July 12, 2012, 11:28 AM

Wayfair finds profits in a Pinterest scavenger hunt

In four weeks the retailer’s Pinterest-referred conversion rate rose 107%.

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Wayfair LLC boosted conversions from Pinterest 107% and average order size 48% in four weeks thanks to a scavenger hunt the furniture and home goods retailer hosted on Pinterest.

The contest asked the retailer’s Pinterest followers to find and pin 10 items of varying descriptions—such as something blue, something to sit on and something plush—from its catalog of five million items on Wayfair.com. The consumers’ boards had to be labeled “Wayfair Scavenger Hunt.” The first 50 consumers who created boards received a $10 gift certificate to Wayfair.com.

The contest, which went live on June 11 and is ongoing, led to a nearly 37% increase in the number of Wayfair followers on Pinterest, the most the retailer has gained from any Pinterest contest yet, says Trisha Mack, Wayfair’s senior manager of social marketing. When it began, Wayfair had about 889 Pinterest followers; today its Pinterest page shows 1,217. Other contests the retailer has hosted on the social network include asking followers to build boards with their favorite Wayfair products or to design entire rooms in collaboration with digital interior design company Olioboard.com.

Moreover, since the contest launched, consumers who click from Pinterest to Wayfair.com have increased the time they spend on site by about a minute per visit, on average. The number of pages they view per visit has also increased, by 46%, though that was expected given the task of hunting for items around the site, Mack says.

“The point of Pinterest is you share, and when you click on a board it has the in and out revolving door action—it takes you to that site and you can see where it is,” she says. This is different from Facebook where the point is to engage with other people, not to add or collect things.

While Wayfair hasn’t made any changes to its e-commerce site in response to the contest, consumers’ actions on the social network have found their way into other marketing materials, including a feature highlighting the most-pinned items in its weekly marketing e-mail.

“Pinterest has been the most effective channel for us in driving our social followers to experience our site,” Mack says. “They are exploring our offerings and creating content with our products. That is powerful content for any brand.”

Wayfair’s next Pinterest contest will launch later this month. Wayfair is No. 50 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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