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A New Way to Shop Through Pinterest

And why small businesses should care

More than two thirds of shoppers are buying online for the first time and more than half are spending more online.”— Digital Commerce 360

Many retailers beefed up their online presence during the coronavirus pandemic as a result of a meteoric rise in online shopping. The ones that do it best will be the economic winners of this crisis. Using Pinterest is one way to be one of those successful companies.

A powerful shopping partnership
Pinterest rolled out a partnership with Shopify in May, creating unique consumer opportunities and some hugely beneficial features for smaller online retailers.

Shoppers can now snap a pic of something they want to buy or replace, such as a cool pair of shoes in a friend’s closet or a hard to find item that is wearing out, and Pinterest will display similar items for sale. Users can browse in-stock inventory from newly added “Shop” tabs on Search and on Pinterest boards.

For businesses already using Shopify in their online store, connecting to the new buying interface is a snap. An entire product catalog can be loaded from Shopify to Pinterest in just a few steps. The connection on Shopify includes tag installation and automatic daily updating of products. Distribution across Pinterest can be made with or without ads, and includes reporting and results tracking to maximize reach.

Businesses will also see a shop tab appear on their Pinterest profile as an additional way for their products to be discovered.

Pinterest is counting on the idea that their audience comes to the platform to gather ideas to purchase, but are also ready to buy. For small businesses, less competition than other social media platforms, presenting items for sale in an interesting, artistic way and tremendous platform growth, make Pinterest an advantageous social media platform to add to your marketing mix.

Packages sitting in front of a door

How users shop on Pinterest
The new Shop tab on Search will help users find in-stock items from retailers when they perform a search query, like “summer outfits,” “home office ideas” or “patio decor,” among other things. Before, users would have to scroll through all search results, with only some items being shoppable.

In addition, when a Pinterest user visits one of their own boards, more shoppable items will appear, and they’ll see a new Shop tab there, too. Products from user Pins are displayed as well as products from “inspired by” Pins.

The new Shop tabs leverage Pinterest’s existing Product Pin technology, which links a Pin directly to the checkout page on the e-commerce website, encouraging transactions.

Updated visual search
Pinterest updated visual search capabilities to make more products shoppable within Pins. Now, when you hover over a Pin, you can click “Shop similar” to see related in-stock products for looks and rooms.

New style guides
In addition to the new Shop tabs, Pinterest debuted curated style guides that appear on some home-related searches like “living room.” These guides let users browse specific, popular ideas across styles like mid-century, contemporary and rustic.

If you kind of miss the old way of looking at who’s making what, you can still visit the Pinterest Shop to discover and buy products from creators, makers and small businesses.

Just how well is Pinterest doing?
According to Social Media Today, Pinterest added 32 million more users in the first quarter of 2020, posting a 9.55% quarter-on-quarter growth rate, outpacing the same at Snapchat (5%), Twitter (9.21%), LinkedIn (2.22%) and Facebook (4.20%).

The company reports demand for shoppable products on its platform is rising 44% year-over-year. But in recent months, certain search terms have seen even greater spikes. Searches for “care package ideas” quadrupled. There have been 70 percent more people looking for home office ideas.

Why small businesses should jump on board
In addition to the tremendous growth at Pinterest, the platform has great tools to support small businesses. Resources across all avenues of industry are gathered in the #StandForSmall central hub.

The partnership with Shopify has removed the effort in matching products with pins, leveling the playing field for small to medium businesses to compete on the platform with larger brands. Pinterest says 97% of its users’ searches are unbranded—meaning people are looking for ideas using general terms or browsing visually, but don’t yet have a specific brand in mind. A product from a small retailer could rank higher in search results than a larger retailer’s product, if it’s a better match.

Pinterest also has a series of videos and webinars to help retailers new to the platform learn how to list their online products for sale.

The company that started out creating a home for user inspirations boards and pins of popular design ideas has grown up to be an online retail powerhouse for small businesses all the way up to well-known brands.

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