Pinterest Ads for eCommerce [Full Guide]

When it comes to Pinterest ads for eCommerce, the number one thing you should be considering is how Pinterest fits into your entire marketing and DIY SEO strategy. Pinterest has a lot of potential for online store owners: from boosting organic marketing efforts and SEO, to taking your store blog and eCommerce content marketing strategy to pro level. 

Therefore, the secret to killing it with Pinterest ads (promoted and shoppable pins) is focusing on the platform as a whole, like you would with other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. This means putting effort into your account, content, and ads and ensuring you treat the platform as what it is: a social platform. 

In short, if you’re going to test Pinterest ads for your online store brand and products, you need to create a robust marketing strategy. 

But is it worth the effort? The short answer – for the right eCommerce brand – is, most definitely! 

Pinterest is currently the third-largest social platform in the US and has 335 million active monthly users, growing at 26% per year. Add that to the fact that there are over 2 billion searches on Pinterest every month, 48% of Pinterest users have shopping as their top priority, and promoted pins can reach 169 million potential shoppers. In short, you’ve definitely got enough reasons to test this platform.  

Here’s a short audience overview of potential reach from Pinterest Ads: 

  • Pinterest ads can reach of 169 million 
  • 20% of Pinterest ads audiences are male and 72% are female 
  • Pinterest currently has a +12% quarter-on-quarter increase in advertising reach 
  • 2.8% of the population, aged 13+, can be reached using Pinterest ads

However, it’s important to be aware of user demographics to ensure that Pinterest is right for your eCommerce store. The most significant percentage of Pinterest users is women aged 24-35, which means if you have a successful online clothing fashion brand catering to that demographic, Pinterest can be hugely successful. If you’re selling to the 55+ demographic, this platform probably won’t be as fruitful. 

Pinterest stats 2020

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So, why use Pinterest ads for eCommerce?  

  1. Ads on Pinterest can help you sell products. First and foremost, promoted pins can help you reach new shoppers who are actually searching for product ideas in specific niches.  
  2. If you’re looking for a more visual way to build your eCommerce brand image, Pinterest can be very effective. Promoted pins can, therefore, help you build brand awareness and establish your brand image to a host of new potential shoppers. 
  3. Pinterest can drive more traffic to your online store. Not only do pins make you and your products easier to find on the platform, but each pin links back to a URL. And if done correctly, Pinterest SEO can go a long way toward your SEO efforts on and off the platform. You can read more about how to boost Pinterest SEO here
  4. Incorporating Pinterest into your marketing strategy will help keep your brand competitive. Why? Because there is a big chance that your competitors are already utilizing this platform.
  5. Pinterest will give you access to an untapped pool of potential customers. According to Pinterest, 77% of its users have discovered a new brand or product on the platform at one point or another. This means that if your brand or content isn’t there, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. 
  6. Last but not least, Pinterest content and ads will help you establish your brand as an authority in your niche. Pinterest is an inspiration platform where people are looking for advice and ideas. Therefore, by supplying high-value content, you can set your brand as a niche expert. 

Is Pinterest right for my eCommerce store?

It’s important to mention here that Pinterest ads aren’t for every online brand. They will generally be more useful for eCommerce stores selling in the home decor, cooking, fashion, or beauty niches. For example, let’s say you’re an online store selling kitchenware. Using Pinterest to promote recipe blogs, how-to guides, and cooking products could be extremely effective. 

You also need to contemplate that a considerable percentage of users are women. That’s not to say you can’t use Pinterest if the majority of your current customer base is male. For instance, let’s say you have an online beard grooming store – Pinterest’s demographics may not seem worth the effort. However, what if you used Pinterest as a way to boost shopping guide blog posts such as ‘What to Buy Dad for Father’s Day’ or ‘How to Choose the First Shaving Kit’ to mothers of young men? 

The trick, like with all social platforms, is to find a way to speak the language of the platform, audience, and niche. In this eCommerce Pinterest guide, we will give you all the tools to do just that – helping you build a well-rounded marketing plan that includes good account practices so that you can use promoted pins to their fullest potential.  

Let’s dive in! 

Building Your eCommerce Pinterest Marketing Foundation 

The first thing you need to do before investing in Pinterest ads for eCommerce is make sure you’ve built a winning marketing strategy. Like with any social platform, this means starting with your account setup, content planning, and website integration. This will ensure you are creating a well-oiled traffic-driving stream – from all angles – from the ground up. Here are some must-have basics that every eCommerce seller should do to ensure they are set up for Pinterest success.  

1. Promote Engagement by Integrating Pinterest With Your Online Store 

There are three basic must-haves for your online store in terms of integrating Pinterest: having ‘follow,’ ‘share,’ and ‘save’ buttons. 

By including a ‘follow’ button on your store, you’re informing Pinterest users who find themselves on your store that they can also find you on their favorite platform. You can include this in blog sections, in your weekly newsletters, or by using a popup and other tools to incentivize social follows. 

