How Pinterest Can Propel Independent Retailers

by : 

Megy Karydes

March 7, 2016
Marketing Mondays - How Pinterest Can Propel Independent Retailers

Pinterest, the popular social media platform that lets "pinners" organize, collect, and share things they find interesting, is also a key marketing platform for independent retailers—one you should be using on a daily basis. How exactly does Pinterest translate into sales? According to Shopify, 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan for purchases and the average order is $50, higher than any other major social media platform.

100 million strong

As of September 2015, Pinterest crossed the threshold of 100 million users, according to Fortune.

The breadth of users is undeniable but yet even more important is that this audience is very engaged. More than half of the pins are buy-able, making it very easy for pinners to click and buy what they see and like.

For retailers with an online presence, in the form of an e-commerce site or even a blog, Pinterest can be a significant driver of traffic to both.

How to get started on Pinterest

Setting up a Pinterest account is pretty self explanatory, but the biggest decision is deciding whether to create a business or personal account (opt for business if it’s going to be focused on business).

If you’re going to be focusing on your business, it’s not only a requirement to have the account be a business name but it also provides you with much-desired analytics.

Once you have the account, figure out what boards you want to show and populate them with your items and include 1 to 2 sentence descriptions for each. Pinterest doesn’t reward hashtags like other social media platforms so resist the urge and instead be sure to use important descriptive words in your descriptions instead. Those will be most likely to be found by pinners.

Pinterest rewards activity

Once you set up, get active.

Organize your boards so they make sense to someone visiting your page. Don’t include bath and body next to jewelry next to foodstuffs. Take a moment to make things look logical.

Also, this is not the time to play cutesy with your board names. Remember, you’ll want users to find your boards so be mindful of the names you give them but also specific. Instead of “Jewelry,” write "Handmade Jewelry from Colorado." Instead of “Dresses,” write "Summer Dresses."

Next steps for Pinterest

Take this week to get started on Pinterest or review your boards if you’re already on the social media platform. Next week we’ll cover how to gain more followers and traction and the following week we’ll hear from a Master Pinner Paula Coop McCrory to learn how she uses Pinterest to help her market her business.

Until then, keep pinning!

Megy Karydes helps small businesses harness their marketing power. She’s also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic’s CityLab, Midwest Living magazine and Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at