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Pinterest Marketing: Generate Sales with This Unique Platform

12.12.2018, 8m

While you may be busy promoting your company on other social media channels, you might ask yourself if Pinterest marketing is worth your efforts. In this article we’ll explain what Pinterest is, what it can mean for you as an online shop owner, and how you can take the first steps towards success.

Pinterest seems to have been neglected by online retailers, but in fact you can gain many new customers via this platform. It’s a channel different from, for example, Instagram, where images are also used.

People who come to Pinterest have a specific goal in mind. You can exploit this and so capitalise on what your target group is looking for.

What is Pinterest and why should your online use it?

People come to this platform to get inspiration from images. CEO Ben Silbermann describes the company as ‘A catalogue of ideas’ that inspires users to ‘go outside and do that thing’.

It’s therefore not the same as Instagram, where you can share your life and activities with others. On Pinterest it’s specifically made for discovering new ideas about, for instance, furniture, fashion and recipes.

mom and children working on DIY project

Source: shutterstock/Jack Frog

You can keep any photo, also called a ‘Pin’, and save it to your personally created Board with a particular theme. Each Pin refers back to the original website. This is where the platform becomes interesting to retailers.

As mentioned before, people come to Pinterest to gain inspiration. They may already have something they’d like in mind, but don’t know all the precise details. Think, for example, of furnishing a new house, organising a wedding or discovering a new, original recipe.

If you search for ‘industrial living room’ on Pinterest, you get the following results:

Pinterest search results for "industrial living room"

Click on the image to enlarge it (Source: Pinterest)

If you click on one of the results, you can click on ‘Save’ in the top right-hand corner or follow the link at the bottom left of the image. In the example below, this is

Pinterest pin showing interior design

Click on the image to enlarge it (Source: Bloglovin')

In many cases, people on Pinterest are ready to buy, and you can help them with their search.

This unique mindset of a Pinterest user is something you won’t find on other Social Media channels.

Key Pinterest statistics

  • 250 million users

  • Percentage of Interest users using Pinterest  in the UK by age group (according to eMarketer):

    • 55% of 18-24 year-olds

    • 62% of 25-34 year-olds

    • 49% of 35-44 year-olds

    • 32% of 45-54 year-olds

    • 21% of 55-64 year-olds

    • 15% of 65-75 year-olds

    • 10% of 75+ year-olds

  • 60% of users are women

  • 30% of Pinterest users have bought something they’ve seen on Pinterest

  • It’s used mainly on mobile devices

Since 2015, the number of active monthly Pinterest users has grown by 50 million per year. Currently, the platform has passed the 400 million users mark.

Compared with Instagram (1 billion active users) and Facebook (2 billion active users), it seems like a small platform. However, the company is rapidly expanding and there are wonderful new opportunities for your company to explore.

The platform has been proven to be very popular with a lot of categories. Some of the most popular categories are:

  • Food/drink
  • DIY crafts
  • Home decor
  • women's fashion
  • weddings
  • design
  • hair/beauty
  • photography
  • travel

As the chart below shows, in the UK, Pinterest comes in right after the other "classic" powerhouse platforms: 

Chart: most popular social media platforms for b2c marketers in the UK (2022)

(Source: Statista)

Pinterest’s extra functions

In October 2018, Pinterest wrote that from now on, they’ll be showing the prices of products and whether they’re still in stock.

Pinterest showing a product is in stock

Source: Everlane

What are globally available are extended pins (called ‘Rich Pins’). In fact, these work just like Google’s Rich Snippets.

With Rich Pins you can show more information about your Pin. There are 4 kinds of Rich Pin for you to use:

  1. Product Pins

This is where you can show the price of your product and whether it’s in stock. A link is added to the Pin allowing people to go directly to the webpage where they can buy your product.

  1. Recipe Pins

Recipe Pins provide extra information about recipes. For instance, the ingredients are displayed directly under the image; you can also add preparation times and portion sizes to your Pins.

  1. Article Pins

With Article Pins, Pinterest users can save articles. Each Article Pin has a heading, information about the author, and a description.

  1. App Pins

This extra option allows you to add an install button to your Pin. This means that users can download your app straight away, without needing to exit Pinterest. Currently this option only works for iOS.

You can add Rich Pins to your account here. To test whether you’ve installed your Rich Pins correctly, you can go here.

Yet another extra option is the Pinterest Lens. This allows you to see comparable products if you take a photo of a product you would like. Pinterest Lens usage increased by 140% between February 2017 and February 2018.

Finally, on November 8, 2018, it was clear that they introduced modifications in the users’ ‘timeline’.

If you click on ‘Following’ in the Pinterest app, you see the Pins of the accounts you’re following. In the past, these Pins were shown just as they are on the homepage. But they’ve adjusted these to create an overview with single Pins under each other, called Single Pin view. When you click on the Pin, you go directly to the landing page that’s linked to the image.

This should encourage you even more to get started with Pinterest. For with the new algorithm and design, there’s an even greater likelihood that users will find their way to your website.

How do you start with Pinterest for your online shop?

Do you already have a personal Pinterest account, but not one for your business? Then you first need to create a business account. You can do this here.

You’ll then need to complete a number of fields about your website and the kind of business you have. Then you can start to make your own Pins!

Create a pin

Source: Pinterest

Tips for creating your first Pins:

  • Image/video

Always use high-quality vertical images or videos. Use a 2:3 ratio. If you use a different ratio you run the risk of your image being cropped. You can find more specifications here.

  • Logo

Ensure that your logo is visible on each Pin you create. By showing the logo in each image, people immediately see where they need to be and who the original poster was.

  • Text

Add a simple text overlay. Give a brief description of your image’s context to better describe your post. Since Pinterest is used mainly on mobile devices, you must keep your text brief: a few words are more than enough.

  • Pin regularly

Now that you’ve started creating Pins and you have various collections on your Boards, you need to keep this up. The more Pins you post, the greater your coverage. You’ll need to publish at least 10 Pins per day to get the most out of your business profile.

You don’t always need to make a new Pin yourself; you can, of course, always save the images of others on your Boards. Do ensure, however, that 1 Pin out of every 5 is your own.

You should, of course, pin your products, but you can also focus on your brand. Be specific and clear about how your posts are linked to your business.

  • Share and Respond

Remain active by responding to other people’s Pins. This, too, helps with the visibility of your Posts. The more often your name is seen, the greater the chance that people end up on your website.


Pinterest Statistics

Now, you’ve created your Pins and Boards. Alongside the search bar, you can click on ‘Analytics’.

Pinterest Analytics button

Source: Pinterest

Here you can see how often your Pins have been viewed (Impressions), how often your Pins are clicked on (close-ups), how many people have saved your Pins (Saved) and how many have both clicked on your Pins and also clicked on the website link (Clicks).

This allows you to retrieve useful information about which Pins are performing well and where you can perhaps do more.


Pinterest has become very popular in the last few years, especially with women. Don’t wait too long; start developing your Pinterest community. This platform offers many possibilities that other social media platforms don’t instantly offer.

Pinterest offers webinars and other useful sources of information to work on improving your performance on their platform. For more information, take a look here.

Pinterest is also good for showing videos. In our free whitepaper you can learn how to make the perfect product video to generate even more conversions! Download it here:

The perfect product video whitepaper

This article was originally published on and adapted from our Dutch blog: Pinterest Marketing: Organisch en met advertenties verkopen genereren