By including a ‘share’ or ‘save’ button on product pages, you can encourage store traffic to share your products on Pinterest organically, on their own boards. Here’s a simple example from one of our awesome clothing fashion brand merchants, Envy Stylz Boutique

example of product page pintest share button

Bonus Tip: Have a Shopify store? Here’s a quick guide on how to add a Pinterest ‘save’ button to your Shopify store. 

2. Understand that Visuals Matter

Your images and visuals can make or break your eCommerce Pinterest success. Not only should the visuals you use represent your brand, but they need to be optimized for the platform to help you stand out from the crowd. Here are 4 Pinterest image suggestions: 

  1. Go vertical. Vertical pins perform better than square or horizontal images in most niches; unless, of course, you need very closeup shots of small products like jewelry.
  2. Keep images clean and simple. 
  3. Remember that most Pinterest users (85%) are searching via mobile. 
  4. Use lifestyle product images that tell a story or portray a vibe. 

hand in pocket boutique

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3. Don’t Underestimate Your Pin Descriptions 

Every pin you add, whether or not you are intending to promote it, should have a good description. This goes for boards as well! You want to ensure you include keywords, price, and a strong call to action for every board or pin. You will also want to make sure keywords aren’t too long and include your marketing hashtags, so that pins appear in search feeds. Like with all marketing description efforts, these should appeal to human readers but be optimized for search.

inspiranzea designs pinterest description example

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You can read more about how to upgrade your descriptions for SEO, here

4. Use Your eCommerce Pinterest Account and Content to Tell a Story 

Overall, you want to make sure your Pinterest account, content, boards, and pins not only stay true to your brand but have a sense of storytelling. You don’t want to just create tons of product boards. Instead, you want to show how your products solve problems through lifestyle stories. This should be done visually and through your decisions, as well as the way you structure your account and create your boards. 

Take a look at Klub Nico’s Pinterest account. Not only does their account show precisely what you’re getting when following them, through their header visuals and description, but their boards show a clear vibe and tell a story.

Kub nic ecommerce pinterest account example

And here’s a look at some of their latest pins, showing a very clear brand image or story: 

Kub nic ecommerce pinterest account example 2

5. Engage Back With Users and Potential Shoppers 

Whether it’s a promoted pin or a board, you want to engage back with active users. This means responding to messages, thanking people for content shares, and engaging with new followers – it is a social media platform, after all! 

Not only does this help you communicate directly with potential shoppers and customers on a human level, but it will also help build positive interactions with your band – both of which help foster brand trust. Which in turn builds trust. 

Pro Tip: Build engagement with your most loyal, active followers by creating group boards. Group boards are a great way to create a community around your products, brand, and niche through shared content sharing. Here’s Pinterest’s step-by-step guide on creating a group board. 


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6. Enable Rich Pins 

To give more context to store content that is pinned, make sure you have enabled rich pins. These include product, article, and recipe rich pins, and will ensure information – such as price or availability – is always included and up-to-date. Here’s how you can apply for rich pins in three steps: 

  1. Mark your product, article (blog), or recipe (blog) content pages with rich meta tags. You can find out how, here.
  2. Next, validate one of your correctly marked-up content pages in Pinterest’s Rich Pins Validator.
  3. If the page you are applying with is correctly marked, an ‘Apply’ button will appear; you can then click on this button to apply for Rich Pins. This normally takes 24 hours. 

7. Brush Up on Buyable Pins 

As the name suggests, buyable pins enable searchers to click a ‘buy’ button directly from the pin and complete the purchase without leaving their app or website. To make use of these, you will need to integrate with Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, IBM Commerce, or Salesforce. Buyable pins are currently only available in the US. 

pinterest buyable pins for eCommerce

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Like with rich pins, you will need to make sure you are able to fulfill Pinterest’s buyable pins guidelines. We will get into this in more detail below.

buyable pins example

Now that we’ve covered the must-do Pinterest marketing and account hacks, before you start spending on ads, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this Pinterest Ads for eCommerce Guide: promoted pins.  

Types of Pinterest Ads for eCommerce 

When it comes to Pinterest ads, there are 5 types best suited for online sellers. These include promoted carousels and promoted, Buyable (which we touched on above), promoted video, and story pins. Let’s take a quick look at each.  

1. Pinterest Promoted Carousel Ads 

Promoted Carousel Specs

  • Ideal aspect ratio is 1:1 or 2:3
  • Max 100 characters for headlines 
  • Use either PNG or JPEG file types of max 10 MB 
  • Max 500 characters for descriptions 

One of Pinterest’s newer ad types are Promoted Carousels, launched in November 2018. Enabling advertisers to show up to five images in one ad, they appear in the home feed, Related Pin, or search fields. Each card includes a different title, description, and landing page URL – similar to how Facebook carousel ads work – and are great for showcasing various products in a category or different variations of a single product.


2. Pinterest Promoted Pins