How Small Businesses Can Make the Best of New 'Shop the Look' Pins

Michael Quoc | October 16, 2018

Small businesses, rejoice: you have a major new sales channel at your disposal, and it’s in a place you might not expect. Pinterest just opened up its Shop the Look pins to small businesses.

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In early 2017, when Pinterest first launched Shop the Look Pins, they were only available to big brands, and they had to integrate with third-party partners in order to actually use them. Now, they are available to all businesses directly through Pinterest, and they’re totally free to use.

Keep reading to see how Shop the Look Pins work, learn why this announcement is a big deal for your business, and get tips on how you can add these to your Pinterest social media strategy.

What are Shop the Look Pins?

In essence, Shop the Look Pins allow brands to tag products in their pins on Pinterest.

For instance, a Pin may be a photo of a model wearing multiple products from a brand. The brand can tag each of those products in the photo (the jacket, dress, purse, and boots) with a link to the product’s page on their website. Each tagged product is designated by a white dot on the Pin.

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If you’ve ever used Instagram Shopping before, you’re familiar with how this works for the users. They can click on any of the white dots to pull up product information (such as product name, price, and availability), and then click again to purchase the item.

Who can use Shop the Look Pins?

Shop the Look product tagging is now available to businesses of any size with fashion and home decor Pins. To get started, all you need is a Pinterest business profile and a claimed website. Follow these steps to add product tags:

  1. Add Pins the way you normally do
  2. Click the tag icon
  3. Click a product in the Pin
  4. Enter the URL from your website
  5. Pin your Pin!

How Shop the Look Pins can benefit your small business

As a small business, you may be thinking, “Okay, that sounds easy enough, but why should I care? Is Pinterest really a viable marketing channel?”

The answer, based on the data, is a resounding yes. Here are five reasons to be excited about using Shop the Look for your small business:

1. Pinterest’s user base is active, and growing

The size of the platform alone is a sufficient reason to be excited about Shop the Look access. Over 250 million people use Pinterest every month, according to September’s latest numbers.

Admittedly, those numbers are small when you consider Facebook and Instagram billion-plus user bases, but it’s important to note that Pinterest is actually growing at a much faster rate than other major networks like Snapchat and Twitter.

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2. Pinners use Pinterest to find products

Two-thirds of Pinterest users say they’ve discovered a new product or brand through Pinterest.

While those product discovery rates are on par with the other top social networks, Pinterest users stand out because they actively want to discover products when they’re on there. 93% of them report using Pinterest specifically for product discovery. In other words, when your brand promotes your products on Pinterest, you’re promoting them to a willing and engaged audience.

Moreover, it’s an audience that takes action. People use Pinterest for ideas on how to do something, which often leads to them having to buy something in order to do so. 98% of Pinners actually go out and attempt the ideas they dream up on Pinterest, as opposed to only 71% of other social media users.

Pinterest is an idea board where people figure out how to accomplish the things they want to do. When they see a Shop the Look pin, your brand is helping them do just that.

3. Pinners are spenders

Not only are they doers, but Pinterest users are spenders, too - big ones, in fact.

A quarter of Pinterest’s user base claims a household income of $150K or more, and they’re more likely to shop at high-end retailers than non-Pinterest users.

High-end or not, Pinterest users tend to spend more than non-Pinterest users. In fashion and home decor, the two categories where Shop the Look pins are currently available, Pinterest users spend 30% and 27% more than non-Pinterest users, respectively.

4. Shop the Look Pins are popular

Pinterest reported a 38% increase in style idea Pins and a 35% increase in home DIY project Pins over the past year.

Fashion and home decor are popular categories on Pinterest. That’s why they chose them for Shop the Look Pins, after all.

Shop the Look Pins appear to be equally popular. According to Pinterest, users engage with them up to 4 times more often than a regular Pin and they save them 5 times more often. They’re also 2 to 3 times more likely to visit the brand’s website than with a regular Pin.

5. Pinterest gives these Pins special treatment

In August, Pinterest rolled out an algorithm update that gave Shop the Look Pins quite a boost.

According to a Medium post by the Pinterest Engineering team, the improvements were designed to recommend more relevant pins to users. One of the side effects was a 25% increase in impressions for Shop the Look Pins.

In other words, there’s never been a better time for small businesses to join the Shop the Look trend.

Smart ways your small business can use Shop the Look Pins

Ready to start tagging? Here are four ways your small business can get creative with Shop the Look Pins.

1. Repurpose your product catalog photos

You’re already creating stunning product photography to feature on your website. Recreate that product catalog on Pinterest. For example, Anthropologie’s Fall Home Journal 2018 board is essentially a collection on the photos from their latest catalog.

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Let’s say you’re a fashion retailer. You don’t just take photos of a shirt lying on a white background. You take a photo of a model wearing it, and you outfit them with other products to complete the look. Upload these images to Pinterest, and tag the individual products so users can shop the entire look.

The same goes for home decor brands. Stage your photos so they feature multiple products, and you can transform a “Living Room” catalog photo into a Shop the Look Pin.

2. Get influencers involved

Shop The Look is available to all business accounts on Pinterest, whether they’re run by a brand or an influencer, so it’s well suited for influencer marketing. As long as your influencers are set up with a business account, they can launch Shop the Look Pins for your brand, too. Instead of putting in the direct link to your website, they’ll load in their affiliate link instead.

To make your influencer’s Pins appear less sponsored, you might encourage them to create a product roundup Pin. Instead of simply pinning your product, they can upload Pins that feature multiple brands. Partner with your influencers to feature your brand, among other, complementary brands, in single Pin.

For example, in this sponsored Pin for Scotch, Pinterest influencer Poppytalk explains how she uses Post-its to plan for back-to-school. If this were a roundup Pin where she was sponsored by multiple brands, she could link to the individual Scotch products, as well as the chair, hat, and guitar.

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Roundup Pins give your influencers an opportunity to boost their revenue from a single post, while giving your brand the opportunity to be featured in more of their Pins. Pinterest business accounts also have access to analytics, so you can track your influencer marketing metrics.

3. Use boards to curate product collections

Boards are a great way to expand your brand reach on Pinterest. Create boards with search-friendly titles, like The Home Depot’s below, to make it easy for Pinners to find your board. Then, embed links to your Pinterest board on your small business website, to boost your follows and help surface the board to more Pinners.

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Whether your board is a collection of looks or a set of tutorial infographic, you can tag all the products you’re featuring in the individual Pins. In this how-to board by The Home Depot, for example, they could tag the holiday decoration products.

4. Boost your Pins with Pinterest Ads

If you have a Shop the Look Pin that’s performing especially well, or one that you want to perform even better (perhaps in preparation for a sale or promotion), you can give it a boost with Promoted Pins.

The best part about Promoted Pins is that they blend in well with regular pins. The only difference is the extra “Promoted by” text above the pinner’s name.

To create an ad for your Shop the Look Pin, just click the red Promote button on the top right.

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Conclusion

There are a variety of ways you can promote your small business on social media. Thanks to Pinterest, you now have one more option. And given Pinterest users’ penchant for taking action, it’s a very good option.

So, how are you planning to use “Shop the Look Pins” in your Pinterest strategy? Let me know in the comments’ section below.

Picture of Michael Quoc

Michael Quoc

Michael Quoc is a product executive, entrepreneur and founder of ZipfWorks. Michael’s team is currently working on Dealspotr, a popular deal shopping community with one million monthly shoppers. Dealspotr also offers a free influencer directory and influencer marketplace which enables brands to work with micro-influencers at minimal cost.