If you're on Pinterest, like me, you probably love using this visual-heavy network to find personal inspiration about popular topics and themes such as fashion, home, garden and DIY.
But as ecommerce store owners, product research on Pinterest is a successful strategy that is worth learning.
According to Statista, as of the second quarter of 2022, Pinterest had 433 million monthly active users worldwide. And this audience has serious shopping intent!
Unlike the social media platform Facebook, users don’t view brand content as an interruption to their viewing but as an opportunity and an inspiration.
In this article, we will go through some of the basics of how to do product research on Pinterest and how to analyze trending products and topics.
Follow these tips, and with a bit of digging, you'll find Pinterest to be an excellent product research tool!
And for everything you need to know about finding products for your ecommerce or dropshipping store, you'll find a valuable collection of guides here.
How do Pinterest pins and boards work?
Pinterest consists of a series of images that you can “pin” onto “boards” or themes that you create through your account. ‘Boards' can be likened to folders on your computer, and ‘pins' are the documents within those folders.
There are essentially 2 types of activities:
- Scrolling through your feed looking at posts similar to the topic you searched or to the people you are following.
- Actively searching for a keyword.
You can follow certain brands or people if you like the images they pin, you can follow particular boards based on their subject matter, or you can do a general search.
Once you click on a pin that you like, you start to see similar images in your feed.
Pinterest's Lens feature is super intelligent too. Suitable for Android and iPhone, link it to your mobile device, allowing you to take photos of objects, people, places, and things.
Pinterest then offers you similar product suggestions relating to the item you photographed.
Because all of this visual imagery can be overwhelming, product images are categorized into specific niches to narrow your search. And then, you can drill down further into sub-niches and then expand even further into additional suggestions.
These 6 great tips will get you started with product research on Pinterest:
1. Optimize your feed
Let's get started with a great tip; optimizing your Pinterest feed.
You'll want to keep your boards focused on your store's niche, optimizing your feed so that you are shown products and ideas of interest to you and your audience instead of a whole lot of arbitrary pins.
When you click on a pin, Pinterest will continue to show you similar pins.
You won't want irrelevant pins in your feed so that you can really focus your product research on Pinterest.
For example, my store is in the Home & Garden niche, and even though I might be interested in pins about journaling, it would be best to keep this board secret and for my eyes only to keep my feed optimized for my niche.
Brainstorm creating a large number of boards that apply to your niche. Perhaps start with creating boards in line with your Collections. Click on exciting pins and save those that are relevant to your board.
You can also use ‘Shop Similar'and ‘Related Searches' to broaden your search. Pinterest will offer you suggestions suited to the boards, and it will be super easy for you to find new pins to add and many products to evaluate.
Your aim is to optimize your feed so that Pinterest thinks you are a customer rather than a seller looking for products to sell.
In addition to the ‘Explore' feature, check out the ‘Shop' tab, which is now available for all keyword searches. Pinterest seems to be putting effort into encouraging the user's shopping interests.
Explore the sub-categories listed and ‘show more' too. You'll have an optimized feed in no time.
2. Search for products using keywords
Remember, our focus for this article is not keyword research for SEO but rather to use keywords to search for products in our niche and optimize our feed to serve winning products. Keywords help us identify products with high search intent.
The Pinterest search query
A search query in Pinterest is quite different to Google. Users of Pinterest use queries that contain only 1-3 words (probably because, according to Pinterest, 85% of users use the Pinterest mobile app).
Google shoppers seem to have a specific goal in mind, whereas Pinterest users are looking for inspiration, and their search is therefore broader.
Start by typing the main keyword into the search box, and like Google, it will populate some suggestions. These help further refine your search and are also recommended based on popularity:
After you've hit enter, the colorful boxes or typeface (depending on your version) will give you further suggestions for narrowing your search.
Very often, the first keyword that is shown when searching has the little icon indicating shopping results. This is great for online business owners because it drives traffic to our listings.
When the user types in broad keywords, Pinterest often presents a blog in the results to offer different ideas in that niche. This creates a better user experience and expands your product research on Pinterest.
The Explore query
As mentioned, discover trending products — by using the ‘explore' section. This is the compass icon next to your account icon in the top right corner.
You'll be served pins under the categories ‘Shopping Spotlight', ‘Ideas for You', and ‘Popular on Pinterest':
The ‘Explore' section features trending hand-picked collections from across Pinterest. You might not always find products from your niche, but it can be a great source of consumer insight when you do.
Clicking the product category will show you trending pins relating to that product type.
Pinterest is working hard at providing a buying experience to the user by suggesting ‘buy' keywords. Instant Ideas (the white circles all over your pins) allow users to browse through their home feed, find something interesting, and update their home feeds with similar ideas.
The Pinterest algorithm still needs a bit of a warming up to get this feature right for product research on Pinterest (sometimes the suggestions are way off!).
Let's talk about consumer insight for a minute.
Because Pinterest users pin images of their ideal products, we can gain insight into how they use products in our niche and the kind of environments they favor. We might even get some insight into the colors they prefer.
An example would be the trending ‘neon sign' for bedrooms in the home niche.
Pinterest users will pin ideas, not just static product images. As an ecommerce store owner, I would pay special attention to the LED color that seems to be preferred, the ideal user of the product, and the style of their bedroom.
This consumer insight will help me match my product to the correct audience, write targeted product descriptions and ads, and overall help me build a stronger brand.
Pinterest Ad platform keyword hack
If you have a business account (recommended), the Pinterest Ad platform is a great tool to assess high keyword search interest and, thus, high potential products.
