What’s happening? 

As retail locations remain closed or operating in limited ways and consumers in most states continue to shelter in place, Pinterest announced this week a new shopping feature for users of the visual discovery engine.  

“Shopping Spotlights” serves users shopping ideas curated by influencers, magazine editors and other tastemakers. Early Spotlight curators include guest editors from Teen VogueHarper’s Bazaar and Refinery29. In a recent interview Amy Vener, head of retail strategy and marketing at Pinterest, said Shopping Spotlights give “the feel of a personal stylist and the look of an editorial magazine.” 

What does this mean? 

Shopping Spotlights is an extension of Pinterest’s ongoing efforts to enhance the shopping experience for users and bring retailers closer to conversions, and the COVID-19 crisis has made this even more valuable. The Spotlights launch follows Pinterest’s recent implementation of its verified merchant program and a newly established partnership with Shopify, and comes at a time when Pinterest shoppers are more active than ever. Pinterest Chief Revenue Officer Jon Kaplan shared the following user stats in a recent interview for AdAge

  • Board creation is up 60% year over year 
  • Searches are up 60% year over year 
  • People are saving 40% more pins 
  • Searches for terms like “support small businesses” have increased 350%  

In short, Pinterest users are looking to transact, both now and in the future, and the platform is making it even easier to connect with brands. In the last year alone, the platform reports

  • The number of shoppable products on Pinterest has increased 2.5 times 
  • The platform saw a 230% increase in traffic to retailers 
  • The number of Pinners engaging with shopping on Pinterest increased 44%

What should marketers be doing? 

At a time when the future is full of questions for brands, turning to Pinterest can provide some answers.  

Mine for insights. The consumer insights marketers gain from Pinterest are unique from other platforms in that users’ searching and pinning behaviors indicate not only current mindset but future intent. From upcoming travel to home improvement to weddings and back-to-school planning, their boards indicate needs, wants and hopes – and they’re open to hearing from brands who can fulfill them. 

Optimize for keywords and search terms. Ninety-seven percent of top searches on Pinterest are unbranded, which means the playing field for product discovery is leveled, and brands of all sizes can use that to their advantage. 

Think about next steps. Marketers must consider the customer journey holistically. Pinterest users are three times more likely to click through to a retailer’s site, so brands must consider their consumers’ experience not only on Pinterest but also on their website, ensuring the path to purchase is intuitive and static-free.  

Think outside the box. Using insights into users’ mindsets during the COVID-19 crisis, marketers should seek new and creative ways to meet them where they are. Here’s a good example: Pinterest has seen a 4,000% increase in searches for kids’ activities, and in response the spice and extract brand McCormick offered recipes for slime (using McCormick food dye).  

RELATED INSIGHTS 

May 1, 2020: Understanding Customers is Crucial Amid COVID Chaos
It’s time to sharpen and optimize the tools you use for customer-first marketing – here’s where to start.

April 24, 2020: Brands Should Pivot to Avoid Consumers’ COVID Fatigue   
New data suggests some key messaging shifts marketers should consider as the pandemic continues to impact consumer mindsets.    

April 20, 2020: Shifting from B2B to B2H: Follow the Golden Rule   
Effective B2B marketing during COVID-19 requires a shift in approach shaped by understanding where consumers are – physically and emotionally – right now. 


Are you using Pinterest to your full advantage? We’d be happy to take a look.  

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