Sales on Pinterest. How can it help with building your e-commerce business?

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Pinterest, which made its debut on the social media scene a decade ago, never gained as wide an audience as Facebook or Instagram. But today – slowly and quietly – it is proving that the e-commerce industry should not underestimate its potential. How to use it in marketing and make sales on Pinterest work?


Pinterest in 2019 announced that it has 322 million monthly active users worldwide. While nearly a third of those are from the United States, the number of those overseas is growing rapidly. In 2019, it jumped by about 51 million compared to five million in the US. Still not stats to impress the players at the top of the pile, but – something not so obvious again in the world of social media – it’s still growing. According to Statista Research Department, in 2021 Pinterest was in the top 15 popular social networks in the world by number of active users.

Table of contents:

  1. What is Pinterest?
  2. Who is using Pinterest?
  3. Sales on Pinterest
  4. How to use Pinterest to increase sales?
  5. Shopping on Pinterest?

What is Pinterest?

It allows you to share your ideas and save others’ “for later”. Each idea is one “pin” that consists of an image, a short description, and a link directing you to the source, which can be a blog, website, or e-commerce site.

Who is using Pinterest?

It is definitely a favorite among women, who use it mostly to browse and “pin” information about the latest trends in fashion, home decor, and cooking. But as with Instagram, men are on the platform in increasing numbers. They made up 40 percent of new users in 2019.

Sales on Pinterest

It’s not a secret knowledge that social media can increase traffic on sales website significantly. But why – when both Facebook and Instagram, and even TikTok and Snapchat have larger user bases – should e-commerce be interested in Pinterest?
For one thing, the platform advertises itself as a tool for finding inspiration, which means that, it claims, it directly influences purchasing decisions. Secondly, content published on this platform “lives” much, much longer than on other platforms. It can be updated and gain new recipients even many months after publication.

Above all, Pinterest simply makes shopping easier, because it works like a very advanced search engine.
When you type the phrase “running shoes” into the search bar, the platform suggests doodling words such as “Nike,” “Women’s,” “Adidas,” and provides results that meet the criteria.
pinterest_search_bar
When you click on a selected result, it display information about the source of the graphic and more prompts.
pinterest_shoes
The user can, on the one hand, scroll endlessly in search for the product of his dreams, narrowing the results provided by the algorithm more and more precisely, but on the other hand – very quickly proceed to the execution of the order once the product is in the store.

And this is not all. A very interesting, but still underestimated feature of Pinterest is visual search. Thanks to this mechanism it is possible to find products similar to the one selected on the image (you can use an existing one or take your own picture). Thus, we do not use keywords, but graphics.

Pinterest has made no secret of the fact that visual search is supposed to – in addition to making users’ lives easier – help businesses sell.

We can use, for example, sponsored pins, which work like ads in the Google search engine. They are displayed – for a fee – in places where they are most easily noticed by the recipients. Thus they will appear on the News and Category pages and in the search results of the target audience.

How to use Pinterest to increase sales?

You can successfully use Pinterest to promote your own brand and in this way, indirectly, influence sales. To do this, however, you need to take care of the visual content (not only photos, but also videos), the use of appropriate hashtags in the pin descriptions and the inclusion of relevant keywords so that our content will be indexed.

Do not forget about links that will redirect users to sales websites. Thanks to them, the user will be able to go straight from the pin to a specific product in the e-shop. That will shorten the purchase path.

Shopping on Pinterest?

The platform’s actions leave no doubt that e-commerce is a field it intends to develop. Ahead of the holiday shopping season (U.S. market only), the Pinterest Shop feature was launched, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to showcase their unique products. Then automatically converts the products into product pins, which is intended to help small businesses increase sales. Sounds familiar? Yes, almost all social media platforms launched similar initiatives – Facebook (Facebook Shops), Instagram (Instagram Checkouts) and Snapchat (a partnership with Shopify to bring in-app payment options to US users) and all signs point to social commerce just taking off.

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