Once Pinterest announced Buyable Pins (or Shoppable Pins,) ecommerce merchants saw an opportunity to reach an entirely new market. The program has gone through many changes, and most of them are to our benefit. As of right now, the best, and the only method to sell on Pinterest with Shopify is through a simple Pinterest App on Shopify. This opens up a wide array of tools for automating shopping ads, Pinterest launches, and online store links.
Keep reading to learn more about how to sell on Pinterest with Shopify and the suggestions we recommend for improving your presence.
What’s the Benefit of Selling on Pinterest with Shopify?
I would highly recommend checking out this Pinterest infographic, because it explains the benefits of Pinterest for store owners, along with areas for Pinterest customer basics and how to grow your business with Pinterest.
Overall, the main reason Pinterest is worthwhile for your online store is that it’s the second leading social media source for sending traffic to online stores. This may get you wondering about the top source (Facebook,) but I would encourage you to rethink your social strategy to put most of your effort into Pinterest.
Why is this the case? To start, Facebook has been known to hide organic business posts when they list unique products on the platform, pushing them to pay for ad space. Pinterest, on the other hand, is all about bringing together excited consumers and businesses of all sizes.
That’s why the average amount spent per order is higher on Pinterest than any other social media channel. In short, you may not be wasting your time with Facebook, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue that a higher average order value is anything short of the best metric to base your social strategy on.
Btw, did you check my full Shopify review?
How to Sell on Pinterest with Shopify
To sell on Pinterest with Shopify, both Shopify and Pinterest profiles are required. Therefore, begin this process by going to Shopify and creating an account. You can learn about Shopify in our review. There's a free trial to test out if you'd like the platform before paying for anything.
As for Pinterest, we recommend making a Business Account. It's free, and you can link it to your personal account if needed. In addition, the Business Account integrates seamlessly with Shopify and allows you to configure payment options and advertising settings for automatically generating ads from your store to go on Pinterest.
Once both accounts are ready, log into your Shopify account. Go to the dashboard and locate the Sales Channels header on the left menu. This reveals a list of all sales channels active on your website. For instance, you may see channels like Online Store, Amazon, or Facebook. Our goal is to add Pinterest to that list.
Click the “+” button above the list of sales channels.
A new popup shows a list of sales channels to add to your store. Some of them include Google, Facebook, and Messenger. Feel free to add whichever sales channels you'd like to explore, but for now, we're looking for the Pinterest channel.
Scroll down to find Pinterest and click on the “+” button.
The next window says that you're about to add Pinterest to Shopify. You're able to view all the privacy and information sharing details, like how Pinterest gains access to your Shopify store analytics and products. This is to be expected since we're trying to automate the Shopify to Pinterest selling process.
Click on the Add Sales Channel button to proceed.
The Pinterest sales channel is now added to your Shopify dashboard.
Now it's time to connect your Pinterest account and specify the right account for selling products. We'd rather make Pinterest ads for a Business account instead of sharing these ads with your friends on a personal Pinterest account.
Click the Connect Account button.
This sends you to Pinterest. It asks you to authorize the app connection between Pinterest and Shopify. Essentially, the connection lets the two apps create pins and manage ads without you having to authorize it every time.
Click the Give Access button to move forward.
The next page shows that your Pinterest account is, in fact, connected to Shopify.
You should also have a few accounts automatically generated for you under the Ad Settings area. If not, make sure you follow any guidelines provided to make these accounts.
The first account is a Pinterest Ad Account. This is for automatically creating ads and publishing pins based on your Shopify products.
A Pinterest Tag is also automatically generated so as to gather insights from your ad campaigns. It works like a Facebook Pixel, tracking the ads created by your own Pinterest and Shopify accounts.
We also suggest connecting your billing and accepting the terms and conditions of Pinterest. The Terms and Conditions are accepted with a simple click of a button, but you must click on the Add Billing button to fill in your billing information on a separate page.
The billing method is stored on Pinterest but used by Shopify whenever an ad is automatically made by the integration. Don't worry, you get to approve the ad budget and have the final word on whether or not money is spent on an advertisement.
