How to Sell on Pinterest for Your Ecommerce Store

What if there was a place where people want to find your products? That’s where Pinterest comes in, a social media platform where users can “pin” items and ideas to boards under whatever theme they choose.

Users can then share those boards with others — making it an excellent way to promote your products and increase visibility for your business without costing you anything.

If your ecommerce store isn’t on Pinterest yet, you could be losing out on loads of sales and missing valuable opportunities to connect with people who want what you have to offer.

There are currently over 150 million active users on Pinterest and 70 million of them are located in the U.S. As of 2014, 81 percent of users were female, with male sign-ups on the rise.

The demographics resemble internet users in the general U.S. population. Currently, 93 percent of pinners use this social media platform to plan purchases and 2 MILLION product pins are saved daily.

In other words, Pinterest is a cash cow waiting for you to cash your check.

If you already own an ecommerce business and are looking for cost-effective ways to boost sales, gain exposure for your products, and create interest in your brand, you need to look into Pinterest.

Using this product-promoting social media giant is better than trying to get clicks from Google alone. Whenever you have multiple streams of advertising, the likelihood you will reach those who want your products increases.

Of course, simply signing up for a business account on Pinterest and adding a bunch of your products is not necessarily the best way to go.

We’ll help you understand exactly how to boost your sales and how to use the latest options available on Pinterest to make that happen. We’ve also got some tips and tricks on what to do — but equally as important, what not to do.

Here’s a closer look at the ways you can sell your products on Pinterest and reach an audience that is already searching for what you offer!

How Pinterest Can Help Your Ecommerce Business

Different social media platforms serve different purposes. Just think about Facebook. Tons of users go on Facebook every day, but they are not there to buy things. Most people use Facebook as a way to connect socially.

LinkedIn connects you with colleagues in a professional setting. Sites like Instagram are used for photo sharing. That’s where Pinterest differentiates from the other platforms. It’s used for sharing visual themes of things and images that express your tastes or lifestyle.

Think about it this way; when you go to a cool website and see an image or a product that inspires you in some way, normally you would “bookmark” or “favorite” the web page in your browser — later forgetting about it, and why you saved the page in the first place.

Now, imagine instead that you printed the image that inspired you and pinned it onto a corkboard in your house, where you could walk past it and look at it every day — much more effective if you are looking for inspiration, right?

Pinterest is essentially a virtual corkboard where you “pin” items giving you a visual display of all the things you are interested in.

This is what makes Pinterest the perfect backdrop for promoting products in a visually stunning or creative way. People visit the site to gather ideas or get inspiration for a range of topics such as:

  • Arts and crafts projects
  • Home decor and interior design
  • Fashion and accessories
  • Food and travel
  • Architecture and art
  • And much, much more …

So it’s important you don’t assume that Pinterest is only about fashion or home decor.

Whether you have an existing ecommerce business or are considering purchasing an ecommerce store, driving business to your page is critical for boosting sales. Pinterest offers various tools to highlight your specific products, which we’ll cover.

There are also many strategies you can employ to leverage even more traffic to your product pins. Some of those strategies target what type and how many products to pin, how to make your products appealing, and how to use other Pinterest features to gain even more interest.

One exciting feature Pinterest has released is the Buyable Pin, which allows users to purchase a product on the site without ever having to leave it.

We’ll talk more about what Buyable Pins are and how they simplify the purchasing experience for your customers. Before we get into that, here’s what you can do to attract organic traffic to your products and business page.

How to Drive Organic Traffic

People use Pinterest for a variety of reasons and the developers cater their features to make the connection between consumers and sellers easy.

A lot of people use this particular social media site for inspiration, whether it comes to crafts, DIY projects, or interior decorating. Pinterest is well known for having beautiful images and centralizes the most creative ideas all in one place.

One of the common ways to find ideas for a topic is entering what you want into the search bar.

As an ecommerce store setting up your account, it’s important to understand Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. The best was to reach your target audience is optimizing your pins with the right keywords.

Tip: Use the site’s guided search that prefills suggested or common keywords when deciding which words to tag your products with. Choosing relevant keywords increases the likelihood you’ll connect with people looking for what you have to sell.

