Pinterest Is Growing, and It Plays a Big Role in the Future of E-Commerce

Social Media Week

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Michael Akkerman (Head of Marketing and Developer Partnerships for Pinterest) and Brian Magida (Director of Digital Marketing for Warby Parker) joined Sean O’Neal (President of Adaptly) on stage at Social Media Week in New York.

They discussed Pinterest as a leading (and still emerging) social platform for marketers. As Sean discussed in his introduction, “Platforms like Pinterest are not so much about social media anymore. These platforms can deliver across every channel, and for virtually every marketing objective.”

Sean mentioned how each social media platform requires totally different types of marketing tactics. “We use the example that Facebook is about the past, Twitter and Instagram to a degree are about the present, and Pinterest represents the future. There’s a very different content experience on these platforms.”

Next, Sean began to discuss how Pinterest has become a platform for e-commerce “The Pinterest user has enormous buying power. Most users have reported using the platform specifically to make purchase decisions.”

Michael discussed the difference between Pinterest and many other types of social media. Pinterest “helps bridge the online to offline divide. Pinners will often save items to their wish-list while in stores.” He noted how Pinterest is very much an aspirational platform. “People use our platform to plan for the future.

Pinterest doesn’t see itself as a social platform. There are some social aspects to it, but it’s very personal and it’s aspirational for the future.” Michael also spoke about the connection between brands and users on Pinterest.

“75% of our 50 billion pins come from brands. Either brands putting that content onto Pinterest, or users wanting to post a brands product onto Pinterest. There aren’t a lot of platforms where business is essential and brand messaging is required.”

Furthermore, Michael emphasized how paid and organic content on Pinterest offers the same value and experience to the consumer. As Sean touched on earlier, Michael stated that “Nearly 9 in 10 users on Pinterest use it to help decide what to purchase.” That’s a pretty remarkable number. It’s almost as if Pinterest has become its own type of search engine.

Next, we heard from Brian, and how Warby Parker uses Pinterest to engage with consumers. “The way we structure our marketing campaigns is by where our customers are, and they are definitely on Pinterest.”

He then spoke about the difference between using Pinterest and other social media platforms. “At the end of the day, we are ultimately trying to acquire new customers. What’s great on Pinterest is our customers, geographically speaking, are actually quite different than our average customers.”

In this fascinating session, we were able to hear about how Pinterest has become such a prominent e-commerce platform, and how Warby Parker is capitalizing on that. It was a perfect example of a platform and a brand co-existing.


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Yale Buchwald

Contributing Writer , New York University


Yale is a Contributing Writer at Social Media Week and The Drum's Found Remote. He is currently a student at New York University and is majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. Yale aspires to pursue a career in the field of communications, and has an affinity for tech, social media, television, and music.

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