The following area explains which elements of a product must be completed prior to publication on Pinterest. For instance, Pinterest rejects any product pins that lack titles, descriptions, images, pricing, product types, and availability.
Availability means whether or not you activate a product to be sold on certain sales channels–in this case, Pinterest.
Click the Manage Availability link to see which of your current products are available to sell on the Pinterest sales channel.
This brings you to the Products list in Shopify. You can either scroll through the products and click on them one-by-one or filter them based on the sales channel.
We feel it's much easier to filter based on the sales channel.
Click on the Availability filter.
Locate and select the “Available on Pinterest” filter.
Now, all products available on the Pinterest sales channel are shown in the list. This doesn't mean they automatically get published to Pinterest, but rather that they're ready to get placed in ads and potentially published.
There's also a filter to see which products are unavailable on Pinterest. Use this filter to see if you'd like to activate any that aren't currently shown.
In my experience, sometimes you end up activating a sales channel and none of your products get added to the channel. Other times, I've found that every product shows up on the channel, even the ones I didn't want. Shopify seems to be getting better at including the ones that are active on your primary channels.
If you notice a product should or shouldn't be selling on the Pinterest sales channel, go to that product page.
Under Product Availability, click the Manage link.
A popup window appears. Go to Pinterest, and either check or uncheck the box, depending on what you're trying to achieve. Click the Done button when finished.
The Requirements for a Shopify Product to Work With Pinterest
As you may have noticed in one of the previous steps, Pinterest has rules for which products are publishable on its platform.
We have other guidelines to consider further down in this article, but this is a good start to ensure that your products are not only ready for Pinterest, but filled with the right content for new customers and sales channels.
The list of requirements is as follows:
- Product type
In order for a product to be automatically linked to Pinterest for future ads and content creation, you need all six elements filled in on your product page.
Therefore, go to each product you want to sell on Pinterest. Make a title, fill in the description with useful information, upload a few beautiful photos, make a reasonable price, set a product type, and ensure that product availability is set.
What Happens After You Install the Pinterest Sales Channel?
With the Shopify/Pinterest partnership, Shopify merchants have several tools at their disposal, some of which are automated, while others require you to upload products or at least sync them to your Pinterest page.
It may look like there aren't many settings to adjust after Pinterest is linked to Shopify.
However, you can complete tasks and link collections and products by going to product editor pages and collections. You'll see information on the right side for managing all channels, including options for Pinterest.
Some things you can do with the Pinterest integration include:
- A Pinterest tag installation on your website for automatic daily updating of products.
- Upload a product catalog and publish in-stock items to Pinterest.
- Activate a Shop tab on Pinterest that features your products.
- Links to your website shopping cart from all Shopify-related Pins.
- Settings to activate an advertising campaign from the Shopify dashboard.
The New “Buyable Pins”
During its initial venture into the ecommerce world, Pinterest introduced a feature called Buyable Pins. This allowed stores to sync with Pinterest accounts and add Buy buttons to the products listed on Pinterest.
The name for that feature has gone away, but the functionality is similar. Link your Pinterest page to Shopify and activate the products you want to sell on Pinterest. A Shop tab is shown on your Pinterest Business page, and those Pins are distributed based on keywords to the general Pinterest userbase.
So, if someone searches for “home decor,” and you have Pins tagged with that keyword, the Pinterest search may show your product with a link to your store.
Do Customers Check Out On Pinterest or My Store?
In the past, Pinterest users had an option to click a listing and purchase it right from Pinterest. As you may assume, this gets tricky, considering Pinterest suddenly has to handle the complicated world of payment processing.
Therefore, changes occurred to make the Pinterest Shop feature more accessible to all merchants.
If a customer finds your product on Pinterest, they see a price, picture, and information about the product.
They can then click on the image to get redirected to the product page on your store. Shopify takes it from there, sending them through the shopping cart and checkout process.
Configure a Pinterest Ad from Shopify
Another way to utilize the Pinterest sales channel is to generate ads from your product catalog.
In Shopify, go to Marketing > Pinterest Standard Ads.
Here, you can fill in an activity name to launch your campaign, then select a product from your store to advertise. Choose a budget and edit any part of the ad you don't like.
