Pinterest vs. Instagram: Which is Better for Your Online Store?

Pinterest vs. Instagram and How You Should Be Using Both

These days, people prefer consuming their information by viewing instead of reading.

Due to this heavy demand for visual content, social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have only grown in popularity.

Now when it comes to the debate of Pinterest vs. Instagram, and which one will be best for your dropshipping business, there are a few things to consider. Both platforms while visual, serve different purposes and have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

In this post, I’ll explain the pros and cons of using Instagram and Pinterest to generate revenue and I’m even sharing the tools I recommend you use. Plus, I’ll show you how to leverage both platforms to grow your business.

This blog post is also available in video form. Click ‘Play’ below to start watching! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for weekly updates and insights!

Getting Started Using Pinterest and Instagram in Your Business

So to get things started, let me say that every single person, regardless of what type of product you’re selling, should be using Instagram for your remarketing.

Remarketing ads will help you capture sales from those store visitors who didn’t buy. Then you could use Instagram and Facebook to retarget them with ads. (And by the way, Facebook owns Instagram, so all the ad tools will be through one platform.

This is a no brainer. Everybody should be running retargeting ads from day one, even if they only have a $5 budget.

98% of people that land on your eCommerce website will not buy on their first visit. So when they leave, you target them on Instagram right away.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media platform that lets users save pins that contain links, descriptions, and images onto different boards for later use. These boards can be secret or public.

Users can create pins by uploading images and links manually, stumble across pins they want to see in their feed, or find pins they’re looking for via search. The latter two are great ways to market to your future customers.

pinterest for business

What to Know About Using Pinterest for Business

Because Pinterest is all about links and users have buying intent, it’s a great source of front end traffic.

But what if you think your product is not ‘Pinterest-friendly’? Well think again.

Now it is true that more women than men use Pinterest, but that’s changing. If you look at the year-over-year user base growth, it’s actually trending up with more men.

  • Women now make up 70% of the platform’s users, and men make up the remaining 30% of users. According to Pinterest, currently more than 50% of new signups are men!

So Pinterest is 100% worth giving a chance.

However, I don’t recommend you just go and make a Pinterest board, throw up a few pins, and see what happens.

That will produce nothing. Instead, I recommend you research it, go through the training in The Blueprint, and actually put time and effort into learning the platform.

Part of that is seeing if Pinterest is where your buyers are and if so, how do they use the platform? Once you understand that, you can create and share content to promote your products.

So How Do I Use Pinterest to Get Buyers?

The answer to that question can change depending on what type of eCommerce store you have and the products you sell. For most people, I recommend using Pinterest ads.

You don’t have to run Pinterest ads when you’re first starting out. Focus on learning Google Ads, and being profitable with those. Once everything’s up and running, that’s when you’ll want to start investing your time and learn new ways to generate revenue!

Desktop vs. Mobile

What I really like about Pinterest is there's still a lot of desktop use there. If you didn’t know, eCommerce conversions occur at much higher rates on desktop than mobile, making Pinterest great at driving sales.

While Pinterest is fully functional on its mobile app, Instagram is almost exclusively meant to be used on phones and tablets.

Buyer Intent

  • 93% of pinners have used Pinterest to plan for, research, or make purchases.

Another reason why I love Pinterest for eCommerce stores is the buyer intent. What I mean by that, is people aren’t just going to Pinterest to shop, they’re going there to start doing research. Research on buying furniture, planning a wedding, packing for a trip, etc. Tap into this within your niche, and you’ll strike gold.

Link Sharing

Finally, one of the biggest benefits of Pinterest vs. Instagram is the link sharing capabilities. With Pinterest, it’s all clickable and links are a big part of the user experience. This platform prioritizes link sharing and saving, a huge win for businesses of all kinds.

pinterest for ecommerce

Instagram on the other hand, doesn’t even allow you to add clickable links in your posts.

You can post a single link in your profile bio (or use the help of a tool like Linktree to share more). Or if you have a business profile and more than 10,000 followers, you can share links in your stories.

Now, what about Instagram on the front end? Does that mean you shouldn't use it? No, not at all!

It means that I think you should start here, master Pinterest for business, get this to be a profitable. While simultaneously, you have Instagram running in the back end.

How to Use Instagram for Your eCommerce Store

Instagram the way I think about it, is more of a branding play for businesses. When someone takes out their phone and scrolls through Instagram, they’re not there looking to make a purchase.

That doesn’t mean they won’t, but really they’re using to Instagram to engage with friends, influencers, and even other brands. Again, it doesn't mean that can't be profitable, but it's more of a long-term strategy.

