It’s not a novelty to say that this past year has accelerated long-term changes to consumer habits and behaviour that have shifted the in-store shopping experience online.

At Pinterest, we have seen changes not just in how consumers are choosing to shop, but also what they are purchasing. As consumers changed their routines and habits, it has proven to be a particular challenge for marketers who are typically used to relying on past patterns of behaviour to determine how best to engage their audience. 

For too long, online “shopping” has felt too transactional and became a chore. The shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores is full of discovery, impulse buys and the ability to have your attention caught by something special. But online shopping should be about more than searching for a singular product—it’s about inspiring new ideas, sparking new projects and having the freedom to purchase when the moment feels right.

Consumers want an easy way to purchase the products they see online and bring styles to life, so our vision is to make it possible to buy anything you see on Pinterest or get personalised recommendations for something just like it.

In compelling insights for merchants, 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are completely unbranded and consist of two-word or three-word queries, which means that most consumers are not typing a specific brand name into their searches.

While other platforms may place the bigger, more well-known retailers front and centre, on Pinterest, businesses of any size have an equal chance to be discovered by over 450 million consumers who are looking for products and services, open to all types of brands, and are planning their next purchase. 

From pin to purchase

New research shows that giving people the time to consider and enjoy shopping like they can on Pinterest—vs. rushing them to purchase—results in significantly higher spend. Australian Pinners who visit Pinterest monthly outspent non-Pinners by two times every month and have a 40% larger basket size (Dynata, Australia, 2021 Shopping for fashion and beauty among people who use Pinterest compared to people who don’t use Pinterest but use other platforms, April 2021) Australian businesses can reach these shoppers by following a few simple steps to set up shop on Pinterest.

The first step for merchants is to create a business account, to claim their website and to add the Pinterest tag to their site to track in Pinterest Analytics conversions and optimise their ads for shopping campaigns or retargeting. It will allow them to find out what their audience is searching and saving and they’ll also be able to access data on the audience’s age, gender, location and device usage in order to help them decide what products to feature with their content. Knowing what your customers are searching for is the first piece of the shopping puzzle.

Planning in advance is also important. Shoppers primarily use Pinterest to discover new ideas, so it’s essential to share related content on Pinterest earlier than on other platforms. Businesses can reach people as they start planning and before they’ve decided on a brand or product, so they are more likely to pop back into their mind when they’re ready to make a purchase. As a general rule of thumb, seasonal content should be shared on Pinterest 2–3 months prior to the event. The earlier the better!

It’s all about presentation

How you present your content can be vital as Pinners are searching for ideas that are inspiring but actionable, and on the platform, the content that performs best is the one within reach.  By playing with style and language elements such as text or illustration overlay, marketers can improve Pinners’ comprehension and increase their chances of having qualified traffic to their site.

Pins with actionable call to action in the text overlay tend to drive a 6% increase in sales over Pins that simply contain a standard stock image and Pins that show someone using the product are 67% more likely to drive offline sales lift (Pinterest internal data, 2020).

Pinterest continues to change the online shopping game, with access to a frictionless shopping experience anywhere on the platform — as shopping looks a bit different these days, we’re helping retailers of all sizes bring their products to Pinterest and give shoppers the ability to discover something wonderful and unexpected.

Lottie Laws is sales director for Australia and New Zealand at Pinterest.