How to Sell on Pinterest

Julie Stewart • September 17, 2019


Pinterest has come out with some great tools and features that will help your products get found by motivated shoppers. Here’s how to sell on Pinterest like a pro.


Here are the features Pinterest has created to help merchants sell on its platform.



Buyable Pins

Also known as Shoppable Pins. Currently, three e-commerce platforms – BigCommerce, Shopify, and the Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) – have qualified plug-ins that allow merchants to use Pinterest’s Buyable Pins.

A blue “Buy It” or “Add to bag” button will appear next to your buyable items, with the price underneath.

Buyable Pins show up easily over images. Shoppers can add items from multiple businesses to a single Pinterest shopping cart, in a single checkout process. This is similar to how Instagram Shopping works.




Rich Pins

Add Pinterest’s Rich Pins code to your Pinterest account and website to increase the accuracy of your pins.

The dynamic Rich Pin will pull attributes from images pinned from your website, including real-time pricing information. Then you never have to worry about your pins becoming outdated.




Promoted Pins

Bowing to tradition, businesses can of course also purchase ads on Pinterest. These are known as Promoted Pins.

Pinterest offers ad sales based on the three different marketing goals of awareness, engagement, and driving traffic to your website. It also will promote pins based on customers’ past browsing behaviors outside of Pinterest.

Pinterest knows my style pretty well, as a consumer. They know I’m a gardener, and that I’m currently obsessed with these Japanese-style gardening pinafores. They served me up this ad front and center, as soon as I opened up my Pinterest board. This happened despite the fact I’d never viewed or pinned anything about gardening or pinafores on Pinterest before. Nor had I ever viewed this brand, anywhere — so it’s not a retargeted ad.

Here you can see the concept of database marketing in action, where past behavioral actions from multiple websites can predict a user’s desires and interests. Pinterest smartly pairs database records with fluid product tagging algorithms like the ones we use at Shopping Feed to predict what a user will want to see.

The genius of Pinterest is in knowing its users’ interests in a much broader and insightful way than most social media platforms can achieve, and how it precision-tags its posted imagery to those interests…all through a medium that’s almost purely visual. Similar to a deaf person who picks up more intently on visual cues to comprehend surrounding action, Pinterest has honed its “eyes” to precision accuracy.




More product pinning tips to bank on

Make sure your products are a fit with Pinterest’s categories.

Pinterest uses categories to make it as easy as possible for users to find what they’re looking for through guided search, promoted pins, and suggested pins.

The product categories that get the most searches are Home Decor, Style, Food and drinks, Travel, Art and DIY.


Know what kinds of visuals do the best at selling

Think carefully about the visuals you use on your website that could be pinned, and how those will perform as ads or pins on Pinterest.

Pinners have shown preferences when it comes to the kinds of visuals they pin to their personal boards. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Image height: An aspect ratio of 2:3 is recommended for images. Size should be 600 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall.
  • Color palette: Reddish-orange images get repinned twice as often as blue images; primary colors get 325% more repins than images with a single dominant color.
  • Faces: Photos that show body parts of people using your products are okay, but when your photo shows a face it’s a major distraction, taking away the focus from the product.
  • Background colors: Shots taken against a white background don’t get pinned as often as image with a multicolor background. There’s more visual interest when you can show the environment where your product would be used.


More on buyable product pins

If you’re not using one of the three qualified e-commerce platforms – BigCommerce, Shopify, or the Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware), you will have to wait until yours makes it available, or else switch. Bear in mind, while this feature is accessible to all business accounts based in the US, it’s open to only specific business accounts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK, and not at all in other countries.




How to sell on Pinterest: Getting Started

Before you apply, you’ll want to review the buyable pins guidelines to ensure it’s the right fit and that your business is eligible.

Here are the things you’ll need to do to sell on Pinterest.

  • Introduce yourself properly: You will need a business Pinterest account that includes your company’s contact information and follows the image requirements for your profile photo.
  • NSFW not welcome here: Buyable pins are not allowed for customizable products, live animals, non-physical goods (like digital downloads), or other goods prohibited from Pinterest such as alcohol, adult products, tobacco, weapons, and weight loss products.
  • Be detail-conscious: You’ll need to send detailed confirmations for any transactions that customers make through a buyable pin. This includes order details, price, taxes or fees, and any shipping details as well as your contact information.
  • Be timely: Any back-ordered or out-of-stock items that are advertised through your buyable pins must be updated within 30 minutes. Pinterest also requires you to respond to customer questions about these items within 48 hours.
  • For more on how to set up your product pins, see the instructions from Pinterest.

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Julie Stewart

My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.

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