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How To Sell on Pinterest (2022 Step-by-Step Guide)

Graphic of a pinterest page in a browser window. Text reads "how to sell on pinterest"

As many as eight out of 10 Pinterest users have found a new brand or product via the platform, and a recent survey found Pinterest marketing effectiveness has actually increased by 140% in 2022 over 2021's impact.

Pinterest added social commerce in 2015. Now, conversion from aspirational to purchase is possible with the Pinterest Buy button and other features.

So, how do you use it for your online store? Here’s a how-to guide to selling on Pinterest.

Why sell products on Pinterest?

Pinterest is an ideal channel for selling products online for a few key reasons:

  • The audience is ready to buy. Many Pinterest users want to discover new brands and products on the platform—and many of them are more ready to buy than users on channels like Facebook or TikTok. According to Pinterest, “Weekly Pinners are seven times more likely to say Pinterest is the most influential platform in their purchase journey, compared to other social media platforms.”
  • You know who you’re targeting. The majority of Pinterest users are women who earn a decent income. They often turn to Pinterest for inspiration and ideas for projects—an ideal spot to sell products for home improvement, cooking, crafts, and similar “projects.” 
  • You can amp up your efforts with paid ads. Pinterest ads allow you to get even more targeted in your efforts. This is valuable if Pinterest marketing is a core component of your social media marketing strategy. Plus, brands that advertise on Pinterest earn double the return on ad spend and are more efficient than other social advertising networks when it comes to cost per conversion.
  • It provides insights about your specific audience. Pinterest provides specific insights about your audience with Pinterest Analytics, which helps you see what content performs well, who’s interested in your brand, and what other interests those people have.
  • Pinterest has online shopping features and tools. Pinterest has a Catalogs feature for brands to upload their products. Merchants who do so earn five times more impressions than brands that don’t add their products. Another feature is Pinterest Try On, which uses augmented reality (AR) to allow shoppers to get a virtual try-on or see what products would look like in their homes.
  • Pinterest seamlessly integrates with your Shopify store. Connect your Shopify store with Pinterest to publish pins, sync product catalogs and inventory data, run ads, and track performance. The Pinterest Shopify app is free and easy to install.

How to set up Pinterest

Visit the Pinterest website to create a business account. If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you’ll want to create a new business account with your professional email. Enter your business or brand name, photo (you can use your logo), website, location, and language.

build your profile

Next, enter additional information about your business. This includes your industry or niche, and business goals.

Then tell Pinterest you’re an “Online Retail or Marketplace.”

describe your business

 

Next, note which sales channels you use to promote your products, including Shopify for your own online store and any third-party marketplaces, like Etsy.

tell us more

You can tell Pinterest if you plan on using its paid advertising tools as a final step. It’s OK if you’re unsure at this stage.

Set up your Pinterest business account

You can also convert your personal Pinterest account into a business one. Doing so will retain your posts and followers, a good option if you’ve already gained Pinterest followers and want to use that audience for your business.

Navigate to your settings and find the “Account management” options. Click “Convert account” where you see “Convert to a business account” under “Account changes.” You’ll go through similar steps as the ones above, wherein you’ll input information about your business. You can undo this later if you choose to convert back to a personal account and create a separate business account.

Link to your Shopify or other ecommerce store

You can link your Shopify store and your Pinterest account to promote the products on your website via the social media platform. You can install the Pinterest Shopify app or manually add the Pinterest tag to Shopify.

The Pinterest Shopify app simplifies syncing your online store and inventory with the social media channel. When you integrate the two with the Pinterest Shopify app, you can quickly publish Product Pins, boost organic reach, create ads with a free credit, and track performance with the Pinterest tag. Plus, your product catalog will automatically update daily.

Simply go to the Shopify App Store and find the Pinterest Shopify app. Click the “Add app” button and follow the prompts on the screen to set it up. It’ll take just a few clicks. You can also follow the steps outlined here to do this process manually.

Top tips for selling on Pinterest

Now you’re ready to make your first sale on Pinterest! But there’s much more you can do to help generate business beyond creating an account and publishing your products. You should also put some intention behind your Pinterest marketing strategy in order to maximize your sales.

Focus on high-quality visuals

 pins on grid

Pinterest is a visual platform. That’s why high-quality product visuals and photography are digital marketing essentials for this channel in particular.

Pretty Presets is a brand that found success because of its visuals. Pinterest has become a top traffic source for the merchant, accounting for as much as 10% of its sales.

Pinterest demands a creative and visually appealing approach, even if your products aren’t visual in nature. Boring, lackluster photos and graphics will quickly fall to the bottom of people’s feeds when compared to the eye-catching graphics and photos of other brands.

Catalogs

Pinterest Catalogs is a feature available only to business accounts with a claimed website and business practices that meet Pinterest’s requirements as far as ​​shipping policy, return policy, and contact availability. You also need to have a data source for your products—if you’re a Shopify merchant, that would be your Shopify store.

shop Levi's

Once your Catalog is set up, you’ll have a “Shop” tab on your Pinterest profile with a curated feed of shoppable pins featuring your items for sale. These products and Pins will also show up when users conduct non-branded, generic searches. Furthermore, you can turn those products into dynamic promoted pins (more on that in a bit), which makes it easier to start targeted paid advertising. Merchants that upload products to their Catalog see five times more engagement than those that don’t.

Pinterest search

With the Pinterest Shopify app, your product catalog automatically syncs on a daily basis—so you know you’re always putting your best foot forward on the social media platform.

