How to 3X eCommerce Sales with Pinterest Buyable Pins

Pinterest is now more than just a social networking site where people look for new ideas and inspiration. It is currently one of the top online shopping platforms that drives a huge amount of sales for businesses.

A study conducted by Shopify found that the referral traffic to Shopify stores from Pinterest and Twitter are equal. Additionally, Millward Brown Digital found that 93% of Pinterest users plan their purchases on Pinterest. And 87% of users said that the platform helped them decide what to buy.

This is likely because they see relatable and aesthetically-pleasing images from brands and other users. And user-generated content has been known to engage customers and drive traffic for businesses.

So Pinterest helps eCommerce businesses tap into a large number of new customers, who are already eager to buy. People using Pinterest are not only checking out new ideas but they are planning to buy what they see. And Buyable Pins let them purchase the item in the pin without having to leave the platform.

The buyer journey on Pinterest is also short. The customers see the product image and then directly purchase it on the site. The numbers are indeed impressive and it is only going to go up. To understand how Buyable Pins can be used to improve eCommerce sales, it’s important to understand what they are first.

What are Buyable Pins?

Buyable Pins were introduced by Pinterest after they realized that users are interested in buying the items they see on the platform – whether it’s branded content or user-generated content. In other words, these users are already in a purchase-ready state of mind. And it turned out to be a great idea since the Buyable Pins actually worked.

A buyable pin is a little different from a normal pin. You can save and like it but along with that you can also purchase [mainly retail items] using these pins. A buyable pin comes with a “Buy It” button under an image.

For example, suppose you come across a beautiful bag while you’re looking around on Pinterest. You like it so much that you decide to buy it. So you tap on it for more details. There you find an option in blue which reads “Buy It,” right beside the “Pin It” option. You click on it and it takes you to the checkout page. Here you enter the required information and then place the order.

Source: Pinterest

Customer service and shipping is handled by the retail business and Pinterest doesn’t demand a share from the sales as well. It only offers a platform for retailers to provide a smoother shopping experience to Pinterest users.

After the introduction of Buyable Pins in 2015, Pinterest realized that 90% of the buyers are new customers. Clothing company Spool No. 72 found that 30% of the sales it generated from Pinterest came from Buyable Pins. This was realized eight weeks after Spool No. 72 integrated Buyable Pins to its posts.

So now that you have an idea about Buyable Pins, it will be easier to discuss the ways to increase eCommerce sales through them.

How to Increase eCommerce Sales Using Buyable Pins?

Buyable Pins work better than Promoted Pins. This is because the buying journey of the customers through Buyable Pins has a smaller number of steps.

Promoted Pins only direct pinners to the merchant’s site. But customers can directly buy products using Buyable Pins. Here’s a guide on how to increase eCommerce sales through Buyable Pins.

#1 Get Buyable Pins


Before going ahead you need to make sure that the products you intend to sell on Pinterest meet the requirements. You will not be able to create Buyable Pins for the following items:

Customizable products

Non-physical things, such as digital downloads

Live animals

Products that fall under the prohibited products and services list of Pinterest’s ad standards, like alcohol, fake or imitation goods, tobacco, weapons and explosives, adult services and products, weight loss products, products made from endangered species etc.


So if you are not selling any of the above-mentioned items, you are good to go. You need to select the right eCommerce platform to get started. However, Buyable Pins work only on select platforms. These are:

SalesForce Commerce Cloud [formerly known as DemandWare]



IBM Commerce


Each of these platforms carries specific instructions and are quite different from each other. For example, in the case of Magento, you have to first apply and then qualify for its Buyable Pins program requirements.

If you are already using one of these platforms, the task will be easier for you. Follow the technical instructions for the eCommerce platform you’re using to connect it with your business Pinterest account.

#2 Identify Your Target Audience

After you get your Buyable Pins, it is time to focus on increasing your sales using them. You need to be sure about the audience you are targeting on Pinterest. Ask yourself who you want to sell your products to.

This is an important step because you can acquire a very high percentage of completely new customers on Pinterest. Find out who they are and what they are interested in based on relevant user-generated content. Follow what they are liking and what they are saving on their Pinterest boards.

You can carry out a customer specific research on Pinterest using analytics tools like Pinterest Analytics. This will provide you with actionable details such as views, impressions, repins, and clicks. You can also get information on user demographics such as their country, language, gender etc.

A clear idea about your audience will let you plan your marketing strategy for Pinterest even more effectively. You will be able to determine how to feature your products so that they grab this target audience’s attention.

