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Visually driven retailer apps should jump on Apple, Pinterest initiative

Retail mobile applications are likely to gain an advantage in product promotion through Pinterest’s new Apple partnership for suggesting apps to Pinners, reflecting how the social pin board is seeking to better serve users through search and commerce tactics.

The partnership follows the news that the social network is removing affiliate links and has plans for a Buy buttong. All in all, Pinterest’s announcements that have taken center stage lately show the platform’s interest in taking the offense and possibly taking over some of Google’s market share.

“In theory, this effort could become the ideal App Store curation platform, making curation accessible to anyone,” said Slaven Radic, co-founder of Tapstream, British Columbia. “If it takes off, it will be a massive help to the App Store team, which doesn’t have great many options to highlight apps in the many verticals they serve.”

Changing its ways
To add to the drama, there are also speculating rumors that Pinterest could be introducing a buy button to the platform.

Since its initial launch in 2010, the search discovery platform has taken off, offering an experience never known to consumers before. Through its database of pin boards, consumers can discover products, ideas, recipes and more that were not as easily accessible before, such as by performing a similar Google search.

Pinterest compiles the most popular, highly rated content online, making it a reputable source for the hottest and most current trends. Consumers flock to Pinterest for the latest style topics, scanning food, home, fashion, inspiration and health, among many more sectors.

All of the aforementioned efforts recently made by Pinterest could perhaps give it a significant edge against one of the biggest business giants: Google.

While Google has exterminated other search engines of its kind by becoming a multiplayer in the consumer electronic and business solution industry, through Android devices and Google Plus, the consumer appeal for Pinterest has led its archrival Apple to deem the platform successful and reliable enough to lean on.

“Imagery is the key differentiator with this partnership,” said Josh Todd, CMO of Localytics. “Breaking through in the App Store and attracting new users relies heavily on clear, compelling visuals like your app icon and the screenshots in your listing.

“Pinterest is a great solution for enhancing this visual marketing component of the App Store,” he said. “Like any acquisition channel, the opportunity and challenge is to go beyond the download to understand if Pinterest is able to deliver users who stay engaged, return often and take meaningful actions in the app.

“For marketers, an early indicator of how much potential the Pinterest integration might have is if your app is well designed, has a good user interface and showcases your branding in a memorable way, but the only real way to tell is to use in-app mobile analytics to understand the lifetime value of your users.”

Introducing Apple
This collaboration could undoubtedly take Pinterest to the next level of becoming a major marketplace. 

Through the partnership, Pinners will be able to download iOS apps directly through the Pinterest app without leaving the app.

It sounds minimal at first, but when considering the consumer appeal that Pinterest has achieved, this route may give Apple the control over its app inventory it needs.

When consumers approach the Apple App Store, they are met with more than one million apps and can often be overwhelmed with the decision of which app to consider and download. Sure, Apple has ratings and reviews, but all require more effort from the user.

Pinterest, however, has eliminated the need for ratings and reviews. There is something undeniable about the platform that ensures dependability, a quality that the Apple App Store definitely lacks.

Therefore, if retailers can get their apps involved, they could gain the opportunity to be recommended by Pinterest, an honor that is undeniably quantifiable.

Making a statement
Pinterest has been in a full sprint over the last year.

Among the growing prominence of social commerce, Pinterest is playing a bigger role for retailers’ mobile strategy by propelling shoppers into the new form of commerce, as evidenced by sales numbers from this past Thanksgiving weekend in 2014.

While the average order value for Black Friday sales came directly from social networks, predominately by Facebook with $114.45, Pinterest saw the largest growth increase year-over-year at 16 percent, according to a recent Adobe report.

With Twitter dropping to a spot just below, these numbers show promise for Pinterest and its capabilities to drive revenue for retailers, and now Apple.

According to Adobe’s data, Pinterest came in second with $93.20, and Twitter drove online sales of $90.74 on average.

Although Pinterest saw the largest year-over-year increase in average order value, up 16 percent, Facebook, at seven percent, and Twitter, at five percent, also saw slight increases. Two percent ($74.6 million) of purchases came directly from social media sites, which is flat compared to 2013 (see story).

This evidence shows Pinterest can stand beside, if not above, the empires of Facebook and Twitter from marketing and merchandising perspectives.

When you combine Apple, a buy button, consumer dependability and perhaps the most visually reliable social network available, Pinterest, the eyes of mobile-active retailers are sure to light up.

“The imagery will also be very important, and Apple acknowledged it by hiring photographers and featuring Fashion Week for the launch of their Pinterest page,” Mr. Radic said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York