Shopify merchant AreYouGame.com leverages Pinterest as a sales channel in addition to its online store. After relaunching its Shopify site, it overhauled its approach on Pinterest to focus on more product-centric content. Its “Shop” tab features its full collection of products. In just four months, the brand went from zero impressions to almost 700,000.

Are You Game?

Boards

Pinterest boards work as folders or categories for your collection of created and curated pins. Organize your boards so users can easily browse and engage with your pinned content. Boards can also boost your visibility in search, as well as attract targeted followers. For example, people can opt to follow individual boards instead of the entire account.

You might create boards based on interests or themes that complement your brand and which your target audience is interested in, or which align with product categories. Jewelry brand SLVR New York has boards curated for its bestselling products, rings, necklaces, and new arrivals.

SLVR Pinterest

Group boards are another great way to sell on Pinterest. Group boards show up alongside your other boards, but the difference is other users and brands can also add pins to that Board. It’s important to vet group boards carefully before joining—you don’t want to unintentionally align your brand with unsavory content or accounts.

The Little Market teamed up with other local brands to curate a group board of holiday gift ideas.

The Little Market

Rich pins

Rich pins automatically sync with website data and display that data for users.

There are three types of rich pins:

  1. Article pins: Article pins include the headline or title, the description, and the author of the article or blog post
  2. Product pins: Product pins include pricing, availability, and product information
  3. Recipe pins: Recipe pins include the title, serving size, cook time, ratings, diet preference, and a list of ingredients

Rich Pins are especially valuable for ecommerce brands because they don’t require any manual updating. If you update the information on your website, it will automatically update for your rich pins as well.

To add a product rich pin to or from your Shopify store, open the Pinterest rich pin validator and then open the product page on your Shopify site. Copy and paste the product URL into the pin validator and add “.oembed” to the end of the URL. This will show you the rich pin data associated with that product. Select Shopify as the markup option and click “Validate.” Once you see the preview, click “Apply.” This will update all of the products on your site.

Promoted pins

Promoted pins are Pinterest’s advertising tools. They work similarly to Google Ads with an auction-style bidding setup, and pricing and budget depend on who you’re targeting. Promoted pins show up in users’ feeds and in search, appearing similarly to organic pins, but with a “Promoted” tag.

Pinterest allows brands to choose from several objectives when building promoted pins and ads. Those objectives include brand awareness, video views, consideration/traffic, conversions, and Catalog sales.

choose a campaign objective

If you have your ad creative, you can build your campaign by setting a daily and total budget, noting where you want your ads to appear (feed, search, or both), and selecting a start and end date. If you want to stretch out your ad spend evenly over a longer period of time, opt for a lifetime budget. To determine how much you pay each day, create a daily budget. You’ll have to adjust the budgets automatically, depending on how long you want your ad to run.

campaign budget type

You can target customers based on audiences from email lists, demographics and location. To create even more targeted and effective campaigns, consider adding interests and keywords.

Track and analyze pins

Pinterest Analytics provides valuable insights into how your account, pins, and ads are performing. You can also view specific metrics for your product pins.

Pinterest analytics dashboard

This ecommerce analytics data should inform your strategy moving forward, so you know which types of content to prioritize and deprioritize.

For example, you can look at your Pinterest marketing analytics to see which pins get the most impressions and clicks to your website. You can then create similar pins for future posts and campaigns, and consider repurposing that content for other channels.

Pinterest SEO

Investing in SEO for Pinterest will boost visibility and traffic to your page and website. The higher you rank, the more people will see your content, engage with your pins, and discover your products.

Keywords are a core component of Pinterest SEO, since the platform functions primarily as a search engine. Pinterest offers a native keyword research tool. You can access it by creating a promoted pin and choosing “Traffic” as your business goal. You’ll see a keywords section where you can input keywords and receive data-based suggestions—including search volume.

add keywords dog toys

You can also use other paid and free SEO tools like Keyword Tool, Keysearch, and Pin Inspector.

keyword tool

Find words and phrases relevant to your products and pins through the Pinterest search bar. Pinterest will auto suggest search queries based on Pinterest’s own historical search data.

For example, you can see the suggestions below with the search term “laundry detergent.” Shopify merchant Roux Maison has optimized its Pinterest strategy to rank among the top suggested results—not far below household brand name Tide. Other keywords to think about creating content around might include dispensers, containers, bottles, and storage.

laundry detergent search

How are you using Pinterest to sell products?

There are two key things to remember when it comes to selling on Pinterest: it’s visual-based and it functions more like a search engine than a social networking site. Your Pinterest content should be high quality, visually engaging, and targeted to the appropriate audience. Integrating it with your online store via the Pinterest Shopify app makes it easy to sync your product catalog and create product Pins and ads.

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How to sell on Pinterest FAQ

Does it cost to sell on Pinterest?

No, it doesn’t cost to sell on Pinterest. You can add the Pinterest Shopify app to your website for free.

How do you sell a product on Pinterest?

You can sell a product on Pinterest by connecting your business account to your Shopify store and syncing your product Catalog. You can also use promoted pins, rich pins, Pinterest SEO, and targeted advertising to sell a product on Pinterest.

What sells best on Pinterest?

  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Beauty products such as nail polish
  • Home goods
  • Dog and cat beds
  • Health and wellness items
  • Auto accessories
  • Travel outfits

How do I make money on Pinterest?

You make money on Pinterest by building an audience of engaged followers, establishing your brand, and promoting your products.