Pinterest Drives Millennial Traffic to Retail Stores

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

Behind Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is the third largest social media outlet. With 104 million total visits in March of 2013, Pinterest traffic is soaring. Users don’t just visit Pinterest to scroll through pictures of weddings, creative recipe ideas or stylish outfits. Now more data shows that Pinterest is driving traffic into retail stores as well.

If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is a photo based website where users can explore various topics they’re interested in and save their favorites to their own ‘pin boards’. Pinterest launched in December of 2009 and only ten months later the site had accumulated more than 10,000 users.

Pinterest encourages user engagement and participation, which Millennials love. According to Social Media Explorer, “20% of Pinterest users have purchased something in a store after pinning it on Pinterest”. This article and infographic also tell us “one of the most successful ways for retailers to spark a purchasing decision is to showcase as much information about a product as possible.”

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 1.04.44 PMPinterest features go beyond “liking” or “re-pinning” a pin. Users can install a “Pin it Button” which installs a red “P” on a user’s browser. This gives the user an opportunity to pin a picture from a web page they’re already exploring by just clicking the button on the side panel.


A couple new features to Pinterest include the “Rich Pins” tool. This allows users to find things they like with automatic updated details on the product. This includes movie reviews, ingredients, prices and availability. This provides users with ease and compatibility with them and the products to make the final purchase. The second feature notifies users of price drops on pinned items. This is good for loyal “pinners” because once a picture is pinned to their boars not only can their followers see but so can Pinterest. They’ll customize an email and send it notifying you on the price drop. This will allow users to view Pinterest as an outlet for shopping not just another social media outlet.

Millennials and other Pinterest users are able to connect to their Pinterest account to their Twitter and Facebook accounts. This promotes further sharing of pins and boards across multiple social networks. It also lets friends of users on Facebook and Twitter to explore Pinterest activity.

According to SweetiQ Blog, 21% of Pinterest users bought pinned products in retail stores. These are strong purchasing intentions especially when retail stores drive 7% of product attention while Pinterest drives 10%. “Pinterest is able to inspire purchase decision in the same way as traditional printed shopping catalog, but now, in the digital age, it acts as a crowdsourcing digital shopping catalog” Jon Allen from SweetiQ Blog said on the rise of social commerce.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 1.41.16 PMFor Millennials, the Pinterest creators have done everything right with their model. They have topics to explore for men and women ranging from outdoors to fashion and DIY crafts to technology. With many categories to explore, there’s something on Pinterest for everyone.

Now that retailers are winning in the digital world by seizing the opportunities to leverage Pinterest, they’ll have a stronger presence online which will drive physical traffic into the stores. In the eyes of Millennials, visualizing and creating either an outfit or a craft project through their smartphone, tablet or computer and bringing their creation to life is not only an accomplishment, but an adventure.


Photo Credit: Mkhmarketing via Flickr

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.