3 conversion optimization lessons inspired by Polyvore

A study made by Shopify on social commerce showed that of all mainstream social networks, Polyvore is the one who tops the scale of generated Average Order Value. Polyvore’s strength is the association and recommendation of products: sets of products that go well together and create whole looks, sets of products that talk about style etc.


We’ve started with Polyvore, because this social network gives a few important lessons about how to increase the Average Order Value or encourage sales. Conversion rate optimization has all the tactics and the best practices to increase sales, but some nice inspiration is always welcomed.

From a conversion optimization point of view, Polyvore is just a traffic generator that brings valuable customers. But on a closer look this social network is also a referrer that does its job wonderfully and brings very resolute customers. So, why not learn from it?

Lesson 1: Create a personal experience for customers

Unless you shop for something with a sad meaning or for something that’s so practical and mundane that there’s no place for enjoyment, shopping is actually a fun activity. You get to discover new things that you like, learn more about new products, dream about how to match products or what gifts to make. Polyvore is so successful because is like a giant book of fashion discoveries. When you’re on this social network, there’s really no limit on learning about new trends and new products that you like.

How to apply it on an e-commerce website: Use well targeted product recommendations to suggest other products to users. The more a recommendation is based on the actual preferences of a user, the better.

Lesson 2: Give visitors the option to create favorite products lists

Except the cases where users make emotional purchase decisions, pre-purchase steps almost always include research. People like to make discoveries, bookmark or organize them.

How to apply it on an e-commerce website: You can insert a “Wishlist option” or “Save for later”. Whatever the name, it’s basically the same thing: a place where visitors keep their favorite products for later. When they are ready to make a purchase they can come back and still find the selection of products. Not to mention, that you can use Wish lists to remarket and reengage visitors.

Lesson 3: People trust other people’s opinions

Polyvore is a social network based on the curation of fashion and deco products by users. People share products from any e-commerce in an imaginative way: they build apparel and style collages according to their preferences. Users of Polyvore discover and buy new products through the recommendations of others.

How to apply it on an e-commerce website: Enable the creation of reviews on product pages. Users trust other’s people’s opinion more then they trust advertising or product descriptions. A few sincere and objective reviews might be exactly what a user needs to take a purchase-decision.

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Meet the Author

SEO specialist experimenting with conversion optimization techniques, learning and writing. Firm believer in on-site optimization and the power of copywriting.