The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest Marketing For Ecommerce Sites

It has been more than 6 years since Pinterest was made live. Ever since it has earned the reputation of being a social media platform for visually appealing content. Many visual and video sharing social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have appeared over the last 5 years but Pinterest could hold on to its loyal following because of its visual appeal, ease of use and its community which inspires people through curated content. Pinterest’s business page and a plethora of free tools, APIs and widgets provided by Pinterest help online store entrepreneurs explore the social commerce space better.

Why Pinterest trumps all social channels when it comes to driving online store sales

  1. Higher life time after pinning – Pinterest posts stick out for exposure weeks or even months after being published. In other words, you can drive traffic and sales to your website even weeks after the product is pinned first. This is unlike Facebook and Twitter where potential traffic generated by a post dwindles fast. The below graph is based on a study done by Piqora. It demonstrates how Pinned posts have potential to drive traffic even after 3.5 months since it was pinned first.
  2. Higher Shopping Intent – People visit Pinterest to feel inspired and get new ideas about crafts, clothes, food, travel and other hobbies. If your brand can inspire them converting the user into a customer is just a few clicks away. But in Facebook, the story aspect of the product is missing. Also when a user is on FaceBook his usual intent is to see what is going on in his circle of friends. This makes converting FaceBook traffic much more difficult.
  3. Get higher spending customers – Pinterest has higher Average order value than most social channels. As per Shopify the AOV of traffic generated through Pinterest is $58 which is more than that of FaceBook at $55. Which means you will be driving high spending customers to your online store if you do Pinterest marketing right.

21 Actionable Strategies to drive sales using Pinterest

Create an account for your business

Step 1: To get started with Pinterest every brand should register as a business first. This can be done by registering here.

Step 2: Verify your website by either uploading an HTML file or adding a meta tag in <head> section. Follow the instructions here to confirm your website.

Step 3: Once done you will see a profile picture on all pins saved from your website with a CTA to visit the website. This will bring in more clicks to your website. Make sure you read Pinterest’s brand guidelines before starting.

Use Pinterest for Market/Product Research

Using Pinterest you can understand which product is liked by your potential customer. You can visit a competitor’s Pinterest board or your own previously pinned products and see which product received the most affinity. Based on the rise of trend you can predict trends in your industry. You can even search for the product on Pinterest and see which styles and colors of products are being pinned the most and replenish the inventory or contact a relevant dropshipper accordingly.

Inspire people. Don’t be pushy.

Unlike other social channels where the conversation is around people, events, and content Pinterest’s content and conversation solely thrive on ideas and inspiration. Your online brand has to curate such ideas and be part of the conversation to make the most out of it.

Nordstrom is an apparel company. It uses it’s Pinterest account to give users fresh ideas on fashion, beauty, and a hip lifestyle. Instead of putting up pictures of its products it creates boards which give a new perspective on dressing up for different occasions.

Be discoverable through search

To be discoverable on Pinterest through search one must make sure few basic features of the system is utilized to the fullest.

  • Re-Edit Pin – Once you submit your pin. You can add more details to it like the product page link, location and detailed description of the product. This will give the pin and board more content a critical aspect to attract search engine traffic.
  • Use Rich Pins – Rich pins are meta-data which is passed through the Pin It button on your website for maximum exposure of the product image on the social platform. You can implement this by using Pinterest’s developer site. You have to pick the meta-data type which is most relevant to your niche(app, product, recipe, movie, article, place) and implement rich pins accordingly. You can list important product properties like price, site name, currency, description, and availability to communicate more information about your products upfront. See how to implement Rich Pins right. Test rich pins implementation here.
  • Optimize Boards – Boards have long-form content. A board with lots of pins with appropriately filled descriptions is an SEO traffic magnet. Making boards which have the potential to inspire and are searched for by people online will give free exposure to your brand both via Google and Pinterest search.
  • Do your keyword research – You can find all relevant searches in your category by using this free Pinterest tool. The tool pulls out all drop down suggestions in form of a list for your quick review.