Here are the steps:
Click ‘create an ad'. Don't worry, you won't really be creating one! Stay with me! Click ‘continue'.
Pick any campaign. Click continue. Scroll down to the window for keyword suggestions which can be filtered to sub-niches.
Niches with high search interest will be good ones to investigate for your product research on Pinterest:
Pinterest is incredibly useful for finding out what people like and want. If you're looking for new product ideas or looking to keep an eye on the competition, Pinterest is a great resource.
Instead of looking up individual pins, you can also search for boards matching your product keyword(s).
To do this, look up your keyword as you usually would, but instead of ‘All Pins', click on ‘Boards' in the top menu:
This will show you a bunch of boards that match your keywords.
Boards are created by humans, meaning they are very intentional about their selection of items. They typically focus on a single product type, making them perfect for finding related merchandise for any product category.
Keeping up with the competition is essential for many reasons. You can learn what’s working for them and what’s not and base your offerings on that information.
Start by doing a keyword search for your competitor.
You can fine-tune the results further by using the ‘Shop' feature on the top menu or filter ‘Explore' using ‘Videos' pins.
What are Buyable Pins?
“Buyable Pins” are special pins used by shoppers to purchase directly from inside Pinterest. Retailers, instead of ordinary users, typically upload these pins.
To see all the buyable Pins from a specific store, visit their Pinterest profile and tap the ‘Shop Pins' button right on their profile.
Buyable Pins are a fantastic product research method on Pinterest to research a competitor quickly.
When searching Buyable Pins, you'll get less of a selection, but all the images and products will be available for purchase, and you'll be able to analyze competitor products very quickly.
4. Verify your product research
On Pinterest, the ideal product is clearly trending and popular but has little to no Amazon listings.
Remember, the Pinterest platform informs us about the desires and wants of the audience.
And for us, when we are doing product research on Pinterest, it's all about searching for products with low competition and high demand.
Therefore, the best products for us to choose are those that do not have many listings on Amazon but are heavily pinned on Pinterest. This makes it clear that there is a need and market for that product.
If we can meet that need with a suitable, ‘wow' product. Bingo!
5. Check out Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest Analytics is a brilliant tool to do product research on Pinterest. It collects data about impressions, clicks, likes, repins and comments.
This provides you with essential insights and metrics about the people who engage with your brand – what is their profile? How could you tailor your product to meet their needs?
Pinterest Analytics allows you to check your store's analytics, gives you insight into the analytics from all Pinterest users and allows you to compare the two.
You'll also be provided with helpful graphs that enable you to see what type of content is trending, as well as any essential seasonal patterns.
You'll be able to see a historical view of the top search terms and topics in the US, UK and Canada within the past 12 months.
6. Using Pinterest Trends
Next up is using another great tool from Pinterest; Pinterest Trends!
Here's how you can find it:
- Open Pinterest Trends on your desktop or mobile browser
- Select which country you want to see data from by clicking the down arrow icon next to US in the top-left
- Enter a term in the top search bar or check out one of the pre-populated topics.
The pre-populated topics are fascinating to study:
Click on a trending keyword in your niche and analyze the results, rich with related trends:
When you search for a term in Trends, you’ll also see ‘related terms' below the graph. You can explore the complete list and click a term to add it to your comparison chart.
View popular Pins
‘Popular Pins' for each term appear below ‘related terms'. Clicking on the pins will open the current top searches for the term in a new window.
View top trends
If you have not searched for anything yet, you’ll see this week’s top Pinterest trends below the search bar. These are the most searched fashion, food and drink, beauty, and home terms daily. Top trends highlight searches that have both high volume and strong growth.
You can browse top trends for the US, UK and Canada. For the US, you can also see a breakdown of top trends within the most popular categories.
With Pinterest, when you search for products, you see actual images, not just a list of keywords.
Let's take the example of trending LED lighting. From a single glance, when doing a keyword search, we are presented with a detailed view of the popular lighting pins and how potential customers like to use them. Pins could include LED bedroom lighting, lighting for staircases, etc.
This insight will help us brainstorm new product ideas, fine-tune our product descriptions and learn what your competitors are selling.
Bonus tip: Using a Pinterest spy tool
I've been looking for a Pinterest Spy Tool and have done some testing. Pin Inspector is exciting new software, recently released by Dave Guindon.
A one-time payment to Pin Inspector of $47 (with a limited launch discount) gives you:
- Keyword data directly from Pinterest's keyword generator engine.
- The ability to analyze your competitors’ pins and boards in seconds.
- Up to the minute trends information.
- And the most exciting of all…a full analysis of the ads that show up in your feed including the thumbnails.
As you use Pinterest, you’ll discover that this social network has so much more to offer than just helping you promote your products.
With its millions of users, Pinterest has become a rich data source about shoppers and their favorite products. You’ll find that this information is incredibly valuable and can help guide your decisions as a retailer.
Things become clearer when you see Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social network. You'll need to do quite a bit of digging and, of course, cross-check your findings using your usual product verification methods.
Using the great tips above, we hope you gain from the sights, and trends forecasting available to you and product research on Pinterest serves you as another great tool.
If you're ready to use Pinterest for your online marketing strategy, check out this article to learn how to get free web traffic for your ecommerce store!
Plus, you will learn how to use Pinterest Ads in this article here.
How do you do product research on Pinterest? Please let us know in the comments below!
And follow Do Dropshipping on Pinterest!