When it comes to driving organic traffic to your pins, there’s a lot you can do to increase visibility. Keywords are just the start. Here are some other things you can do:

  • Add Buttons to Your Online Store — You can add a “Follow” button to your website or blog to make it easy for users to track your new and best products.
    Adding a button on your business website is an excellent idea, because people are more likely to visit their Pinterest account rather than return repeatedly to your page. It’s an easy way to let users “bookmark” your product and remind them of it.
    You can also add “pin it” buttons to the images of your products so users can add them to their Pinterest boards.
  • Run a Contest — If you’re just starting out on this social media platform, a great way to get followers fast is to run a contest. It doesn’t have to cost you much, but can get a lot of people pinning your product to win it and gets you exposure fast!
  • Use Rich Pins — These are features on your pins that contain extra information about your product, including a description, whether it’s in stock, and real-time price updates.
  • Choose Stunning Visuals — Part of Pinterest’s appeal to users is the beautiful and creative photography that is used. If your images aren’t high-quality or visually pleasing, you miss out on pins. So make sure you prioritize your photos by having them professionally taken or use stock photos.
  • And more —There are many options!

Let’s take a closer look at one of the more important methods on the list — Rich Pins.

Rich Pins

As mentioned earlier, Rich Pins are a great way to provide consumers with more information about your product at a glance.

Pinterest offers four types of Rich Pins for:

  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Articles
  • Apps

The best part about Rich Pins is they pull information from your website and also update as you make changes. The simultaneous updates mean you don’t need to make changes twice and guarantee users are getting the most up-to-date information possible about your products.

You can provide information like price, availability, description, and location. This at-a-glance feature is crucial, considering consumers might just scroll by your product, and best of all, it’s completely free. There are some alternative instructions for getting your site ready for Rich Pins.

If you can offer users the information without asking them to click first, your chances for a sale increase — which brings us to Buyable Pins.

Buyable Pins

Pinterest used to link users to business websites, so they had to leave the social media site to get to products. But often, links were broken or ripped off of other sites and it got confusing to find the actual product for purchase.

The developers addressed this annoyance and came up with Buyable Pins. These pins let consumers shop and securely check out on Pinterest without ever leaving the site, which reduces friction and can increase your conversion rate.

You can click “Buy it” right on the pin. Just see the photo below:

sell on pinterest

Photo courtesy of MarketingLand.com

See how easy that is?

Buyable Pins are free to use and super convenient, but there’s currently just one way to get them for your business. Your store must be on Shopify, as Buyable Pins are exclusive to their platform. Otherwise, they’re available only to select mass retailers like Macy’s.

If you don’t have a Shopify account, don’t fret. You can still take advantage of the other features mentioned earlier in order to sell your products on Pinterest.

Here are some tips on what to do and what not to do.

Quick Tips for Selling on Pinterest

Using a brand new social media platform can seem difficult at first for anyone not familiar with it. But Pinterest is easy to use. Before you start posting your products, though, take a look at this quick list of Do’s and Don’ts.

Do …

  • Post Relevant Pins — If you see a pin or an idea that fits well with your brand or image, post it! The beauty of Pinterest is that you can pin not just your own content, but you can pin imagery and content from other people too. When you mix it up with other things your customers find interesting, you add more value to what you’re offering.
  • Use Product Placement — You don’t have to use images of your product on a black or white background. Staging your product in an organic atmosphere can help users picture how it will look in their own home.
    For example, if you’re selling an end table, then staging it in a tastefully decorated living room helps consumers envision how it will look. It also gives them a reference for size and color.
  • Join a Group Board — Pinterest has groups that share particular themes. Find one that suits your brand and join the group. It’s a great way to find relevant pins to cross-promote on your own page and gives others the opportunity to do the same for you.
  • Use High-Quality Images — Pinterest is a visual medium, which means if your images are of poor quality, they are less likely to get pinned. If you don’t have an eye for photography or have someone who can create high-quality images of your products for you, consider hiring a photographer, artist, or designer. It will cost more, but if it results in more pins and more traffic to your store, it will pay for itself. If your budget is really tight, we offer some alternative ideas to getting high-quality images later on.
  • Sell a Lifestyle — Consider the type of lifestyle your customer wants to live. Inspirational messages, memes, or even images of scenery can be attractive to your target audience. If you want, you can create a separate board for these pins. This way, if you find something that fits into the lifestyle your customers want, you can pin it, without having to clutter your main board.

