Pinterest Emerges as an Essential Social Media Platform for Retailers and Brands in Canada, Say Experts [Feature]


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Pinterest is one social media platform brands should be using more as it’s budget friendly, has an international reach of millions of people, and is easy to use. Kristie Painting, Pinterest Country Manager, Canada and Nina Ber-Donkor, founder of Black Rooster Decor, discuss the benefits of the platform and how brands can use it to improve success.

Kristie Painting

“Pinterest is a wonderful platform for retailers because we have an incredible reach of people, over 460 million people visit Pinterest every month. Consumers are seeking inspiration, making decisions, and seeking discovery – it is perfect for retailers because from the beginning, they are part of the journey,” says Painting. 

Painting says brands can interact with followers on Pinterest by using all of its elements such as pins, videos, visual boards, and can showcase products on a catalog pin to make it shoppable for consumers. Pinterest can work for any brand and has categories under travel, lifestyle, automotive, fashion, interior design, and more.

“Travel is a huge category and automotive does really well on our site, but for a pure retail perspective – fashion, beauty, and home decoration is the most successful on Pinterest. So we get people who are coming to Pinterest to look for inspiration about renovating their homes, do it yourself items, kitchen, cabinetry, and there are also smaller items you can see in furniture decor items,” says Painting. 

Black Rooster Decor on Pinterest

Black Rooster Decor, a furniture store located on Queen Street East, is one brand using Pinterest with successful results as the owner, Nina Ber-Donker, says they have 9,500 followers and receive around 2.3 million views each month. Each product on its website is linked back to its Pinterest account where they create mood boards, share products, and when you click on a product it takes you directly to their website. 

“We get a decent amount of views to our website by people clicking on products on Pinterest – it is free advertising. There is no reason not to be on Pinterest. When I take a look at our analytics, it is now 2 p.m. and I can see we have already had thirteen people from Pinterest go to our website, so thirteen potential customers we just gained from being on Pinterest,” says Ber-Donker.  People on Pinterest are obviously looking for specific things whether it is a recipe, something for their home, for their garden and they are already looking. So Pinterest is organic marketing without you paying for anything,” says Ber-Donker. 

Although Ber-Donker says she can’t know directly which purchases are from people browsing through Pinterest, she does know how many visits they receive. Last month, Black Rooster had 100 visitors from Pinterest to its website and in the past year, Ber-Donker says they have had about 6,000 visitors. With each visit, there is an increased opportunity for someone to purchase a product, share the website with family or friends, or to sign up for its bi-weekly newsletter which can include which sales they are offering. Not every visit will end up with a purchase, but it will increase brand awareness and for free. 

Currently, Ber-Donker says they do not have a Pinterest strategy as their numbers are up; however, as they are expanding to a second location they will start to strategize a plan on how to grow their audience on the platform. 

Pin Perfect 

Image: Black Rooster Decor

For brands to stand out on Pinterest, Painting suggests to invest in photography and to not stick to one format.

“Consider using a lot of different formats. One person might be looking specifically for a standard lamp and it might be a single shot on a white background and it works and resonates with them, but that is not always the case. Another person might really want to look at the full room. So by creating a mix of different products, you are able to reach different types of people,” says Painting. 

Painting also suggests for brands to use a variety of colours, different layouts, and to also explore creating videos as lots of people enjoy scrolling through the watch tab. By broadening your formats on Pinterest, brands will be able to reach as many people as possible. 

An Easier Tool for Consumers

Compared to other social media platforms, Pinterest allows people to scroll through without the hassle of unwanted sponsored content, Ber-Donker says. 

“Lately when I am on social media such as Instagram, I am seeing a lot of things I do not have any interest in. With Pinterest, you find exactly what you are looking for so I think it is a great tool and you are not finding things you are not looking for,” says Ber-Donker. 

This is one task Ber-Donker will be focusing towards – placing everything into categories so followers can see what they are looking for. For example, Ber-Donker says they want to target specifically for the home decor that they supply, lighting, and art and everything will be in specific categories which will make it easier for consumers to find products. 

Consumers can also purchase right on the platform, create mood boards, and can pin items they find. Mood boards allow people to save products they find, designs, recipes, and whatever else they find that peaks their interest. 

Pinterest is a great way for both small and large retailers to create a larger footprint in Canada and internationally and Pinterest offers support to make it easier for both retailers and consumers. 

“We try to make everything as shoppable as possible. That is great for retailers, but also really great for consumers,” says Painting. “There are a lot of different ways we can do that, such as even making the pin itself shoppable. We have lots of opportunities for retailers to use and lots of different tools, such as real time updates for pricing and inventory. Pinterest makes it a seamless journey for consumers to find what they are looking for and for retailers to showcase their products as simply as possible.” 

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.


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