Provide as many details about the product as possible to help the customers get a clear idea about your product. Since Buyable Pins are an extension of the “Rich Pins” it will allow you to add more information to the pin.

#3 Use Pinterest as a Marketing Channel

A study conducted by BizRate Insights found that 70% of Pinterest users are there for shopping. The numbers prove that it is the most shopping-friendly social platform on the planet today. And Buyable Pins are only going to yield results if you are using the platform as a marketing channel.

So you have to expand your activity on Pinterest to reach out to these purchase-ready customers, increase engagement with them and start making the most of your Buyable Pins.

How to Increase the Visibility of the Pins

Optimize your Pinterest boards by adding relevant keywords to the titles.

Add keywords that you want to rank for at the beginning of the pin’s description. The following example shows results for the keyword “kitchen cabinets.”

Make sure you pin at least 5 – 8 times a day. This will make your pins more easy to discover. Sephora pins a lot of pins in a day, but is careful about not publishing these pins all at once.

Pin throughout the day. This will help you reach out to your audience using the platform at any time of the day.

Pinterest Group Boards can give you a lot of exposure if you contribute to these boards. They have large numbers of pinners and followers. The following screenshot shows a community pin board that already has over 35,000 followers.

Add your Buyable Pins to multiple boards [other than your automatic Shop Board] so that they show up in more results.

You can even collect photos generated by your customers and turn them into Buyable Pins, leveraging the benefits of both user-generated content and Buyable Pins.

These are some of the tips on how to increase the chances of your pins to show up on searches. Next, you’ll discover how to increase engagement on Pinterest.

How to Increase Engagement on Pinterest

Run contests, as people love being part of competitions so they can win free stuff – be it a discount coupon, giveaway or anything else. This will ensure that your branded content and Buyable Pins are implemented into user-generated content when users repin the contest post.

The screenshot below from Adweek shows a discount offer on a product being sold on Pinterest.

Find out what your audience wants and make all efforts to bring it to them.

Use long images as they are more noticeable and readable compared to the wide ones. The image below shows an example of a vertical pin.

Source: Pinterest Pro Solutions

You can engage in conversations using the direct message feature on Pinterest. So make sure you have one-on-one interactions with your audience often.

#4 Enhance Your Buyable Pins

You can enhance your Buyable Pins to drive engagement and sales. Here are a few tips on how you can do it:

• Create Additional Pins for the Same Items: Creating multiple pins for the same products will make it easier for users to find them. You can try out different image angles, display multiple styles, or experiment with new descriptions.

• Follow the Trend: Find out what’s trending on Pinterest. Adjust your Buyable Pins to the seasons or what’s trending among the pinners. Try putting all your shoppable items on a special themed board. For example, you can pin all your shoppable summer attires on one single board.

• Test with Different Types of Product Images: Experimentation is the best way to find out what works best for you. It will help you understand what pinners like the most. In fact, images of products in use or in lifestyle shots drive 18% higher engagement rate. For example, the products under Fashion Pins should showcase someone wearing it in a realistic setting. Including multiple versions of the product, say different colors, will further improve the experience of the users. The following examples show products in real-life settings.

Source: Macy’s Inc.

#5 Measure Your Results

Don’t forget to monitor your Pinterest data. Measuring and analyzing your performance will help you understand where you need to improve and what changes you need to make. Pinterest Analytics is a tool that has been developed by Pinterest for monitoring the views, impressions and engagement level of all your Buyable Pins. By monitoring your pins, you will be able to adjust and fine-tune your pins and improve your engagement and sales.


Don’t forget that using the platform for selling products is almost like embarking on a new venture. You need to start ground up with all your promotional efforts. That’s because Pinterest will give you access to a whole new audience, who will be buying from you for the first time. So make sure you approach this audience keeping in mind the fact that they are already interested in buying things.

Pinterest can give you amazing sales if you know how to use it right. So it’s time to shift your attention from Facebook to Pinterest and open up a whole new world of opportunities for your business.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Author: Brandon Leibowitz

Brandon Leibowitz is the founder of Get Plus Followers, a social media marketing agency in Los Angeles, California and skateboarding news blog. He is featured on sites such as Social Media Today, Live Chat Blog, Simply Measured, Business2Community and other popular sites.

1 thought on “How to 3X eCommerce Sales with Pinterest Buyable Pins”

  1. Hi Brandon,
    Thanks for your in-deep and inspirational post. This is one of those occasions when I feel I had not enough time for everything and some valuable stuff went below my radar.
    No doubt I will digg asap.
    Have fun!

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