Pinterest for eCommerce (2023) – 5 WORST MISTAKES That Cost You Sales

Anastasia Blogger Blogging 2 Comments

Are you seeing your competitors doing great on Pinterest? Do you also want to drive traffic, brand awareness, and sales from this platform to your eCommerce site? Are you having a hard time reaching your target audience?

But from what I see all over the place is that eCommerce businesses and site owners really struggle with understanding how to approach Pinterest. They make a ton of mistakes and often miss a lot of opportunities because they are trying to apply the same strategies they have used on other platforms.

In this post, I will show you how your marketing on Pinterest should be different. I will also cover the most typical mistakes eCommerce sites make on Pinterest that can cost them wasted time and effort, lost traffic, and sales.

You will also know is Pinterest still relevant for your business growth or if it’s time to stop using it.

Benefits of Pinterest For eCommerce

If you have an eCommerce site or an online store and you don’t see how Pinterest could work for you, you should look around better – a lot of shops in your niche might be already on Pinterest.

First of all, Pinterest is one of the great social media platforms to use to drive traffic to your website for free! All you need to do is to consistently make attractive pins, attach your link to them, and just wait for potential customers to roll in. If you are finding it hard to rank on Google, then Pinterest is your next best bet to going viral and getting more sales and leads for your business.

If you are not on Pinterest yet, you could probably miss a huge potential because the majority of Pinterest users are in the United States, so it’s an audience with a purchasing power above the global average.

Aside from this, 83% of weekly active Pinterest users said they made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest. That’s right, 83% (!) of the weekly active users. Meaning they are using the Pinterest platform at least once a week to make purchasing choices and decisions. 

How to Setup for Pinterest for eCommerce Sales

If you are a business or eCommerce owner, then it is best to set up a Pinterest business account than a personal one. Business accounts have the feature to view Pinterest analytics and how well their pins do.

This is a great way to help business owners and Pinterest managers to do adjustments and changes to their Pinterest marketing strategy when needed. With a business account, you can also become a merchant and upload catalogs, do promoted pin, and do Pinterest ads.

Here is an easy and straightforward step-by-step on how to set up your Pinterest account for eCommerce sales: 

* To create a new business account, the email you use to sign up must not already be in use on an existing Pinterest account.

  1. From the top-right of your screen, click Sign up
  2. Click Create a business account
  3. Enter your Email address, Create a password and enter your Age
  4. Click Create account
  5. Fill out the fields to Build your profile, then click Next
  6. Fill out the fields to Describe your business, then click Next
  7. Select if you want to run ads, then click Next
  8. Select where you’d like to start or click the x icon to go to your new Pinterest business account

If you are planning to convert your Pinterest personal account to a business account: 

  1. Log into your personal Pinterest account
  2. Tap your profile picture at the bottom-right corner
  3. Tap the ellipsis icon at the top-right corner
  4. Tap Settings
  5. Click Account Management at the left of the screen
  6. Under Account changes, locate Convert to a business account, then click Convert account
  7. Click Convert account
  8. Fill out the fields to Build your profile, then click Next
  9. Fill out the fields to Describe your business, then click Next
  10. Select if you want to run ads, then click Next
  11. Select where you’d like to start or click the x icon to go to your converted Pinterest business account.

After creating a business account, you then have to customize your brand name, profile photo, banners, and pins cohesive to your branding. You will also now have access to your account and pin analytics, monthly active users, Pinterest advertising, and more! You can also then apply to Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program where there will be a better chance for your pins to reach a wider audience.

You will also be receiving a lot of benefits such as:

  • Eligibility for distribution of your products within our shopping experiences
  • A blue checkmark on your profile and Pins letting people on Pinterest know you’ve been vetted
  • Eligibility for exclusive features like merchant details and Checkout
  • Price and availability information on all your product Pins
  • A Shop tab on your profile making it easier for people on Pinterest to see what you sell.

How to Sell Products on Pinterest

To start selling products on Pinterest, you basically just have to constantly and consistently pin. But you can’t just make pins randomly. There are several things you have to do and consider to make an effective pinning strategy. Here are some of the best practices you can do on Pinterest:

Use SEO-optimized Keywords

If you want a sure way to rank on Pinterest, then your pin titles, pin descriptions, and hashtags should include keywords of your niche and topic. For example, if your product is a DIY coaster, then you may want to include the product information along with keywords “DIY”, “homemade”, “home decor”, etc. in your pin titles and descriptions.

And do not worry if the term “SEO” seems a lot to you. You can use several free tools such as Ubersuggest to help recommend keywords you can use. 

