10 tips to drive holiday sales on Pinterest

Header with cookie and purse
1.  Meet holiday shoppers where they’re at

We’ve identified four main types of holiday shoppers on Pinterest: The time-saver, the gifter, the guest and the planner. Check out our holiday shopper insights to learn who they are, what they care about and how your brand can reach them with tips on relevant messaging and creative.

2. Tune into what your customers really want this holiday season

Log in to our Audience Insights tool (you’ll need to have a business profile) to find out what they’re searching and saving. You’ll also be able to find data on your audience’s age, gender, location and device use to help you decide what products to feature in your ads.

3. Like gift shopping, it’s best to start earlier than you think

Since holiday shoppers primarily use Pinterest to discover new ideas, it’s important to launch your holiday campaigns on Pinterest earlier than you might on other platforms. If you can reach people as they start making that list and checking it twice—before they’ve decided on a brand or product—you’re more likely to pop back into their mind when they’re ready to make a purchase. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend starting your campaign 2-3 months prior to the holiday rush.

4. Look outside the gift box and expand your audience

By using expanded targeting, our system is able to find people who may be interested in your ad based on its content and what we already know about our shopper’s taste and style preferences. We’ll automatically show your Pins to relevant people, without you needing to add any additional keywords or interests to your campaigns. For example, people that like evergreen scented candles might also like holiday essential oils.

5. Make your list and check it twice

The holidays can be frantic, with shoppers hopscotching from retailer to retailer before settling on what they want. Reach existing customers with customer list targeting or expand your scope and use audience targeting to find people who may have visited your website or engaged with your content on Pinterest. Additionally, with actalike targeting you can use your current customer list to help you find other people on Pinterest who resemble your existing customers. Pretty neat, right?

6. Deck your feed with seasonal content

You can make your ads feel more relevant by featuring seasonal content or showing how your product fits into your shopper’s everyday lives during the holiday season. Pins with content related to these moments tend to see a 22% increase in sales.3 Check out our creative best practices and examples of great holiday Pins to learn how to make an impression on holiday shoppers.

7. Wrap it up with mobile

Our phones have such a stronghold in our lives, so it’s no surprise that 80% of Pinners prefer to use the Pinterest mobile app.4 When building your holiday creative, keep mobile in mind and tailor your font size to phone rendering to make sure your ad copy is legible on small screens. And remember to design for a vertical aspect ratio—the ideal dimension is 1000 pixels x 1500 pixels or 2:3 aspect ratio—it’ll make for a more holly jolly experience.

8. Trim your Pins with pops of text

Fact: Pins that include descriptive text over an image tend to see a 6% increase in sales over Pins that simply contain a cookie-cutter image.5 Use text overlay to make it easier for Pinners to understand your product’s unique features this holiday season. You can add headers, subheaders, annotations or take a creative approach to how your type interacts with the image. No matter what you decide, remember to keep text clear, concise and focused.

9. Make it merry, build up customer trust and confidence

The surefire way to make your brand and products sing this season? Feature informational creative. Your images should help people understand why your product or brand is right for them (or for someone on their holiday list)!

10. Use consistency to make your experience sparkle

We’ve found that consistency improves performance: Pins that go to landing pages with similar imagery tend to have 13% higher online sales.6 Make sure that when people land on your page after clicking on your ad on Pinterest, the look and feel of your website matches that of your Pins. Making your holiday shopper’s experience more consistent and personal will help you gain happier and more loyal customers.



Want more holiday tips and inspiration?

Register for our holiday retail webinar “Wrap up these Pins!” on September 12, at 9:30 am PT, and check out success stories from other brands who have used Pinterest to reach holiday shoppers: Albertsons, Boursin, ebay UK, and The Home Depot.

Check out our Holiday Hub for webinar info, holiday boards, blog posts and more!

–Amy Vener, saving to 'Halloween ideas'


1Pinterest Internal data,  2017

2Toluna, "Winter Holiday survey,” March 2018

3Pinterest, OCL creative meta analysis, May 2018

4Pinterest, US annual analysis, 2016

5Pinterest, OCL creative meta analysis, May 2018

6Pinterest, OCL creative meta analysis, May 2018