Here’s a great case study of an online retail business and a summary of the article from Internet Retailer.
It was the Johnny Cash necklace that put start-up online retailer Bourbon & Boots on the Pinterest map. The merchant, which sells Southern-inspired, handmade gift items, launched in February 2012, and by July was already attracting around 15% of its traffic from Pinterest, says founder Matt Price.
Viral nature of Pinterest & Social Media Marketing: In July 2012 a Pinterest user pinned a photo of the Johnny Cash necklace and within 24 hours, the image was shared on Pinterest 1,000x. From then till March 2013 the item has been repinned approximately 1.5 million times.
The e-retailer created Pinterest campaigns which involved a handful of people from its network of some 250 influencers on Pinterest. Influencers, some of whom are bloggers, are Pinterest users with anywhere from 200,000 to 10 million followers. The selected people fit with Bourbon & Boots’ customer demographic and product category. The people selected were paid to browse around the Bourbon & Boots site and pin whichever products, and however many of them, they find appealing. The company would not disclose how much it pays tastemakers, but says they are paid according to the success of the campaign, and each campaign is measured differently.
Bourbon & Boots ran a three-day social media marketing Pinterest campaign in February and another in March. Their website traffic from Pinterest increased 10-fold when these campaigns were running. Revenue from Pinterest went up 305% during the first campaign and 1,300% in the next campaign, compared to the days just prior running them. This is significant, Price says, because revenue from Pinterest represents 10% of total sales for the retailer.
Those campaigns generated a better return on investment than other marketing strategies like paid search campaigns or targeted ads on Facebook the merchant has tried, Price says. Additionally, Bourbon & Boots has determined that shoppers who come to the site directly from Pinterest are 20% more valuable than those from other channels because they tend to spend more and buy more frequently. “We are reallocating our marketing dollars to Pinterest. We’ve taken 75% of our Facebook advertising dollars and moved it over to these types of campaigns.”