Once complete, you publish the advertisement from Shopify. Just make sure that you have your payment details already configured and you check Pinterest stats after publication to see if it's running.
What Payments are Accepted?
All payment options on Pinterest have been disabled. In my opinion, that's a good thing. There were too many limitations for merchants in countries outside of the US and Canada. Not to mention, it required a secondary payment processing system when Shopify stores already have one that works fine.
Therefore, you accept whatever payment methods are already allowed in your store. It's all configured in Shopify, not on Pinterest.
Is There a Place to Go for Technical Problems?
As of this article update, Shopify removed its development resources for setting up and managing Pinterest products through Shopify.
The main way to get answers about questions for this integration is to contact Pinterest through the Shopify app page or to reach out to the Shopify customer support team.
How to See Sales and Pin Stats on Your Shopify Dashboard
In order to see how many sales have been processed through the Pinterest store, or to understand how many people are pinning your products, go to your Shopify Admin and follow the steps below.
- Click on the Orders button
- Select the Filter Order drop-down menu
- Select Sales Channel, along with Pinterest
- Click on Add Filter
- On the Orders page, select an order number you want to see. You will see that each Pinterest sales is flagged on the order’s page
Your Pinterest Business page also provides a comprehensive stats area to see interactions with your Pins and the Pinners (people who Pin your products).
How Did This All Come to Be?
The cool part of the Pinterest and Shopify integration is that it has been in the works for quite some time now. Talks between Shopify and Pinterest, regarding integrations, started with the Pinterest Rich Pins feature.
In short, the rich pins feature pushed additional product information into the product pins, ensuring that customers could see real-time pricing and stock availability. The system worked so that you didn’t have to implement your own meta code to make this happen. Instead, all products from your store automatically received the rich pins feature.
The idea was to assist merchants with click-through rates, discoverability, and price notifications, and all of this served as the building block to the awesome new Pinterest sales module we have been talking about today. In fact, you still receive all of the benefits of these rich pins, except you no longer have to push your customers through the image link to a different website. Keep them in the Pinterest interface, and even track how they interact in your store.
After that, the feature changed to the name of Buyable Pins (or Shoppable Product Pins,) with additional tools and a streamlined payment processing interface.
The most recent rendition is the new Pinterest App. It's a perfect partner that allows for ad generation, shopping on Pinterest, and more – all without the need to configure another payment gateway on Pinterest.
Some Limitations and FAQs to Consider
With all new releases, you can expect some complications or limitations. That said, I’ve been checking out some of the more common questions that Shopify customers have been bringing up since this recent release. Let’s have a look.
Does This Support Stores that Don’t Sell in USD?
Yes. Pinterest removed its own payment processor and shopping cart, so all product Pins are essentially regular Pins with links to your individual store.
So, the sale must be completed on your website, meaning your Shopify store currency is used and not restricted by Pinterest.
Will Customers Be Able to Buy an Item with No Inventory?
No. Your shop’s inventory is synced directly with the Pinterest system, making it impossible for your customers to purchase an item that is completely sold out.
How Long Does it Take for Pinterest to Approve Your Store?
Shopify has stated that all approvals should take no longer than a month.
When I tested the approval process, I received a reply within about two days. Other users report seeing replies within 24 hours. You can reapply if you get rejected for a certain reason, as long as you correct the issue.
I Have Unusual Variants Like Scents, Patterns, and Flavors – Can I Sell on Pinterest with Shopify?
Multiple variants are possible on Shopify, but they may not get showcased on your Pinterest listings.
Pinterest doesn't offer a shopping cart anymore, so it's really more of a picture and description with an outgoing link.
Your variant images may show up if you include them, but it's not like customers have to choose a color or size on Pinterest. That's all done in Shopify, so all the capabilities for variants are available.
Are You Ready to Sell on Pinterest with Shopify?
The Pinterest with Shopify feature is truly a revolutionary step for the business of social media. Since so many customers use Pinterest to find cool products, it has shown to be a perfect marriage between the two.
Many changes to the Pinterest channel have surfaced in the past, so don't be surprised if we see new shopping features for the integration.
That said, let us know in the comments section if you have any questions about how to sell on Pinterest with Shopify.