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Unlocking The Magic Of Pinterest To Drive Ecommerce Sales This Holiday Season

Did you know…

• 81% of U.S. online consumers say they trust information & advice on Pinterest (
• The average order placed by Pinterest shoppers is $169, almost double that of Facebook and almost 2.5 times higher than Twitter (RichRelevance)
• 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have purchased an item they found on the site (Bizrate)
• 20% of referrals to e-commerce sites from social sites are from Pinterest (Econsultancy)
• Between January 2013 and January 2014, mobile transactions through Pinterest went up 77.62%, mobile revenue has gone up 224.1% and average order value went up 79.3% (Piqora)
• 54% of Pinterest users spend their time during the holidays sharing GIFT ideas (Lab42)
• A Pin on Pinterest can drive visits to a product page and orders for 365+ days (TechCrunch)

The information all points to one undeniable conclusion: Pinterest is an e-commerce site’s best friend for sales 365 days a year, but especially during the holidays. With an audience consisting of 80% women (overwhelmingly the ones who control most of the shopping dollars in U.S. households), Pinterest is a pressure cooker that takes hardcore browsers, warms them up quickly and turns them into buyers.

What Are They Thinking?

But why? What is it about this social platform that generates buyers so magically? According to, “Pinterest is for viewing and sharing things that people can buy. More so than Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, Pinterest, when you boil it down, is about commerce.” This meeting place is for dreaming and sharing things you want, whether it’s recipes, a new home or presents at Christmas.

The Holidays And Beyond

And boy, oh boy, is Pinterest great for driving holiday sales. But that’s not all. Because this is a hot property 365 days of the year, it has the ability to continually pump a consistent stream of customers to your site.

This year is poised to be a record-breaker in holiday sales because the recession is finally starting to ease up. More people are finding work, which means there is more discretionary income to be spent. According to Consumer Reports, however, shoppers are being cautious with their expenses this year, which means they will be relying on reassurances (such as people endorsing and sharing products on Pinterest) to guide their purchases.

Who Can Benefit From The Pinterest Boom?

Ecommerce sellers who operate their own websites are prime candidates to take advantage of all that Pinterest offers. But third-party sellers who list products on Amazon, eBay or other sites are also able to hitch a ride on the money train.

Pinterest allows you to control the links so you can point directly to your Amazon store, your eBay listing or product pages on your own site with ease. All these types of sites also have plenty of pictures to use in your Pins, making them a perfect fit for this medium.

How Do You Start?

If you don’t have a Pinterest account or have one that you haven’t done much with, now is the time to kick things into gear. Here are 3 things to look at today to ensure you can get the most traffic to your Pins.

1. Keywords — Doesn’t everything online need keywords these days? Pinterest is no different. It is (like Google and Amazon and eBay) essentially a search engine that people use to find stuff. In order to find what they want, Pinterest has to match what browsers type into the search field with what you type into your profile/bio, board descriptions and individual Pins.

Create a list of keywords from your website or Amazon account, or use tools such as WebCEO to find out what terms customers use to find the products you sell. Keep your lists handy for the times you set up a Pinterest account, add boards and create Pins. You’ll want to always be mindful to incorporate keywords into everything you add. This will not only help your information show up frequently on Pinterest, but also in Google searches.

2. Create Themes — The more organized your Pinterest presence is, the more likely it will be clicked to and shared. One way to guarantee a logical flow of information is to develop themed boards instead of dumping every Pin onto a single board.

Does your site (or your Amazon/eBay store) sell allergy-related items? You probably have several categories of products, including air purifiers, humidifiers, bedding and more. You can use each of them to create a themed board where you showcase information and products in that category. This makes it much easier for visitors to find related products and other information that you share — then they don’t have to dig through everything you have to offer.

3. Use Enticing Language — While most people think Pinterest is all about images, it really isn’t. That’s the most visible element of Pinterest, but I’d venture to say that — without any words — hardly any photos would get shared.

Think about it … a picture of a casserole wouldn’t be nearly as appealing without a title and description to whet your appetite. An image of this year’s hottest new tech gizmo would just leave people wondering if you don’t describe its features and benefits.