But be careful of going overboard. Every industry is different and you should test accordingly, but start with adding five to 10 pins a day and go from there.

Now here are some things you want to avoid.

Don’t …

  • Spam Your Customers — This refers to using misleading links or following a bunch of random people in hopes they will click on your stuff. You want to create a reliable image your customers can count on, so stick to linking relevant content.
  • Be Too Sales-Heavy — The point of joining Pinterest is to sell your products, but that doesn’t mean all your content and messages have to sell something. Think of it as crafting an image for your business or portraying a lifestyle your customer wants. Don’t be afraid to post other content, even if it doesn’t come from your business or directly sell your products.
  • Pin Only Your Own Products — Pinning products from other businesses may seem counterintuitive. After all, why would you want to promote their stuff instead of your own?
    But the truth is, supporting products that also fit within your niche can be a powerful tool. It helps build a community and who knows? Those businesses might cross-promote your products too!
  • Pin Every Single Product You Sell — Having a free platform to list your products is pretty exciting, but that doesn’t mean you have to list everything you sell. Choose your best products and feature them on Pinterest.
    They will attract consumers and get them interested. If they like your style, they’ll head to your site to see what else you have to offer. So make sure to pick and choose your best products, and not everything in the catalog.
  • Pin Irrelevant Viral Content — You may have heard posting viral content will attract customers to check out your stuff. While this may be true, posting content outside your niche just becauseit’s viral may not be worth tarnishing your brand’s image. As mentioned, doing this is borderline spamming your customers and you don’t want to mess with their trust like that.

While promoting ecommerce on Pinterest is associated with a lot of considerations, don’t let that hold you back! There’s no better time to start than today. But if you are concerned you won’t have the time or bandwidth to manage a Pinterest account, it may be worth it to consider hiring a social media specialist to take it off your hands.

Still not convinced? Let’s go over the perks once more.

Use Pinterest to Boost Your Sales Today!

Multiple avenues of marketing your ecommerce business are important to any sales strategy if you want to be successful. If you haven’t started using Pinterest yet, you could be letting opportunities slip by.

It’s an opportunity to expand your reach to your customer base and build authority for your business. Not only does it increase visibility for your most interesting products, but it can also help drive traffic to your website.

As more and more people move away from physical retail stores, online shopping is set to explode in the next decade. That changes the landscape for sales and moves it away from traditional marketing methods.

Pinterest is an opportunity to start leveraging the digital methods you have available to you now. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot, but it can still be very effective.

Just think, a post on Facebook might stay in the newsfeed for about 90 minutes. This means if the user hasn’t signed in and scrolled through in the last 90 minutes, they won’t see your post. But an interesting pin may get added to someone’s Pinterest board for all their followers to see. As long as it gets re-pinned, it could stay viewable for months on end.

With that in mind, it’s so important to make sure your images are beautiful, creative, and shareable. Does that mean you need to run out and hire a professional photographer? Not necessarily.

There are tons of sites that offer high-quality, beautiful images at no cost. Here’s one that relies on contributions from gifted photographers, for example. Or this one that stores free stock photos for whoever wants to use them.

But what if you need shots of your actual product? One idea is to find the portfolio of a photographer you like and send them a free product in exchange for photos. The alternative is doing it yourself with some basic gear.

If you have a Shopify account, make sure you are using the Buyable Pins feature within Shopify! Those buttons allow mobile shoppers to check out on Pinterest without having to leave the site and give them the ultimate convenience.

Pinterest is designed as a dream social media app for sales. If you’re not on board yet, you’re missing out.

So what do you think about using Pinterest for your marketing efforts? Sound off in the comments below!

Photo credit: Mactrunk
This article was originally published at Empireflippers.com, by author Branko Mijatovic.

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