Pinterest and its Untapped Potential for E-Commerce and Influencer Marketing 
Mon, April 19, 2021

Pinterest and its Untapped Potential for E-Commerce and Influencer Marketing 

Pinterest may just be the new frontier for influencer marketing, but not a lot of people are realizing its potential just yet / Photo by: scyther5 via 123RF

 

Pinterest may just be the new frontier for influencer marketing, but not a lot of people are realizing its potential just yet. 

In fact, most people don’t even realize that there are influencers on the platform and that they make big bucks, too. The difference is the way in which they make money. Instagram influencers make money through building an audience and hopefully catching the eye of a company that wants to work with them. Sometimes, they make money by advertising their own merch and products. On Pinterest, the game is e-commerce and being paid per pin. 

E-Commerce in Pinterest 

What sets Pinterest apart from other social media platforms is its tendency to be more inclined to e-commerce on the platform. Instagram took a while to acquaint itself with this kind of marketing shift, but on Pinterest, just like on Facebook, growth is defined through the many amenities these apps can provide in order to turn these platforms into marketplaces and encourage users to shop. 

According to private financial and investing advice company The Motley Fool, Pinterest is becoming quite adept in the e-commerce front since they started matching up to Facebook’s own e-commerce efforts. Currently, Pinterest is Facebook’s biggest competitor. The reason why Pinterest has such potential is that other platforms getting in on the on-platform e-commerce have shown that it’s a new avenue to sell products. 

The few influencers who dominate Pinterest have already shown that, though not as big as Instagram’s many doting denizens, Pinterest still has a crowd to advertise to. 

Currently, there are about 322 million active monthly users who frequent Pinterest enough that Pinterest stands to earn $1 billion this year, this reported by live streaming financial news network Cheddar. However, this much money does not indicate that Pinterest is doing well outside potential influencer marketing futures and headways into e-commerce. In fact, their recent numbers in the stock market reveal that their performance is actually not enough to make the company profitable. 

What sets Pinterest apart from other social media platforms is its tendency to be more inclined to e-commerce on the platform / Photo by: Alexey Malkin via 123RF

 

Trouble in the Stock Market 

Pinterest is not making enough strides in the business world, though, because their stock market performance is still faltering. Cheddar points to Pinterest’s first quarterly earning as a public company where they actually lost more than they gained. Their share prices fell 15%. 

But what about their interest in attracting influencers on their platform? That’s still underway. Explains Oliver Yonchev, the US managing director of the social media marketing agency Social Chain, Pinterest is still “increasing the time it spends on influencers” who thrive on their platform. 

Nevertheless, as web financial advisory services Investor Place states, Pinterest is still expected to move past Facebook by a considerable margin. Revenue growth for Facebook next year is expected to be around 21% while Pinterest is expected to come in at 35%. Additionally, Pinterest’s average revenue per user may just hover at $0.90, but Investor Place explains that this is a good sign for Pinterest thus far. 

The new improvements they can put in place to push that ARPU up will be able to help them with the growth of their company, thus avoiding stagnancy. Analysts feel as though this room for improvement for Pinterest will lead to a bullish future, and this can be because Pinterest has quite the huge spread even outside the US. That could still tank Pinterest’s whole performance, though, as some analysts pointed out that all that wiggle room can lead to Pinterest gravitating towards a bearish future. 

The platform does need to really step up its game if it wants to make a meaningful dent in its stronger competitors’ hulls. For example, Amazon is big competition because it has been in the e-commerce market long before any social media platforms realized that online advertising and shopping were lucrative. 

They could bank on their social media availability, of course, boosting sales by attracting consumers to the idea that they don’t have to get off the platform anymore to get what they want because it’s already there. 

Pinterest is not making enough strides in the business world, though, because their stock market performance is still faltering. Cheddar points to Pinterest’s first quarterly earning as a public company where they actually lost more than they gained. Their share prices fell 15% / Photo by: scyther5 via 123R

 

More for Marketers

Having said all of the above, it doesn’t look like Pinterest will fail too soon. For one thing, if Pinterest continues with its efforts to double down on influencer marketing efforts on the platform, they can ease their way into this new e-commerce thread. Some Pinterest influencers already make as much as, if not more than, their Instagram counterparts. All that needs to be done is to cultivate that and use it to Pinterest’s advantage. 

Pinterest seems to be aware of the situation, and all that room for improvement has led them to create metrics, too, and help companies collaborating with Pinterest influencers. By releasing an API that lets them “access valuable data including monthly views, impressions, click-throughs, and the number of times an image is saved,” they are like opening doors for influencers and companies to funnel money into the app as well. 

Yonchev applauds these efforts, but fears it might still not be enough. 

“Pinterest has struggled with the ad industry in communication what exactly it is. Is it search? Is it social?” 

This, Yonchev points out, is the reason companies are hesitant to work with Pinterest for their campaigns. The ambiguous nature of Pinterest has made it difficult for marketers to trust that the platform can yield them money at all. But recently, it looks to be turning around. 

Yonchev’s advice is that influencers on the platform should wield their aesthetics like a weapon. The site, after all, is all about aesthetics. If they can be given complete creative control of their own products and services, they can make their stay on the platform worthwhile and lucrative. 

That creativity can also communicate authenticity to other users on the platform, and since the influencer marketing industry relies a lot on not just metrics but trust and authenticity shared between an audience and an influencer, the personalization of an influencer’s brand can help them become more appealing for both potential customers and potential company collaborators. 

Finally, Yonchev imparts, “There’s an abundance of supply, but the industry hasn’t really capitalized on it from an advertiser point of view.”