Pinterest started out as a site where people can upload photos of their creations. The way it differs from Instagram is that it is focused on what you have created, not photos of yourself. Many people think that it is a site that is dedicated to happy moments only, or that the site is best used by people who create their own crafts.
Many also say that the Pins and Saves do not matter a lot. This is where may Shopify users go wrong. They are missing out on the valuable market on Pinterest. While it is not yet too late, we will be showing you how to use Pinterest as a marketing platform for your Shopify store.
Just to give you an idea of how massive Pinterest is, check out the information below:
- Has 200 million active monthly users
- Generates more than two billion searches per month
- 87% of people who pinned have purchased something on Pinterest
- 93% of these users plan to buy something from Pinterest
- 17% of e-commerce traffic is from Pinterest
With these numbers, there is no doubt that Pinterest is a source of traffic, which can improve your conversion rate.
PART I: What should you do to boost Shopify sales with Pinterest?
1. Add Pinterest to Your Shopify Store
The first thing you have to do is to add Pinterest to your Shopify store. There is no Pinterest app on Shopify, so you have to do this by using other apps that will help you integrate both, or do it through manual coding. The help center of Pinterest says that there is an app for Shopify, but there is no such thing.
If you use an app, you will most likely use Pinterest feeds. What this means is that this app will get your Pins from Pinterest, and then show them in a portion of your Shopify store. You can also use apps that function as a widget, which will allow visitors in your Shopify store to follow your Pinterest account.
Here are the benefits of using a Pinterest app on Shopify:
- Integrate Pinterest into your site with widgets, follow buttons, and board showcase
- Add other users’ pins or boards
- You can edit the widget for a branded look
- Show your account name, Pinterest followers, and the number of boards you follow
- Edit the width and height of the widget
- Display or hide the pins or boards from your Shopify site
- Switch the elements of the pins like the author, share, or the Pinterest icon
- Show boards as units or combine all pins into a single grid
- People who click on the image from your Shopify store will open Pinterest
- Will adjust on mobile
If you go the manual way, you need to know how to code. There is a detailed instruction found in Shopify on how to add a Pinterest button on your store.
So, what does this button do? It allows people to follow you, or Pin your content on their own Pinterest boards. It is like free advertising. If a site visitor on your store pins your product page or photo on Pinterest, his friends and followers will see it.
After seeing that pin, a person may click that image, and then he will be taken to your website. If the decides to buy, then you got a sale.
2. Create Pinterest Buyable Pins or Product Pins
A Buyable Pin is an image post on Pinterest where there is a Buy button. If a customer clicks this, he will be taken to your Shopify store where he can complete the purchase. Today, the buyable pin can only be integrated with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, and Shopify.
The first thing you have to do is to create a business account on Pinterest. If you already have a personal account, you must upgrade to a Business account. Upgrading is free of charge.
After applying, you have to wait for about five business days for Pinterest to approve your application for a business account. Once you are approved, you can now create pins with the Buy button. If a customer clicks this, he will be taken to your website.
The other version of this is called the Product Pin. This is an image where there is a Save button and a Follow button. However, the image itself will take the consumer to the retailer’ website to complete the checkout. There is also a feature where a user can press and hold the pin icon, and it will reveal several options.
These options are:
The Product Pin is a new format and is now live in the US. Pinterest is going to roll this out globally, and this is expected to completely replace the Buyable Pin.
3. Create Pinterest Ads
You can only create ads on Pinterest if you have a Business account. Like other social media sites, you can create an ad that will be randomly shown to people who meet your target market. In Facebook, you can boost a post. On Pinterest, you can create Promoted Pins, which are also called Pinterest Ads.
A Promoted Pin is an image you pinned that you want to be advertised. They do not look like an ad because they look like regular posts. According to Pinterest, boosted pins can generate up to 20% more clicks.
This feature is only available to selected countries like the US, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada, and Ireland. Surely, the management of Pinterest is considering expanding this advertising platform globally.
There are three main categories for creating an advertisement on Pinterest, and this has something to do with your goal. You can choose between Awareness, Engagement, and Traffic.