But if you want more tips on how to master SEO on Pinterest, then you can try and check out my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets Course where I teach you all about the basics of Pinterest to learning SEO, keywords, analytics research, and more. 

Make Click-Worthy Pinterest Pins

The next (and probably most important) part you should focus on is making high-quality and click-worthy Pinterest pins. You just can’t simply pin photos just for the sake of it. Remember that Pinterest is a visual search engine and since you already have a lot of competitors, then you should make pins that stand out among the rest. 

For this, I recommend using high-quality images that are bright, clear, and not busy to look at. Next, you should use big and bold fonts with complementing colors that are easily readable. I suggest putting the text above or at the center of the pin. You should also take note that vertical pins do really well on Pinterest than horizontal pins. 

For pin ideas, you can use a collage of your items and do recommendation pins such as “The best gifts for Father’s Day”, etc. If your eCommerce store has a blog posts section, then you can make roundup pins redirecting to your blog post.

Make Several Pinterest Boards

Pinterest boards are essentially a place where you can store your pins so your Pinterest profile can look organized and professional. If you are a business owner, then Pinterest boards are especially helpful to your customers since they can know where to go when looking for a certain item since each of your products is already categorized per board. 

And if your Pinterest board is SEO-optimized (on the board title and board descriptions), then there is a high chance that your boards and the pins on those boards can rank as well. 

Pinterest Mistakes To Avoid

Pinterest can be an overwhelming place for business owners especially if they are new to the platform. But it is also a great opportunity to attract potential buyers using very little marketing efforts.

So, to make your life a little bit easier, I am here to help you by showing you the most common Pinterest mistakes to avoid:

1. Applying Strategies from other platforms on Pinterest

Ok, I might sound like a boring school teacher now but if you are not ready to invest your time and effort into Pinterest because for you, it’s yet another platform, and you just hope to set up a Pinterest account in half an hour, automate some stuff and forget about it for the next 6 months, you better close this video now.

You are going to waste 15 minutes watching my tips and you will not implement anything and will not get any results on Pinterest if you treat it like your last priority on the list of other platforms to market your products.

So, most of the mistakes eCommerce sites make on Pinterest are just the consequence of this very first mistake. People assume it should not take any time and effort but at the same time they somehow expect extraordinary results. And when they don’t get them, they say oh Pinterest is useless – it doesn’t work for our site or our niche. Well, most probably YOU didn’t make it work. This is good for your competitors, as they will get more traffic and sales from Pinterest.

2. Using “BAD” Images that Don’t Work on Pinterest

I will explain what I mean by this. You can’t imagine how strong is the pushback I receive from eCommerce site owners when I say you have to create images optimized for Pinterest – high-quality vertical images, and ideally, they should have a text overlay in the top part of the pin.

eCommerce site owners send me emails, and ask me questions on Youtube, on Facebook, even some students who are already enrolled in my paid Pinterest course, are still doubting whether they should add the text overlay and they should make vertical images.

Well, I get it. It’s so much easier to just set some kind of semi-automatic image posting of product photos from your eCommerce site. But easy doesn’t mean you’ll get great results.

A lot of times, the product images on eCommerce sites look like this:

You can see here a lot of the images in the search results are horizontal, small pictures linked to product pages on eCommerce stores. People look at these pins and know for sure if they click they’ll land on a sales page. When you scroll down this page, which pins catch your attention? These small ones that look all like one another? Or maybe these vertical pins with text overlay that by the way showed up in the top search results.

In most of the cases, these “bad” pins are even placed on a white background and users can’t see how this particular product could fit into their life. For a sofa, it’s best to place it in an interior of a living room I guess. For some clothes, it’s best to show them in a lifestyle photo or on a model rather than just a specific shirt on a white background.

I’m almost sure that most of these small images ended up on Pinterest because the site owners set up a Pinterest catalog feature that is automatically posting their product pins from the site the platform.

It’s not so bad to have this set up given this functionality is available on Pinterest but don’t expect amazing results when you are automating your Pinterest marketing to a point when you don’t even create or upload any pins – you just send whatever images you have on your site automatically.
So this account has the catalog set up but they are still creating vertical images as well.

By the way I get a lot of questions about how to set up a Shop tab for an eCommerce store. I’m not planning to publish this tutorial because it’s too technical and most of the shop owners do this with their web developers. Also the exact implementation often depends on the eCommerce platform you use.

You can start from this page.

And you will see that you have to add a Data source from your site.

Moreover, this feature doesn’t seem to be available in all countries yet.

If you click on Learn more, you’ll see that currently this feature is only available in these 6 English-speaking countries and is being tested in a few European languages.

