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Pinterest users follow an average of 9.3 retailers, while Pinterest shoppers in the USA are also spending on average between $140-$180 per order, compared to the $60-$80 Facebook and Twitter shoppers are spending.

The business case for investing in Pinterest is well past the tipping point. With over 70m global users, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network, and there are claims that Pinterest, in many cases, drives more sales than Facebook.

So what can your business do to engage with this rich seam of potential customers?

The key advantages of Pinterest

Pinterest is by its very nature a visual medium. Everything you post is an image and therefore an immediate way to grab the attention. Be bold, bright and colourful at all times.

Pinterest is extraordinarily sticky,  users spend more than an hour and a half on the site every month, sharing and resharing content. It’s a site that's very easy to get lost in, so retaining the user’s interest is key. Therefore the more varied and interesting your content is the better.

Pinterest is basically a viral marketing machine. Over 80% of content consists of repins. Users actively promote your brand for you. In fact 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users themselves, not brands.

New Pinterest features to help your business

Pinterest has rolled out three new features over the last few months to help businesses use Pinterest effectively and drive sales.

Rich Pins

Pinterest are improving pins by automatically including updated details. For instance, reviews of films, ingredients for recipes and, more importantly for ecommerce, price and availability of products. 


Getting started is a fairly easy process of prepping your own website with meta tags, testing out your rich pins and applying to upload them on Pinterest. 

This is well worth doing as pins with prices attract 36% more likes than those without.

Pinterest price alerts

Pinterest debuted price alerts in August. If the user has an unpurchased product pinned to their board and it becomes cheaper, Pinterest automatically sends an email informing them.

The user doesn’t have to do anything, and notifications will be grouped together in as few emails as possible to avoid clutter

This is a simple, and effortless way to drive sales to your store. Email open rates are four times higher for triggered emails rather than newsletters. You just need to do lots of competitor analysis to take advantage of it.

Promoting pins 

As of this month, Pinterest is trialling promoted pins.

Working much like regular pins, these will have a special promoted label.

Pinterest has promised to keep these tasteful and transparent with clear ‘promoted’ labelling, and relevant to the user.

Facebook led the way with promoted posts on users’ walls, and Twitter rolled them out on timelines last year.

Cadbury has recently seen great success with its promoted Facebook ads so it’s highly likely Pinterest’s trial will be a success, especially coupled with Pinterest users’ higher than average spend and engagement.

Check out this post for recent examples of brands who are nailing Pinterest, highlighting how you can improve boards, pin items in an attactive, relevant way and therefore drive more sales to your ecommerce site.

For more advice on how to use Pinterest, read our Pinterest for Business Best Practice Guide.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 23 October, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

686 more posts from this author

Comments (4)


Nick Stamoulis

"70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users themselves, not brands."

That kind of engagement is a potential goldmine for brands. People go to Pinterest with specific goals in mind, which is not something most other social networks can say. And many times those goals involve some sort or purchase either now or down the road. Even something simple like looking for a new recipe means they have to purchase ingredients, right?

about 3 years ago


Mike Kawula

Didn't know Pinterest was Trialling promoted pins. Thats awesome. Great post. Mike

about 3 years ago


Performics Australia, Digital Performance at Performics AustraliaSmall Business

Great post, thanks for the info. updating users of price changes for un-purchased products is a great feature that can help close the gap in purchase funnels.

almost 3 years ago

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova, Marketing Project Manager at Freestak

Great post, Christopher!
I must admit I love Pinterest; theme-specific based Pin Boards work particularly well for me and my clients.

As it was shown, Pinterest users spend the most when compared to Facebook and a pin lasts and is click worthy for more than a month. Which is far longer than a simple Tweet which lasts for minutes only.

Pinterest Links Are 'Do Follow' again!

I've been analysing Pinterest links for a while and can say that they're 'DoFollow' again! Another reason to have an optimised Pinterest profile and be active.
Based on the data and latest research I've put together 21 ideas , optimisation tips and free tools that will help get the most out of Pinterest.


I would love to hear your opinion, Chris.

almost 3 years ago

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