There was a lot of talk about Pinterest in 2012 regarding it possible impact on social commerce.

One article cited a Blogher study, which said that Pinterest overtook Twitter in finding product information, finding out about new products and seeking advice and recommendations.

A study from 8thBridge stated that, though Pinterest had some of the highest adoption rate among hot brands, it provided the lowest sales conversions. Still another asked the question of whether Pinterest could be the next social game changer.

And, in order to take whatever advantage of social commerce it can, Pinterest recently launched business pages.

But enough about Pinterest! Let’s talk about Polyvore, a fashion focused social discovery site that’s been making its own news lately.

CNET reported that Polyvore saw both record revenue and user growth in 2012. Currently, the site averages approximately 20 million unique visitors per month. When those users go from browsing to shopping, the average order size is $220. Even more impressive, on Black Friday the average order was 50 percent higher than others in the industry.

What factors attribute to Polyvore’s growth? The answer could be summed up in one word – community.

Its user base is comprised of young, affluent tastemakers who love to share their finds on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and, yes, Pinterest. (In fact, Pinterest is the largest recipient of Polyvore shopping shares.) Each month, the predominantly female 2o million users create 2.5 million shoppable collages called “sets.” Those two facts combined led to a whopping 7.5 billion product impressions per month.

It’s a community that not only loves to share, but shop online, as well. It’s users are:

  • 2.2x more likely to shop for fashion than the average;
  • 2.2x more likely to shop for jewelry;
  • 2.8x more likely to shop for cosmetics;
  • 2.3x more likely to shop for interior design.

And with an average income of $77K – 33 percent make over $100K – it is also a community that has money to spend.

Another factor that contributes to Polyvore’s success is its philosophy, which can be summed up in three phrases: do a few things well, delight the user, and make an impact.

Combine a user base of digital natives who are passionate about fashion, who have money in their pockets and who love to share with a company that truly cares about building a strong brand around its community and you have nothing less than a formula for success.

Polyvore sums up its success succinctly: “Our business is exploding because our model turns traditional commerce on its head, allowing consumers to voice and discover what they like online.”

Polyvore infographic

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Today’s article is sponsored by Payvment: The #1 Social Commerce Platform
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