Shoppable Posts

  • Over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online– making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users.

Now, if you're going to use Instagram, something you definitely should do, is create your product feed and make shoppable posts.

If you’ve used Instagram as a consumer, you’ve definitely seen these posts.

It could be as simple and natural as a photo of someone holding a coffee cup. That photo though, will show a price and have a link to take viewers right to the product page. Check out the example below featuring Away luggage:

instagram shoppable posts
instagram shoppale post

With shoppable posts, you no longer have to tell people, “Link in bio”, adding an additional step to the process.

These posts work best for very visual and demonstrable products. We won’t get into the details of how to set up these posts, but if you want the step-by-step training, it’s available in the Paid Social Traffic Course of Drop Ship Lifestyle.

However, the beauty of using retargeting from day one means you’re showing new customers videos and the intent to buy is there. You don’t have to worry about using Instagram as only a branding play. So definitely start the retargeting from day one.

Must-Have Tools for Pinterest and Instagram

If you’re using Pinterest and Instagram with your Shopify store, these are the marketing tools you need. Some of them are free, and some are paid, but all of them are ones I’ve used and personally recommend to our members.

Facebook Product Feed by Flexify

Facebook Product Feed by Flexify allows you take all the products that are in your Shopify store, and connect them to your Facebook (and Instagram) accounts. Once your store is syncing with your Facebook Product Catalog you can create shoppable posts to promote multiple products or your entire product catalog on Instagram and Facebook.

Free plans available, paid plans start at $29/month, more details here

Shop Instagram & UGC by SocialShopWave

instagram marketing

If your product does well on Instagram and you have an audience, I highly suggest this tool. If you don’t know, UGC stands for user-generated content. UGC is any content related to a brand that is voluntarily produced by its customers.

This Shopify app has a ton of awesome features that will allow you to beautifully integrate your Instagram feed with your store:

  • Use beautiful Instagram images as a shoppable gallery in various styles on your homepage, Instagram shop page, or product page. 
  • Tag products on Instagram photos and make them shoppable anywhere on your site.
  • Let your visitors add to cart and buy the liked items directly from images on your site without additional searching.

Free plans available, paid plans start at $9/month, more details here

Pinterest Sales Channel on Shopify

The Pinterest Sales Channel native in Shopify is the last tool I recommend. You can use the Pinterest sales channel to create Product Pins featuring your Shopify products on Pinterest. Customers can learn more about products from a Product Pin, and can click a link to view and buy the product on Shopify. 

So if you figure out how your audience is using Pinterest already, how they're acting, how they're creating boards, what they're sharing, and what they're pinning, then you can use this tool to recreate that with your product catalog. It’s a really, really good thing to have for your front end traffic.

To use the Pinterest sales channel, you need to have a Pinterest business account and be on the Shopify Basic plan or higher. More details here.

To Recap on Pinterest vs. Instagram:

  • Should be used from day one as a remarketing channel.
  • More of a long term branding play for front end traffic.
  • Connect product feed from Facebook.
  • Create shoppable posts if you decide to use this platform.
  • Good for front end traffic.
  • “Linkable” platform.
  • Use The Shopify Pinterest Sales channel to create product pins.
  • Invest time learning how the platform works, and how your user base is already interacting with it.

Aside from the fact that Instagram and Pinterest have a ton of marketing potential for eCommerce businesses, the two platforms don’t have much in common.

Understanding their differences and how you will reach your audience will help you to customize your content to each, which will certainly lead to an increase in traffic and sales.

So what do you think, Pinterest vs. Instagram??  Leave us a comment below and share with us which platform you prefer!

Ps. If you’re reading this and haven’t seen my new webinar yet, you got to check it out. It’s two-and-a-half hours of in-depth training from me, for FREE! Head over to this link to sign up and learn the “New Way” to eCommerce wealth!

  • Dennis Walters says:

    Amazing comparison between Pinterest and Instagram, but as my point of view Instagram is more fruit full than Pinterest.

  • Instagram is a large platform but Pinterest has a huge number of conversion.

    • 100%! People go there looking for inspiration and it’s a great place to put offers in front of them!

  • Good article. If you want to interview someone who is on IG daily growing all kinds of businesses and brands for your next feature, please let me know!

    I’d love to collaborate.

  • Great content as usual.

  • Hey Everyone,

    As many of you already know I created Drop Ship Lifestyle after selling a network of eCommerce stores and then trying to find a community of other store owners to network with… What I found was a bunch of scammers who promised newbies they would get rich quick by following their push-button systems!

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