Asos chairman: ignore Pinterest at your peril

Pinterest: retailers should focus on mobile and social to capture audiences
Pinterest: retailers should focus on mobile and social to capture audiences

Pinterest is more important to retailers than distant innovations such as the Oculus Rift, according to Asos chairman Brian McBride.

Speaking to Marketing at The Marketing Society’s annual conference, McBride said he believed in the "exponential improvement" of technology, and that the convergence of mobile connectivity and social media remains key to reaching a young audience.

McBride, formerly Amazon's UK managing director, said he had "lived through Moore’s Law" – the observation that computers will double in processing power every two years, effectively meaning major technology innovation will speed up over time.  

He said: "Microprocessors and bandwidth will all get faster and faster. The phones won’t get any smaller because our fingers aren’t getting smaller, but they will be able to do a lot more, a lot faster than they do today."

"Running along with that is the whole use of social media, especially mobile social media – they are just as important because that’s how you’ll connect to your customer – through social media and through mobile."

McBride particularly highlighted Pinterest and Instagram as useful visual social media sites, along with shopping app Wanelo and WhatsApp.

He said: "I don’t think mobile will ever be 100% of the way people access companies like ASOS, but the younger audience have shown us that’s how they want to do things.

"It's how they get their news, social media, it’s how they want to watch stuff, so you ignore that at your peril."

McBride added that he had "played around" with an Oculus Rift headset, but said the technology was not "ready for the prime time".

He said: "We’re watching it, but it’s not going to influence or affect what we do in the next couple of years."

According to a new study this week from Searchmetrics, Asos is the top UK retailer on Pinterest for the second Christmas running, beating Amazon, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. The company generates the highest average number of shares, or "pins" per week at 7,202. That compares with just 1,620 pins for Amazon and 1,096 pins for John Lewis.

Read next

Google Contributor: the end of ads on the web?

The true meaning behind 35 top brand names


Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free