The ad formats allowed as of this time are:
- Promoted pins
- One-tap pins
- Cinematic pins
One-tap pins are images that will take the user to the retailer’ website, while cinematic pins are actually videos shown as still images. The video will play as the user scrolls the browser or Pinterest app.
As of today, Pinterest also has a search bar, which you can use if you will advertise. Pinterest now allows advertisers to use keywords. If a user types a phrase on the search bar, Pinterest will show your pin if your keywords in your pin match the user’s keywords.
4. Create Boards Around Your Business
If you are selling clothing on your Shopify store, then it makes perfect sense to create a Pinterest board that will showcase your products, not pins about life quotes.
Your board must show what your target audience wants and what your brand is selling. If you are selling maxi-dresses, then create a board where all the pins are maxi dresses. Once this board is created, you can create pins, or images, of your products. Each product pin must have a link to your Shopify store product page.
Now, there is a trick here called the 80/20 rule. Since Pinterest is a place that is meant for sharing content, you must not fill your boards with your own products. What you have to do is to curate or save pins from other people, too.
For every one product pin you post, you have to save four pins from other people. This will make your account much more credible as a user, compared to someone whose post is all about his products.
Here are some tips when creating boards on Pinterest:
- Use the right name for your board; if the board is about summer dresses, then name it Summer Dresses That Will Never Go Out of Style
- Create several boards for different product categories
- Make the pins colorful; use images of your products
- Make the posts standard; if the post is about dresses, make sure all are worn by a model, or make sure all have the same shot angles
- Make long pin descriptions, and make sure they represent what is on the picture
- Use the right keywords; do your keyword search properly and use it in the pin title and description
- Create a call to action
- Mention others if you are saving their pins to your board
Your board will serve as your product collection on Pinterest. The contents of that board will function as your product page. As much as possible, use less than 300 characters on your post. Pinterest is not a sales page, so choose wisely what words you will put in there.
PART I: How do you use Pinterest to properly market your Shopify products?
Now that you have a Pinterest button, the next step is to do the right things to improve your Pinterest traffic. Once your Pinterest traffic gets better, there is a higher chance that people will click on your photos, and then they will be taken to your Shopify website to complete the purchase.
1. Create a Business Account
We cannot stress enough that you need a Business account on Pinterest. It is like having a Facebook page, which is separate from your personal page. The Pinterest Business account will carry your brand or business name.
You cannot post product pins on Pinterest on a personal account, so it is a waste of time creating Pin Boards with a Personal profile. Remember, a Product Pin is a photo that contains a link to your Shopify store.
As you can see from the screenshot below, this is an example of a pin for a business account. The picture itself has the website URL. If you click on the image, it will take you to the actual product page of the website.
Here are some tips you need to know about the Pinterest Business account:
- You do not need to convert a Personal account into a Business one; you can have both with the same email address
- You will get additional features that a Personal account does not have
- You can create ads and pay for it to be randomly shown
- You can create Rich Pins, Promoted Pins, and Buyable or Product Pins
- You will have access to business analytics and other social media suites
Pinterest Analytics is a powerful tool that provides you insights about how your business in Pinterest is performing. There are three main categories for the analytics, and these are your profile, your reach, and your Shopify store activities.
Here is a quick breakdown for each category:
- Profile – will show you the performance of your pins like impressions, clicks, and shares (re-pins or save)
- Reach – the number of people or traffic that you generate through your pins; you will also see the gender, country, and more demographics of your visitors
- Website Activity – this is a feature that tells you which of your Shopify product page is getting the most views on Pinterest
If you know these numbers, you can make data-driven business decisions. For example, Product A may be getting the highest Pinterest clicks and shares, but it has no sale. You now have to ask yourself if the price is too high. Or perhaps the people clicking it are in a country where you do not ship, so they cannot buy.
If you know that this is the case, shouldn’t you start thinking to ship to that country? If most of the people clicking on that product are women, then it also makes sense that you have to create a Promoted Pin for that product targeting women only, as that ensures a higher conversion rate.
2. Make Use of Rich Pins
What is a Rich Pin? It is a kind of pin that gives you more space to write more content. It is like Rich Snippets in SEO.
In Google, the search results display a little text about what the webpage contains. This is called a Rich Snippet. In Pinterest, the search results will show the same. If you look at the Pinterest search results below, you will notice that not all photos have labels while some do.
