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Pinterest is used by more than 21% of all American adults. This is up from 15% on the previous year.

This figure comes from the last study by Pew Research, which also states the even more incredible fact that one-third of all women in the USA use Pinterest.

Pinterest drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to retail sites in Q4 2013 achieving a 50% quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue-per-visit (RPV). In fact, Pinterest has overtaken Facebook for UK referral revenue and is expected to do the same in the USA this year.

Also, with the amount of Pinterest Pin it buttons overtaking the amount of Facebook Likes on product pages, retailers are realising that Pinterest is a key way to drive sales

Let’s take a look at how the top 10 US retailers (in terms of 2013 sales) use Pinterest.


Wal-Mart currently has 38,278 followers on its Pinterest page, although this is not the largest amount by a long way. 

It has topical boards for various holidays to remain relevant. Here's its St Patrick's Day board, filled with pins and repinned from sources all around Pinterest and the web, not just its own ecommerce concerns.

It also does a fine line in boards that offer handy tips and advice. From gardening tips to beauty.

It's this mixture of how-to-guides, repinned images from around the web and its own product listings, along with a huge amount of boards fully stocked with pins, that make Wal-Mart an impressive Pinterest brand.


A slightly more humble 2,993 followers, but a nonetheless attractive Pinterest homepage.

There are some great ideas for boards here. I particular like the Unpredictable Matchups one below. However each one suffers from being dramatically underpinned. This one only has 12.

Elsewhere the Feels Like Spring board only has eight pins, and a really helpful Saving Time in the Kitchen board feels rather stymied with 14 pins.


Target has a amassed a massive 149,846 followers with its relatively small amount of boards. However each one is stuffed with pins. Although this occasionally leads to overstuffing.

This Women's Style board has 638 pins. One of the biggest boards I've ever seen. The result is a random menagerie of products where the only theme is 'women wear things like this'.

Target could do with dividing up thees categories into smaller boards, to make them easier to navigate.


Costco doesn't have a Pinterest page. I can't imagine that a membership only, warehouse club that sells products in massive volumes would make for the most attractive page.

The Home Depot

On an aesthetic level, this isn't the most appealing range of boards, but with 135,188 followers The Home Depot is doing something right.

Here's a huge and wonderfully helpful board with hundreds of storage and organisation ideas. These tips are pinned from The Home Depot and repinned from around the globe.

This is brilliant too. A guide to all of the tools you can hire, with videos and written explanations on how to use them all.

Full marks for practicality and helpfulness.


Walgreens only Pinterest concern is this Walgreens Beauty page.

It's a very hesitant foray into Pinterest, with very little originality or appeal. 

This one in particular is less than half-hearted, with specious logic and little sense to why these few products are collected together.

CVS Caremark

Enter the tumbleweeds.


I wrote about how Lowe's nails social media earlier in the year, and it's Pinterest page is no exception. 

A particularly brilliant feature is the Build It! board, where customers who have used Lowe's' products for their DIY projects are showcased. 

The strength of Pinterest is being utilised to the full here. Showcasing the customer’s efforts makes the user feel like the brand has a vested interest in their project and creates a deeper level of connection.

This board currently has 3.4m followers. That’s only 100,000 less than the total amount of followers that Lowe’s entire Pinterest account has.

It also remains topical. Here’s Lowe’s partnership with Pantone, revealing 2014’s color of the year. (Radiant Orchid, I know you chomping at the bit to learn.)


What Safeway lacks in pins within individual boards, it also lacks in range of original ideas for its themes.

Maybe that's a little mean, but this really looks like every other middle-of-the-road grocer's Pinterest page. All the boxes are ticked: seasonal themes, lunchtime ideas, quick meals, sweet treats. There's just little else to make it a bit more interesting. Mixing the parade of food photography up with other images would certainly help stem the malaise.


A relatively humble 3,311 followers for this massive global corporation, however boards like the ones below certainly show a keen desire to provide something different for its audience, with content they wouldn't necessarily see elsewhere.

This is a great board full of menu items from around the world.

It's encouraging to see a massive brand like McDonald's use Pinterest in such a unique and surprising way. Many of the above retailers could well take a lesson from that.

For more on Pinterest for retailers from the blog, check out the Top 10 UK retailers on Pinterest.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 13 March, 2014 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

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Comments (2)



Pinterest is growing and we're actively trying to get our clients to be more proactive on their accounts. They may not see why they should use it, but it is very much needed to start getting more traffic and gathering new customers!

over 2 years ago





over 2 years ago

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