Don’t be blah! Just like when you’re writing (or having someone write) your product description copy, your Pin text needs to be compelling and engaging so visitors will want to read and share it.

Upgrade your language. For instance…


You get the idea. If you need help, pick up one of my all-time favorite writing resources. It’s a specialty thesaurus titled “Words That Sell.” Well worth the $10 to $15 price. I’ve almost worn the cover off of mine!

Word of advice:
If you don’t have a Pinterest presence set up for your e-commerce
business, do it now before the holiday rush hits.

There’s A Lot To Do. Good Thing You Have Help.

Setting up and getting your Pinterest account ready for the holiday blowout is very doable if you start now. It will take time to build up a following and get your profile, boards and Pins the way you need them to be for maximum results.

Karon Thackston

About Our GE Network Expert - Karon Thackston

Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words (, a full-service copywriting agency specializing in web and search engine copywriting. She has over 25 years combined experience in marketing, advertising, copywriting and SEO copywriting. Karon has a strong understanding of the processes involved with creating successful advertising strategies.


3 Positive Reasons to Shop Small this Weekend

Shoppers will crowd the super centers and malls starting Thanksgiving evening in the U.S. In fact, over the next several weeks, retail stores will do 50% or more of their business for the year.

So where will you go? And who will you do business with?

Here are three positive reasons to shop local especially this Saturday, November 29, which is Small Business Saturday.

Personal Service

You receive personal service from the relationships you form with these retailers who really want to help you find that just-right gift for your special someone.

I can remember shopping as a kid with my parents. We went to see Mr. Alford at Clarks Department Store when I outgrew my dress clothes.  He was a friend of ours and the store was locally owned.  Mr. Alford always seemed to know what I looked best in.

We also bought our gas and had our cars serviced by J.B. Webb at the Esso station.  J.B. was our neighbor, and took excellent care of our vehicles. We trusted him.

In today’s world where so much of everything is virtual, visit a local, small business retailer this weekend and enjoy the real-time, personal service.

Personal Support

Have you ever thought about where your money goes once your purchase is completed?

When you shop with a locally-owned, small business retailer, about $68 of every $100 you spend returns to your local community. The obvious ways it returns are sales, payroll, and property taxes. Those taxes pay teachers’ salaries who educate our children, municipal utility crews who go out in ice storms and restore our electricity, water treatment plant operators who keep our drinking water safe, and other services.

And what about the sales clerk who receives her paycheck and gives a donation to the local Salvation Army’s Angel Tree? Or, buys her groceries from the local, fresh produce market? Those local dollars turn over many, many times.

Yes, we live in a global village. Spending your holiday gift money at a locally-owned, small business retailer positively profits your own village.

Personal Satisfaction

Discover locally produced or themed products that carry with them an emotional attachment for the recipient. Such a unique gift carries with it a personal satisfaction that displays more intimacy and care than an “Oh yea” gift from a big box retailer.

For instance, my brother gave me two historic, framed postcards depicting scenes from the town I grew up in. His forethought, consideration, and knowledge of how much I miss that little town made that gift one I treasure to this day.

Find a local artist who paints regional scenes. Buy a painting and send it to a family member or friend who moved away.

Look around for other unique, locally-produced or themed gifts. They mean so much more than just another mass-made product.

So where will you shop this weekend? With a local small business retailer?

Since you’ll be out shopping anyway, visit your local small businesses and discover personal service, offer some personal support, and give some personal satisfaction. You’ll positively be glad you did!

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier. Discover more at

5 Little-Known Facts About Keywords & Amazon Product Listings That Could Hinder Your Success

Lately I feel like a broken record. It seems the more people I talk with, the more times I hear, “I didn’t know that” when it comes to keyword-related facts about Amazon product listings. Most people are making this way harder than it has to be. In fact, many are seriously wasting space by not following what Amazon clearly lays out in the Seller Central Help section. Let’s take a few minutes to go over some specifics from Amazon so you can start benefiting from the right way to use keywords.

Not using keywords correctly in your product listing copy and not having them formatted the right way in your keyword fields can cost you both traffic and sales.