The extra text is called a Rich Pin. It allows a Pinterest user to add more text that a person can easily read. It allows you to stand out. If you click on any Rich Pin image, you will see the price of the item, and whether it is still in stock.
The good thing about this is that any person who saves your Rich Pin will be notified if the price of your product changes in Pinterest. The notification will come through email, and the person who saved your pin does not even have to subscribe to your email campaign.
So, here is a short summary of what happens with a Rich Pin:
- You upload a product photo on Pinterest
- You add the link to that product to your Shopify store
- You add more text and details like price or if it is in-stock or out of stock
- A person, or potential customer, who saves it or re-pins it
- If you make any changes to it, he will get notified
You can experiment in a lot of ways on how this can help you. As mentioned earlier, if a product pin is getting traffic and saves, but not sales, you need to do something about it. Maybe lowering down the price will result in purchases, so try it.
3. Create Contests
Unlike Facebook, Pinterest is not too strict when it comes to hosting contests. What you can do is to hold giveaway contests on Pinterest. The most common thing done here is to ask people to re-pin your posts, then you will choose a winner.
Below is an example of a contest done in Pinterest by Country Living Magazine. The requirement is simple. A user has to create a board and name it My Country Living Bedroom. He has to post at least ten pins, and five of these pins must be saves or re-pins from Country Living Magazine’s own Pinterest account.
Once the board is created, he has to comment on the contest pin with the link to his board.
This is a great marketing tactic. And below are the benefits of the contest:
- Every board created by a different user will have five re-pins from Country Living Magazine, which is like having a free advertisement from the participants
- There is a big chance for the Pinterest account of country Living Magazine to go viral because hundreds or thousands of people are commenting on it
- Since the links to the boards are added to the comment, more people will check out these boards, and more people will see the five re-pins from the event organizer
Now, as more and more people re-post the pin, the event organizer can also expect to have more traffic. If all these re-pins are product pins, then the people who click on these images will be taken to the actual website of Country Living Magazine.
Just look at the numbers, five out of ten pins on a board are from Country Living. If 1,000 people created a board, that is a total of 5,000 re-pins of images from Country Living’s Pinterest account. There will be big traffic coming from this activity, and it was done almost free except for the prize of $500.
4. Join Group Boards
This board is different from your personal and business boards. There are groups that share a board, and you must be invited to be able to pin a post.
The purpose of these boards is to unite people of the same interest. So if there is a board for a skateboard, you may be lucky enough to get invited to it if your Pinterest page is about skateboards. This is a great way to post your product pins and reach more people.
Here is what happens in a group board:
- You join
- You post pins to the board
- Members of the group board will see it
- They can re-post your pins if they like it
- All members of the board will see what you posted
If there are 100,000 followers or contributors to that board, then 100,000 people will see every post you pin for your products. That is 100,000 free traffic right there, and you did not even spend a penny. Surely, one of these people is bound to buy from your Shopify store.
5. Use the right images
Pinterest, like Instagram, is heavy on photos. What this means is that you must upload photos that can be cropped on mobile. You should also use photos that follow the proper dimensions so they can be posted correctly on the boards.
Here are some tips about uploading images on Pinterest:
- Maintain an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 1:3.5 width to height
- The photos must have a minimum of 600 x 900 pixels
- Always put a brand logo on your photos
- Photos that use lifestyle or models in real-life perform so much better
- Text overlay also grabs attention because they speak a direct message
- Maintain standard colors for your brand
- Use vertical photos because this is how Pinterest arranges them; wide photos will be cut
- Use the same fonts in your text overlay
Pinterest is similar to Instagram, where the users live and breathe photos. Your images must contain what people like to have, or what inspires them. Make sure that the images will stir a person’s emotion and that he will feel the urge to share it.
While Facebook is the reigning king of social media, there is no doubt that it is not the only platform that can benefit you. In fact, many people are leaving Facebook, and many do not want to use it.
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and if you do not use Pinterest, you may be missing out on millions of potential customers for your business.
Just remember, the first thing you have to do to use the full potential of Pinterest is to create a business account. You will not be able to do the marketing strategies we shared here if you do not have one.