Why you should jump on Pinterest as a sales channel
Pinterest, “The world’s catalogue of ideas” is a social platform that 73 million people use to find ideas, hacks, advice and inspiration. 93% of Pinterest users say the platform has influenced their purchasing decisions, and the average order value is $50, far higher than other social platforms. Shopify now integrates with Pinterest, so customers browsing through Pinterest can purchase directly without needing to leave the site. Business accounts are free to set up on Pinterest, and for Shopify stores with highly visual products, it’s a great new sales channel to access.
Who Uses Pinterest?
Two million people pin product pins every day using Pinterest, but the platform goes well beyond merchandise. Essentially, users have “boards” where they can add “pins” to. Each pin is a visual image that links to the website it came from. It’s free to use, and free to have a business account with.
Pinterest users are primarily on their mobile phones, and are generally looking for project and gift inspiration. While women make up 80% of current users, the number of men on the platform has more than doubled. Most of the images on Pinterest are generated by merchants and businesses.
Anyone can use Pinterest, but especially if your products can be used as part of DIY ideas or homeware, you should be using this platform.
How Do I Set Up Direct Purchases Through Pinterest?
Only recently have merchants started to sell directly through Pinterest. You can start selling on Pinterest directly, using their “Buyable Pins” interface, which allows users to purchase your products without leaving Pinterest. Shopify is currently the only platform that lets small and medium businesses use buyable pins. Jump on before other merchants know about this feature!
You can add the Pinterest Sales Channel through your Shopify Admin. Next, you’ll need a (free) Pinterest Business Account, and approval from Pinterest. Then, simply start a Pinterest board and start pinning your products. Any product you’ve pinned will be automatically synched with a Buyable Pin, as long as you have put the price and description on it.
You already have the photos
Your products are already photographed on your ecommerce store and other social media. With the Shopify integration, you can easy grab your photos and turn them into product pins. Especially for those who use Instagram for business, or have a blog, you are already generating content that you can use for Pinterest boards. Here are a few suggestions about how to turn your photos into great pins.
A couple of payment gateway nuts and bolts
Currently only retailers that ship to the USA and offer products in US Dollars are able to sell using Buyable Pins. Pinterest also only allows payments through Apple Pay, which means you’ll need to be using a payment gateway that supports it. If you’re using Shopify Payments, Stripe, Braintree, FirstData, Authorize.Net or CyberSource you’re in the clear. Pinterest doesn’t charge or take a cut for selling through them, so it’s totally free for you.
Keep an eye out for updates on when Shopify expands Buyable Pins to other countries or gateways.
Tips for driving traffic to your Pinterest
Simply pinning your products and having a repeat of your online store is a good start, but there are plenty of ways to go the extra mile and drive traffic to your Buyable Pins.
Make sure you’ve got the “Pin It” button on your Shopify site
If you install this free widget onto your normal site, visitors will have the option to pin any photos they see onto their own Pinterest boards. The photos will automatically link to your website, and help you build exposure by putting your product images onto the screens of your customers’ networks.
Show off products your company sells as ‘gifts’
Pinterest has a feature that allows Pinners to browse a range of gifts by price points. There are six different price ranges, from $1 all the way to $500+. Simply put up-to-date prices and meaningful descriptions on your products, and they will automatically show up in gift idea searches.
Don’t just pin your products
There’s no limit to how many pins you can have, go ahead and pin anything you (or your customers) would like to come across, even if it’s not selling anything. If you want to keep your products separate, consider making a re-pin board. If you re-pin someone else’s button, you’re more likely to engage with them. Plus you’ll show your customers more of a rich narrative about you and your story by broadening your boards.
You can also pin things that aren’t products at all -- inspirational quotes, people you admire, places you’ve visited. Be sure to #tag your pins with as many keywords as you can think of, bringing more users onto your boards. Check out Pinterest’s “Best Practice Guide” for using your ecommerce business on Pinterest.
Check out some of these success stories
You can take a look at how other businesses are making the most of a Pinterest audience, and learn from them.
As part of your marketing and sales plan, you can promote certain products to targeted customers. Especially if you are getting ready to have a sale, or just launched a new product, consider advertising through your pins. Take a look at Pinterest’s Guide to Advertising on their platform.
Don’t Forget The Analytics
One of the great (free) features of a Pinterest Business Account is the analytics they give you. You’ll learn more about your audience, which pins are doing well, and how much traffic is going to Pinterest. Find out more here.