1. Amazon (Basically) Counts The Title As A Keyword Field

Many people believe that they must put the keywords in the keyword fields and also in their product name/title. Not true. According to Amazon:

In essence, Amazon’s internal search engine works by exactly matching individual words (not phrases) that the customer types into the search box with the individual keywords you put into your product title and keyword fields.

2. The Title And The Keyword Fields Hold Equal Weight

I think the belief that the title holds more weight than the keyword fields comes from people who are flooded with information about ranking well on Google. Title tags hold more weight with Google so, therefore, most people assume the same is true about Amazon. Incorrect.

Amazon specifically tells us not to “waste space” by repeating words across certain fields because they are all included when a shopper conducts a search.


3. You Should Not Enter Entire Keyphrases Into The Keyword Fields

Amazon’s search engine works by combining individual words, not by looking to match entire phrases. There is no need to waste valuable keyword space by entering:

USB computer speaker, USB Bluetooth speaker, USB iPhone speaker, etc.

Instead, remove the repeated words and put them into a logical order.


You end up with a much more compact list of terms that allows more space for relevant search words. Here’s what you end up with after removing the repetitive words:

USB computer speaker Bluetooth iPhone

So, instead of using 63 characters with the original list, now you’ve only used 37, leaving you a lot more room for additional keywords.

4. Amazon Accounts For Stemming, Plurals & Commas

Another common debate is whether you should use commas and plurals in your keyword fields. Seller Central outlines this clearly as well.

Stemming is taking a root word and adding various endings to it. For example:

• diet
• diets
• dieting
• dietary
• dietitian
• etc.

As you see below, Amazon can handle “basic” stemming. I have not found a definition of “basic” but my interpretation is plurals and common other endings such as “ing.” Anything beyond that I would consider adding as another search term.



No commas are needed in your keyword fields. In fact, as stated in the next screen capture, you don’t need any type of punctuation. Amazon’s system ignores commas … all you need is a space between the terms.


5. You Should Not Add Competitor Brands To Your Keyword Fields

There is a common practice of putting other brands into your keyword fields. The assumption is that this is a good way to get more traffic to your page. Actually, putting irrelevant keywords into your fields (including brand names that aren’t yours) is a good way to have your listing removed. Amazon classifies this as keyword bombing and makes it known that your product listing could be deleted from the category it is in if you’re found guilty of using irrelevant keywords to drive traffic.



Having the correct keywords in place and having your keyword fields set up the way Amazon suggests will play a big role in boosting the visibility of your products to qualified customers who are ready to purchase. It isn’t hard to do once you understand the way Amazon works best.

Karon Thackston

About Our GE Network Expert - Karon Thackston

Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words (, a full-service copywriting agency specializing in web and search engine copywriting. She has over 25 years combined experience in marketing, advertising, copywriting and SEO copywriting. Karon has a strong understanding of the processes involved with creating successful advertising strategies.


Here’s the thing about branding and marketing: most of the time we think that it has to be as big and bold and loud as possible. We want one tiny branding message to reach and be acted on by the entire world. It’s the mentality that makes car dealership owners shout and wear crazy costumes during their commercials.

Covert marketing is sly and smooth and, when done properly, the recipient of the marketing effort doesn’t know that you’ve been trying to sell them. They are convinced that their impulse to check out your site, buy your product or talk to their friends about you is their very own idea. It is the best kind of marketing possible because it relies on real people to say genuine things. One person says one good thing about you to two friends. Those two friends tell two friends, etc. You’ve heard the analogy before. So how do you do it? How do you get in there without being obvious and potentially alienating the recipient?

Be a Human First

One of the first rules of marketing and networking is to realize that networking and marketing opportunities are everywhere. A chance meeting in line at the coffee shop, if played right, could lead to your next business connection! If you look at every person you come across as a potential sale, though, you’re going to alienate more people than you attract.

Try to relate to each person you meet as a human being. Don’t mention your business. Instead, say “it was really nice talking to you. Can I give you my card?” If the person says yes, give him or her your card. Or, you can be more direct and ask what the person does for a living. It is one of the laws of polite society that questions about occupation must be reciprocated. When they ask what you do, tell that person and hand over a card. Then let the conversation move along naturally.

