Pinterest promoted pin ads have launched in the UK and could provide retailers with valuable insight into their customers’ future purchases.

Pinterest has launched paid advertising in the UK – and retailers now have the opportunity to think about how they can integrate this unique and developing platform into their marketing strategies.

Pinterest is scrapbooking for the digital age and for a visual audience. It allows its users to not only pin content they discover around the web, but also visually search similar items, share and follow other pinners and do a great deal of this on mobile.

As a community, Pinterest has always been an intriguing concept because of its ability to look forward into someone’s life compared to the ‘in the moment’ nature of Twitter, or Instagram which looks backwards.

It is the platform’s potential to impact future desires and aspirations for its users which makes it a particularly powerful insight tool for retailers.

Ecommerce shift

Stores are no longer the definitive location where a purchase happens so retailers need to explore how they can capture the attention of customers as well as adding value beyond point of sale rather than losing a potential purchase to a competitor at a later date.

“Pinterest goes far beyond search intent, and enables retailers to understand exactly what products and combinations of products are exciting to their shoppers”

Matthew Knight, Carat

Imagine stores where purchase isn’t even necessary – consumers can browse and pin products to their board and check out when they get home.

Imagine a store where a consumer posts their pinboard to a retailer and they create a personalised space in store with the specific products of interest for that shopper.

For the time being, however, the ability to advertise directly to consumers within specific interest verticals, to appear in contexts where there is a clear demonstration that a shopper is interested and has previously pinned your products or products in your category – is a huge opportunity.

Expanding appeal

Pinterest goes far beyond search intent, and enables retailers to understand exactly what products and combinations of products are exciting to their shoppers.

The ability to prioritise and make visible specific products and offerings within the Pinterest platform creates potential cut-through in a moment where a consumer is massively open to being inspired or in a discovery mindset – a valuable time for any brand within a purchase journey.

Pinterest has a way to go in the UK – it still has a perception in many people’s minds as being a platform for interior decorators or ‘soccer moms’.

However, as as more brands look to leverage Pinterest and bring new categories and content to the platform it could offer access to very broad and passionate audiences at a point in the purchase journey that retailers rarely get an opportunity to play.

  • Matthew Knight is head of strategic innovation at Carat