Embed board on your blog or website

You can embed your Pinterest boards on to your blog. To do so visit this URL, fill in the details and copy and paste the code into the blog post you want to showcase the board. You can even preview the board before adding it to your website or blog. Adding boards will attract users to your Pinterest account which could act as a touch point for all future engagements.

Buyable pins

Pinterest has opened up an option for people to buy your products right from the Pinterest without any need to visit your website. This makes Pinterest another platform to sell your products not just showcase them. However, this feature is still not available to all online retailers. You have to sign up for the waiting list to be considered. If you use popular e-Commerce platforms like Bigcommerce, Demandware, Magento and Shopify you can avail this feature using your e-commerce hosting dashboard.

Is your site mobile friendly?

80% of Pinterest users are on mobile. This makes it all the more important that your website is mobile friendly since you want to leverage this huge chunk of revenue opportunity. Not only should your website be mobile friendly but it should have prominent placement of “Pin It’ buttons on your mobile version of the website. This will increase the probability of the product getting pinned. You can test it using this free tool from Google.

Pin content to reinforce brand

What you pin is important too as at the end of the day you want Pinterest to help you drive sales. You should leverage Pinterest to show your best products.

  • Showcasing best selling products – This can be done either by creating a separate board for best selling items or making the best selling products part of the usual inspiration boards.
  • Showcase customer reviews – Customer reviews are a testimony to a brand’s success. You can capture customer testimonials and create a board to list them. This will help people who discover you through Pinterest check out your online store. Dollar shave club posts reviews from its customers on their Pinterest board names DSC Reviews & Unboxing.
  • Offers and Discounts – Everyone likes an offer. You can communicate upcoming or current sales and discounts on your website so that your audience on Pinterest can avail the same. Make sure you are not too pushy with this. Pinning offers and discount should be just a small part of your Pinterest marketing strategy. People who are listening to you don’t want to feel hustled.

Connect other social media channels to your Pinterest account

Connecting Facebook and Twitter to your Pinterest account helps you share your pins with your audience. This brings your existing FaceBook and Twitter on to Pinterest and will increase your Pinterest follower count. This method gives you an additional touch point with your audience.

To connect your social networks you have to

Step 1:  Visit your Pinterest Profile and click on the bolt icon on the top left.

Step 2: Visit the Social Networks tab and connect all your social networks by clicking on relevant buttons.


Make it beautiful or useful

People use the internet for 2 reasons – Entertainment & Information. Same so with Pinterest. Pinterest is popular because it is visually appealing, creative and useful. Pinning content which fit in any or both these aspects makes your content strategy more wholesome. For instance, if you are a travel company you can pin beautiful content which could inspire people to travel the world and also pin useful content on travel safety or budget travel.

Tripadvisor uses a combination of usefulness and inspiration boards to gain a following on Pinterest.

Pin the right product image

The attribute of the image which you pin is a critical component of making content viral.

Height – In general portrait images get more exposure. Images that are 738 pixels wide and 1128 pixels high appear the best. Make the best use of this space.

No Human Faces – Unlike web pages, Pinterest images which don’t have human faces in it have a 23% more probability of getting pinned/re-pinned.

Multiple Colors – Having multiple colors in the image helps it stand out from the crowd. Pins with colors of red and orange grab attention immediately. See how you can make your pins as colorful as possible.

The pic below is the best Pinterest picture ever taken.

Multi-Product Pins

Multi product pins is a combination of items which go together. As per Pinterest, Pins that feature multiple products generally get 30% higher click-through rates and 20% higher checkouts.

However, it is important to use multi product pins along with its individual products in it pinned. This will give the user an option visit the product page if she wants to know more about it.

Polyvore posts a multi-product lookbook every day as a part of its outfit of the day board.