Anyway, a data source is a file that contains a list of your products and their corresponding attributes, which may also be called a product catalog or product feed.

If you dig deeper through this page, you’ll find here what are the supported file formats and which are the required product fields.

As you can see, for every eCommerce platform or store the implementation might look different so making a generic tutorial on this topic doesn’t make any sense. And anyway most of website owners will not be able to implement this without the assistance of their web developers.

3. Using Images without any Text Overlay

This is part of the image design but I thought it would be really worth mentioning as a separate point. Because I’ve see shops that invested some extra time into creating vertical lifestyle images for Pinterest as opposed to small horizontal product photos on a white background, which is already a big step forward. But then they don’t add any text overlay to their pins.

What happens with pins that don’t have any text overlay – usually they might even get a decent amount of saves because people like the image or the idea, but these images generate less traffic to your site. Users have no reason to click-through if you don’t give them any reason in your text overlay.

In my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course I have a module specifically for eCommerce sites, and there I show examples of text overlay that will help you generate more clicks your pins. The idea behind adding a text overlay is showing the user what they should expect on your site when they click, and also giving them a call to action.

In this module, I also show you other ways how you could get more traffic from Pinterest, and how to solve the problem of having a limited number of product pages. It’s something eCommerce sites are often worried about. They keep asking but how can I consistently pin so many times a day if I only have 25 or 50 products on my site.

Well, there are several solutions for you guys, if you want to learn more, I’ll give you a link to my course in the top right corner and in the description below this video.

4. Ignoring the Power of Pinterest SEO

I’ve seen a lot of eCommerce sites on Pinterest that have no more than 10-15 boards. So they have very broad board titles and nothing specific.

So they might have boards with titles “Home décor”, “Interior Desing Ideas” but no boards that help some of their specific product categories rank on Pinterest.
For example, they could have boards that define different types of products:
“Lighting for Living Room”
or something even more specific like “L-Shape Couch Ideas”

They could also create boards based on the styles. In case of the home décor niche, we could be looking at
“minimalist sofa”
“Luxury interior décor” or “Mid-Century Décor”

It take more time and work to create boards with more specific keywords in the titles and descriptions, and also to save relevant pins to them. But that’s how you leverage Pinterest SEO and rank your pins for many different keywords and not trying to compete just for a few generic keywords that define your niche.

5. Lots Pins with Broken Links

It’s not common for other types of websites to have so many error pages, but with eCommerce sites, this happens over and over again. They have a collection of products, then they remove some products, and others are out of stock or out of production. But your pins on Pinterest are still linked to those broken pages.

Pinterest is very smart at identifying these problems – I’ve seen it many times when Pinterest accounts suddenly face a huge drop in traffic and impressions on Pinterest. This often happens when your Pinterest account has a lot of pins linked to broken pages.

Pinterest doesn’t want to show pins that go to error pages and get frustrated users, so they reduce the distribution of the pins from your account, basically, your account gets a mild penalty. It’s not suspended or blocked, but usually, you can see a significant drop in your account’s performance very fast.

To avoid this, as an eCommerce seller you need to be proactive and if you know that some product is gone, don’t leave that page empty. At least redirect it to your home page, or to a category page that shows similar products so that Pinterest users when they land on your site, don’t feel completely lost, or deceived by your pin.

Here’s another tip for you: If you struggle to understand the basics of search engine optimization for Google, check this free training by Mike Pearson who has his Google SEO figured out and making over $10,000/mo with each of the two niche blogs he runs.

If you want to move your Pinterest strategy to the next level, I’ll be happy to help you with my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course program or you could also get a 1:1 consultation with me – it’s when I will go through your Pinterest account, will analyze your niche and your website, and will tell you specifically what you can improve to get more traffic and sales from Pinterest.

Pinterest for eCommerce 2023 – 5 WORST MISTAKES That Cost You Sales

Pinterest for eCommerce 2023 – 5 WORST MISTAKES That Cost You Sales


  1. Applying Strategies from other platforms on Pinterest
  2. Using “BAD” Images that Don’t Work on Pinterest
  3. Using Images without any Text Overlay
  4. Ignoring the Power of Pinterest SEO
  5. Lots Pins with Broken Links

Sharing is caring!

Comments 2

  1. Hi Anastasia !
    I found you in my youtube search for more information on using Pinterest to drive traffic and really appreciate the information you’re outlining here.
    This has me thinking not only about how to present on pinterest, but also how to strategically create our blog’s content (we’re currently laying it’s foundations).
    Anyways, a big thanks for creating these fantastic and very helpful videos


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.