Now Is the Time for Online Retailers to Follow Asos, Boohoo & Tesco in Utilizing Pinterest

2 billion searches per month on Pinterest just became something online retailers can tap into.

Pinterest introduced search ads with keyword and shopping campaigns this week. Marketingland:

Pinterest introduced its anticipated Search Ads product on Wednesday. Search ads will open up ad inventory across the more than two billion searches that the company says happen on the platform every month. The new offerings include Keyword campaigns and feed-based Shopping campaigns.

Barilla, eBay, Garnier and Target have been among the brands testing the new search campaigns.

The company says 97 percent of monthly searches are for non-branded queries, giving advertisers an opportunity it sees as unique across search and social to capitalize on upper-funnel commercial intent. On average, 55 pins are shown on a search results page. Pinterest says the number of ads shown is dynamic and has no set ad ratio at this point. […]

More unique to Pinterest — and where the company sees real value in its differentiation from other platforms — is the ads are visual Pins. “The visual nature of Pinterest allows users to digest product and service at [a] more personal level,” says Akkerman.

Shopping campaigns are easy to integrate and allow being dynamically updated based on available inventory:

The new feed-based Shopping campaigns, in particular, should allow Pinterest to bring more scale to ads on the platform. Instead of having to develop ad creative — in this case individual Pins — Shopping campaign ads are pulled right from the advertiser’s feed, and ads can be dynamically updated based on inventory levels.

Pinterest already is a great place for online retailers:

Unlike Twitter or Facebook, which both have messaging or communication at their core, Pinterest is built on strong commercial elements. 55% of Pinterest users visit the platform for the sole purpose of finding or shopping for products. In comparison to just 12% doing the same on Facebook and Instagram respectively, the opportunity to directly drive sales is unrivalled. 

Econsultancy has looked at how some online retailers are using Pinterest. Etsy at Pinterest:

Pinterest acts a bit like a shop window display for Etsy, carefully curating collections to highlight the very best of the marketplace.

For shoppers, it provides inspiration and encourages purchases. On the other hand, it is a brilliant marketing and promotion tool for Etsy sellers.

etsy at pinterest.png


Last year, L’Oreal Paris launched a series of Promoted Pins and video ads to promote a new line of highlighters. Results show that these ads increased purchase intent by 37.2% and boosted brand awareness by 30.7%.


Recipe ideas are a great way for supermarkets to drive sales of ingredients, as well as improve general brand awareness.

Tesco does this particularly well, using its Pinterest presence to target food-related searches and curate healthy and family-orientated recipes.

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Here is Zalando’s Fleek app at Pinterest (with mere 340 followers):

Zalando Fleek on Pinterest.png

Asos (with over 550,000 followers) at Pinterest:

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(Zalando France tried (unsuccessfully) copying Asos’ Pinterest approach.)

Boohoo at Pinterest (31,700 followers):

boohoo at pinterst.png

Even Amazon has an active account at Pinterest. With 49,000 followers.

(Go to the linked pages to see all pin boards by those online retailers.)

With the buy button and the new advertising opportunities online retailers and brands get an interesting new way to reach new and existing customers via Pinterest.

Not surprisingly, Pinterest is specifically targeting retailers with its new shopping campaigns. Pinterest may turn out to become a great new avenue for new online-only brands in particular:

The news gets better for brands active on Pinterest: according to Pinterest, 97% of its searches don’t include a brand name, giving advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers who might be interested in a particular type of product but who haven’t already decided on a specific brand or product.

As image recognition gets better, Pinterest’s potential increases with it. Yesterday, the company introduced a new search tool in beta that identifies real-world objects via the smartphone’s camera and shows related products.

While Facebook is still working on its marketplace offering, Twitter recently discontinued its buy button.

More than any of the others, Pinterest is a social network made for online retail.

Amazon, meanwhile, tries to build its own Pinterest style curated shopping front end with “Interesting Finds”.

More on this topic:


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