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Is Pinterest the Future of Shopping and E-Commerce?

If this article were to list everything that has changed in our day-to-day lives between January 2020 and now, it would be an unending article. (And you probably don’t have time to read that!) So, let’s start by getting right to the heart of the matter at hand: the retail industry during and after COVID. It is undisputed that 2020 brought many changes to the retail industry and consumer behavior. What role will Pinterest play in the future of shopping and e-commerce, and how can you harness its power?

First, let’s review what Pinterest is and how it works. Although arguably less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Pinterest boasted an impressive 459 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pinterest works differently from other social media platforms. While you can still add friends and follow their posts, you are not sharing details of your life, recent activities, videos of yourself dancing (as is popular on TikTok), or “throwback” photos from your pre-COVID travels.

Instead, Pinterest allows you to share links from things you like around the internet. Pinterest calls itself a “visual discovery engine,” focusing on helping you find inspiration in images and links. Some of the most popular types of “pins” (or posts) on Pinterest include recipes, home decor, fashion, and more.

How does all of this play into the changes in the retail industry and consumer behavior in 2020 and beyond? Pinterest also facilitates online shopping. When you see a pin of something you like (whether it’s a sweater, a bookshelf, a hairstyling tool, or a lawnmower), you can click on that pin and be taken to the website where you can purchase. Brands can also purchase ad space on Pinterest, with the type of ads shown being tailored to each user’s preferences and behaviors.

Although Pinterest included this e-commerce functionality pre-COVID, the platform saw a huge increase in its use in 2020. In the first half of the year, Pinterest saw a 50 percent increase in users who visited places to shop on the platform. Pinterest knew they couldn’t rest on their laurels there—to continue to grow and provide the services their users need, the platform needed to continually adapt to new user behaviors. As explained by Milka Kramer, country manager UK and Ireland at Pinterest, “It is crucial for brands and marketers to align their efforts with this customer behavior and adapt their messaging. Many industries will see permanent changes in consumer behaviour after this period so the critical nature of insights will remain into 2021 and long after this is behind us.”

So, what is the future of shopping as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually move past it? Kramer believes the key will be to merge the best of in-store and online shopping experiences. E-commerce will continue to grow, and consumers will look for a shopping experience that is more than scrolling through products. Consumers are looking for inspiration and connection, and it is up to your company to give them that experience. To learn more about the future of e-commerce and how social media platforms like Pinterest can play a role in your company’s marketing, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to help you grow your business.