Pinterest: digital window shopping is gaining ground

The visual network is beaming with new features and increasing figures. Here are the most important facts and tips.

Pinterest: digital window shopping is gaining ground
© Pinterest 2018

Pinterest has been quite busy introducing new features in the last few months. Purely in terms of numbers, it continues to be overshadowed by competitors like Instagram. Pinterest most recently reported 200 million active “Pinners” a month. But as smart marketers know, user numbers alone have little meaning. It always depends on the industry and the objective. And, as this statistical graph shows, the company is strong in Germany.

Pinterest facts and figures

Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual network. However, the point here is not to present one’s own life in a more or less staged way. Instead, users collect ideas and suggestions in the form of photos and videos called Pins. German users alone do this 3.5 million times a day. And this is interesting for marketing, because it’s the digital version of window shopping.

For example, 73 percent of surveyed Pinterest users indicated that they use the platform to search for things they want to buy. 72 percent bought something offline after seeing it on the site. “In the past few years, Pinterest has become an integral part of the digital strategies of many of our brand partners. They utilize Pinterest as a source of traffic and analyze its trend data for their marketing activities,” explains Jana Würfel, Country Lead Pinterest DACH (German speaking) region.

As the figures from Shareaholic show, Pinterest can be seen as a traffic supplier. It most recently provided 7.53 percent of the visitors to the surveyed sites. By comparison, only Facebook (18.16 percent) is stronger. Instagram is growing significantly, but still only achieves 0.73 percent.

Worldwide, 100 billion Pins have accumulated. The key categories on Pinterest are food (21 billion Pins), fashion (21 billion Pins), home (16 billion Pins) and beauty (8 billion Pins). 80 percent of the views are on mobile devices.

“Shop the Look” for fashion and home decorating

In March 2018, the German Pinterest introduced the “Shop the Look” feature on a trial basis in the fashion and home segments. This has the advantage of not just connecting a single product to each Pin, but several. In this way, a new outfit or a new home decorating idea can be implemented in one go.

This type of improvement is particularly necessary when it comes to the core topic of shopping. After all, the main competitor Instagram has now introduced its own shopping feature. It also looks like Instagram was inspired by Pinterest when creating its “Bookmark Collections” feature. These collections are strongly reminiscent of Pinboards, but have not yet been made public.

“Pincodes” in action

Another new feature are the Pincodes, which work a lot like QR codes. They were also introduced in Germany in March. If a user discovers such a Pincode, they can open their camera in the Pinterest app to scan the code and display the linked Pinboard or profile page.

Maggi, for example, has tried the feature in its “Kochstudio” (cooking studio) in Frankfurt am Main and is now planning to expand the experiment. The Pincodes on its packaging guides users to the ingredients on Pinboards with recipe ideas, how-to guides and useful information.

The home accessories brand Urbanara, on the other hand, uses Pincodes in its flagship store in Düsseldorf and in its current summer catalog. Here, too, the aim is to provide customers with suggestions. And if you buy a blanket, for example, you will receive a Pincode that leads to further ideas and care tips.

Among others, the grocery store chain Edeka, the furniture outlet Ikea and the magazine Brigitte are also experimenting with the feature.

Success factors on Pinterest

Those who want to promote their Pinterest presence must first understand that Pins are often more important than followers. “Followers are – among many other factors – just a piece in the big Pinterest puzzle,” Alexandra Polunin writes in this blog post (in German), for example. Pinterest is comparable to a search engine. On the social web, it therefore has more in common with YouTube than with Facebook. This also means that Pins can have a long lifespan and attract users weeks, months or even years later. That is why keywords play an important role.

Of course, it is important to set up your profile professionally and to have a clear idea of what your target customers are interested in. With this knowledge, you can construct your own Pinboards or participate in group boards. Following other interesting users is another way to draw attention to yourself, but should not degenerate into a mere tactic.

Closing remarks

If you are in the right subject area and have ignored Pinterest thus far, you should definitely dare to take look. As described, it could play an important role in the pre-purchase decision making process. And, especially in the German market, it is more significant than the bare user numbers suggest.