but still – the new feature offers consumers more ways to share what matters to  them and that’s always an added bonus.



Brands, too, have been leveraging the highly visceral social platform to drive traffic, and hopefully – sales – to their ecommerce sites. In a blog post from loyalty and digital promotions company ePrize, Melissa Summers writes that “Home furnishings store, Wayfair, has found that customers from Pinterest spend 70% more overall than other customers.” Wayfair is not a sole proprietor in the retail hunt to personalize, and maybe even monetize shoppers’ Pinterest experiences.

Neiman Marcus and Target are teaming up for a brand new promotion  beginning Dec. 1, 2012 (they’re calling it The Neiman Marcus + Target Holiday Collection or #Holiday24 in Twitter terminology) offering  “50 gorgeous gifts from 24 exceptional designers.” I happened upon the Pinterest page for this particular campaign and I really like the Thom Browne blazer, if anyone’s feeling generous. 



While the battle lines have been drawn over whether or not social “selling” drives any hard conversions – yet – Pinterest now counts some 11.7 million unique visitors in the U.S. alone each month with an average time spent of 97 minutes a month per user, according to ePrize. That’s the equivalent of curling up and watching an average-length movie. Brands are hungrily piloting use cases for the social platform to see just what emotional reaction it stirs in the consumer.

We’ve seen Zappos create PinPointing to (hopefully) turn social pins into real sales on real products. But according to Gary Angel, president and chief technology officer for data analytics consultancy firm Semphonic, there’s an issue that remains – “when you pin something, the enterprise may know a great deal about that particular product, but other enterprises, and Pinterest itself, may know next to nothing about it, which creates a real profiling challenge.”

I will be tackling a feature in the New Year on the propensity and growth of Pinterest as an ecommerce and sales driver, and plan to look at this challenge and also the benefits. Comment or email away on your opinions, experiences, etc.!

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