Always Put Your Best Face Forward

Do you remember when we talked about the importance of always using and giving away high quality stationery supplies? This is true out in the world, too. Actually using high quality products in natural every day settings makes people curious about you. Leaving notes on company stationery, signing credit card slips with good pens, etc: it projects a subtle air of success.

There is no reason to use a generic cheap pen when you have branded high quality merchandise that doubles as a marketing ploy at your disposal.

Using the above example, with the exchange of business cards “in the wild,” it is important that you not hand over a hand printed card or something that is poorly designed. Your business card is your first impression and since business card printing has gotten much more affordable, even bootstrapping startup entrepreneurs can hand over beautiful cards.

Trust us: ink jet printed business cards stops working once you leave your college campus. Go pro or go home.

Finally: Let it Go

So many branding messages and marketing attempts have a distinct air of desperation about them. Desperation kills sales. Instead, focus on the connection and if a sale happens as a result, great! If not, there are other opportunities out there. This works on you when you shop somewhere, right? Being descended upon by employees makes you want to run right back out of the store. But a shop employee who greets you warmly and then leaves you alone (but is happy to answer questions when you approach them) makes you want to buy twice as much, right?  And, if you’re focused on the person and not the opportunity, you won’t have any trouble putting your blatant selling techniques away.

This all probably feels counter intuitive to what you’ve already learned. Trust us; taking a relaxed approach and letting your materials do the work for you will go further and farther than any “hey, look at me!” approach you can think up.


Article Contributed by Ameera Tabassum

Are you among business owners who believe risk management culture is just an over-hyped theory?

If yes, let me help you understand why you may be mistaken. There are solid reasons why you should propagate good risk management culture in an organization.

For instance, analyse the recent financial crisis. Significant losses ensued from ignorance, negligence and greed. Had an effective risk management culture been in place, at least a few big names would have survived the economic catastrophe.

Organizations can no longer shut their eyes to risk management, instead it should be perceived as the first rule of thumb and made part and parcel of projects and business operations. 

The question I am often asked is, “Why emphasize risk culture?”

The answer is that by implementing an effective risk management culture, significant financial benefits accrue. Some of the major characteristics of a robust risk management culture include:

  • Providing an efficient governance system
  • Stating the roles and responsibilities of senior managers clearly
  • Encouraging constant improvements
  • Delivering a transparent and timely escalation process
  • Promoting dedicated leadership and guidance
  • Supporting learning from errors

Organizations deficient in these risk management habits can encounter significant problems; look at the bankruptcy and buyout of major financial institutions during the 2008 recession. A risk management culture creates visible improvement in operational risk factors, especially people. A positive attitude towards risks management should become part of the staff’s attitude. 

How to achieve a strong risk management culture?

Lead by example!

Leadership is a vital component in implementing an effective risk management culture. It is not like forcing down a bitter pill. Leaders should gradually build appetite for a risk management culture through communication, and by sharing and breaking silos – which have always been organizational barriers, leading to trade-offs between departments and employees, management and the board.

A powerful risk management culture can be achieved when the business leaders understand the significance of risk management and permeate the knowledge across the whole organization efficiently.

Further, a risk management culture can be expanded by:

  • Facilitating smooth internal communication
  • Involving stakeholders in business decisions
  • Communicating and informing employees about the tools and techniques used for risk management in the organization

Every organization is distinctly shaped by its attributes, strengths and weaknesses. The culture of risk management should be made to echo the organizational context or be improvised for better results.

Developing a risk culture is a difficult task; cannot happen overnight. Only persistence and methodical approaches lead to a solid foundation and establish a capable risk culture later on.

I hope you enjoyed reading this introductory post on “Does your organization emphasise on risk culture”. In the follow up, we will look at more critical subjects like “How to Measure Risk Culture?” and “Case Studies on Impact Created by Risk Culture”.

About the Author

Ameera Tabassum is an ACCA  Affiliate. She has diversified experience working as Business Process Consultant for an  Audit solution company in the Uk. She has over 4 years of experience in  Erm risk management solutions  and as a practicing manager of Business analysts successfully executing several projects in terms of Risk management strategies, ORM Software solutions and Governance risk compliance.

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