Get followers via multiple touch points

Leverage your website audience to drive traffic to your Pinterest page. You can use the free official Pinterest follow button to drive followers. You can use the buttons in

  • Thank you or confirmation page after a purchase
  • Site Footer
  • Outdoor event brochures
  • Promotional or automation emails

Keen uses its footer to promote its social channels on its store pages.

You can even get a follow button which lets users follow you on Pinterest without leaving your online store.

Use Gifs

Gifs are animated pics which will make your pin standout from the crowd. One can add a lot of humor and utility through Gifs. Few Gif ideas for Pinterest

  • Travel – Hyper-lapse of a sunset
  • DIY Crafts – Tutorial on making a wooden mirror
  • Recipe – A quick cut on how to make hash brown potatoes
  • Health – Gym workup routine

With Gifs the possibilities are endless. Right Gifs can get you the much needed engagement and adds variety to your content mix.

Learn what is being searched for on Pinterest

By getting the pulse of your niche in Pinterest you can do more of what the audience is looking for. This can be done by understanding what kind of keywords users type in when they are looking for products on Pinterest’s search. There are couple of ways this can be found out.

  1. Promoted Pins Suggestions – While creating a promoted Ad you can enter the keywords you want to show your Ad to. When you enter a product type Pinterest Ads tool gives a list of keywords as examples. You can use these keywords as an indicator for what Pinterest thinks people are looking for on the social platform.
  2. Use this Pinterest keyword tool – This tool scrapes the suggestions given in the drop down as you search for a product. You can uncover long tail searches/specific type of products people looking for in your industry.

Engage with your community

Engaging with your community brings in more engagement and exposure. It gives the follower a confidence that some one is actually listening what they have to say. Social media is about conversations and Pinterest is no different. There are 4 actions you can commit to on a regular basis to increase engagement of your community –

  • Find who pins your content often – See if any of them are active on Pinterest. Follow them to discover more interesting content.
  • Comments and Replies – Comments and replies keeps the conversation going and increases the exposure of the pin further.
  • Pin other’s content – Getting a vote of appreciation lifts everybody’s spirit. Get the influencer’s attention by pinning and commenting on their content.
  • Create boards and invite people – Create inspiring boards and invite your audience to follow and submit content.
  • Share pins with influencers in your list – You can share your pins with influencers who are following you on Pinterest through direct message.

Experiment with time, day and content

Every niche is different. People who pin food might be active at a certain time during the day and people who pin movies might be active during night. Getting attention is getting the timing right and you can find the right time but publishing same type content at different times of the day and see how it takes off. You can measure the impact of each experiment by logging on to your Pinterest analytics dashboard.

Pin Button near product

Proximity of the pin button to the product massively increases the chances of the product being pinned. The proximity could be even more in the mobile version of the site. 80% of Pinterest users access the site on mobile. Getting the placement of the pin it button right on the mobile site is crucial to amplify its presence on the platform. places the button right on top even before FaceBook on its mobile version of the site.

Promoted pins

Promoted Pins is Pinterest’s own advertising program. Any brand can use this feature in three ways.

  1. To Drive awareness – This option gets your brand access to premium spots and banners across your target audience on Pinterest. This option is right for online stores who have established their business over a couple of years and want to go hard on brand building exercise.
  2. To drive engagement – Using this option you can get more re-pins and comments on your pins. This option is ideal for businesses who are still nascent in Pinterest and looking to gain a strong presence.
  3. To drive website traffic – This will land people on your website. You can use this feature if you are new to the game and looking to generate few sales leveraging the targeted audience on this platform.

To get started with Ads click here.

Conclusion: There are multiple ways to make your brand be part of the Pinterest conversation and derive direct measurable monetary value from it. Online retailers who derive success through Pinterest are creative, patient and committed to building an audience over a period of years.

After working 7+ years as a digital marketer for startups and large enterprises I quit my job to start EcommerceYogi. Here I share the exact same tactics which I have used to drive millions of users per month to e-commerce stores. Follow me on Linkedin and Twitter to stay connected.