Why and How Your Retail Business Should be Using Pinterest

While Facebook and Instagram may seem like the obvious choice to reach an audience, retail e-commerce businesses can find great success through Pinterest. With 200+ million monthly users (approximately 40% increase over last year), there is a huge potential global market ready for your product!

Facebook marketing costs are rapidly increasing as more businesses compete for visibility on the platform. That isn’t a problem for large companies who can afford to dominate the platform and reach audiences but what if you’re a small retail e-commerce business just starting out? The most popular online shopping category is fashion, but businesses may not see a high ROI when trying to enter the oversaturated market on Facebook.

Pinterest flies under the radar of many brands because it is the 8th most popular social networking site in the world, but it could become a major competitor for the top social media sites very soon. According to Pinterest’s Insights, 1 out of 2 Millennials use Pinterest every month. E-commerce businesses should care about their Pinterest presence if they are struggling to break into the industry.

What is Pinterest and How do People Use it?

The co-founder Evan Sharp defines Pinterest as “a place where people can go to get ideas for any project or interest in their life. As you encounter great ideas and discover new things that you didn’t even know were out there, you can pin them and make them part of your life through our system of boards." Users organize visual content into groups of ideas, interests, events, and much more. Retail businesses usually organize their boards into their different products, collections, and their inspiration. To put it simply, Pinterest is about things, not people.

Pinterest is the ideal social platform for businesses because users use the platform for the content of the visuals more than connecting with their friends and other users. About 72% of people visit Pinterest for inspiration and tips for everyday life and approximately 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases.

Why is Pinterest a Unique Tool for E-Commerce Businesses?

The unique qualities of Pinterest make it more business friendly than other social platforms. It can easily drive people to your website because you can make each pin you post link to a webpage. If the pin catches someone’s eye, all they have to do it click on the image to learn more about the product on your website. You also can let people shop your product directly through Pinterest with Buyable Pins, which will also lead them to your site.

Read our guide to to Pinterest Buyable Pins for e-commerce here.

Another primary element of Pinterest is its ‘Discovery’ page. It is not a search engine that answers questions, but a tool for users to find more new things to collect. Users are actively looking for new products, unlike most users on Facebook who use it to maintain social relationships. For example, 78% of Pinners welcome branded content, while Instagram users are more likely to ignore a branded post after recognizing it as an ad because it is a more social platform.

Pinterest also provides very detailed analytics about your activity and followers. You can analyze your profile analytics, such as impressions, number of repins, number of clicks, which devices your audience is using, your most popular pins, and your most popular boards. You can also see the most popular interest categories that your audience is interested in. Pinterest Analytics also show you the other business accounts your audience engages with on Pinterest. These two insights summarize useful information that can help you easily cater your content to your audience’s interests and your competitors’ weaknesses.

Pinterest and Style

Reaching a new audience can be a challenge for a retail e-commerce business, but Pinners care about style and like to keep up with all the hot trends. According to a study by Pinterest, over 70% of users use Pinterest for style ideas at least once a week for 12-15 minutes each time.

The female audience on Pinterest is very invested in the retail world. Women say Pinterest helps them discover new style brands more than any other platform and roughly 53% say Pinterest has helped them make a fashion-related purchase decision. Approximately 84% of women on Pinterest believe that having a sense of style is important and about 40% of Pinners who are over 18 have bought a fashion item online in the past 6 months!

Reaching the Loyal Pinterest Customers

It is safe to assume that the number of online shoppers will be continuing to increase each year. Some predict that global retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion USD by 2021.

Just under 50% of Pinterest’s demographic is based in the U.S. and the largest demographic making purchases through Pinterest is women between the ages of 25-54 years old. This group of people controls more than 50% of the wealth in the U.S. While Facebook reaches the most people in this group, Pinterest still reaches 83% of this group. If your retail e-commerce business is not seeing results through Facebook, Pinterest is the next social platform it should dedicate ad-spend.

Pinterest users love to spend money online. The average amount spent per-order through Pinterest is on average $50 USD higher than through other social channels. This may be a result of the fact that 40% of Pinners have a household income of over $100k USD.

Promoted Pins actually work. Did you know that 67% of people say they’ve discovered new brands or products from Promoted Pins? 1 out of 2 of those Pinners have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin. Pinterest is absolutely the place where retail business can connect with the most interested audience!

Pinterest Wants to Help You as a Business Owner


Pinterest is very invested in businesses using their platform. Their business website provides guides and tips for any kind and size of business. For example, each month they post insights on trends and best practices for many industries in a new blog post. This thorough resource is a great place to start before dipping your toe into the world of business on Pinterest.


With so many e-commerce retail businesses trying to stay ahead of social media trends, it is hard to compete. Big businesses often neglect their Pinterest accounts while focusing on their Facebook and Instagram presence. But that’s where your e-commerce business can swoop in and reach a more engaged audience who truly cares about fashion. Pinterest is your best bet for connecting with an audience who is actually looking for you!

Interested in learning more about how MarketTap could help you create a digital strategy and reach your customers? Get in touch today!