4 Brands Using Holiday Pinterest Gift Ideas To Create Sales

December 20, 2014


Tis’ the season for pinning! Whether you are looking for a DIY ornament project or need the recipe to your favorite treat, Pinterest is one social media platform that allows you to easily find both. Beyond crafting and cooking, Pinterest is also one of the top resources for shopping this holiday season. Recently, Curalate ran a study to detect the most popular item on Pinterest and found that a pair of J.Crew camping socks were the hottest item on the site. The study also showed that 3 out of the top 5 items in their study were sold out in the color that was pinned. Given the visual nature of Pinterest, it makes for an effective marketing tool for e-commerce and retail companies.

Out of all the major social media networks, Pinterest users spend between $ 140 – $ 180 in the online check out as opposed to Facebook and Twitter users who spend around $ 60 – $ 80. To fuel the shopping machine, nearly 79% of department stores have Pinterest accounts and are running campaigns on the platform during 2014.

Throughout the year, Pinterest has made its site more appealing for brands and has added features that allow more measurable goals to be set for this year’s holiday campaigns. The addition of Promoted Pins and easy access to account analytics data for business accounts allows brands to easily assess their ROI and improve their strategies.

Overall, brands on the Pinterest are taking advantage of the platform to feature holiday gift guides and act as a helpful resource that aids the shopping experience for users. While every company has approached their gift guide differently, there are a few that have really differentiated themselves from the competition to make it on to my “Nice” list when it comes to Pinterest:


J. Crew’s plan to improve the gift giving ability of their customers is exemplified by their “Gift (Better) Guide” boards. The brand has hand selected the best recommended gifts for any age on your holiday gift list.

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This helps J. Crew to make the purchasing process much more straightforward for potential customers. As opposed to just showing the best products for a general audience, J. Crew is able to segment its audience into appropriate categories before they even get to their online store looking to buy a product.


Nordstrom was the most engaged brand in Curalate’s study with over 68 boards and 21,000 pins – pretty impressive for a brand that is normally considered a high-end department store. They took a different approach to the holidays and have been curating boards that identify with personality types and common interests, so you can shop specifically for that special someone.

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In addition to the personality boards, Nordstrom also has their “Top Pins” and “Favorite Things” boards to help shoppers easily see what others are purchasing. Just like J. Crew, Nordstrom uses their board not just as a place to show their most expensive products to a general audience, but to really understand their audience and cater to specific products for each demographic.


With so many creative merchants, Etsy has a lot of products to choose from and feature for the holidays. Their Pinterest campaign this season consists of boards that their merchants have curated as the best of the best from Etsy. In addition to these holiday boards, Etsy has created “Etsy City Guides” that feature brick and mortar stores unique to each city. With 39% of shoppers using their mobile device to find a local retailer through a search engine and 28% checking for availability of items at specific retailers, Etsy capitalizes on this demand for local retailer information. With these boards they are able to seamlessly tie the shopping experience from Pinterest all the way through to actual stores, all while creating a great strategy that caters to specific geographical regions.

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This corporate superstore giant also took to Pinterest for the holidays and built upon the ever popular “Elf on the Shelf” tradition by giving customer ideas on what they can do with their elf this season. Some of the ideas are very funny and if you need a laugh on your lunch break they are worth taking a peek at. Below is a screen shot of a couple of them:

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Unlike a lot of other retailers, Target is using Pinterest this holiday season to provide users with “Elf on the Shelf” content first. As opposed to making their Pinterest a vehicle that effectively converts traffic from the get-go, they seem to focus more on attracting new and existing users to the page first in order to build brand loyalty among users. It is only after users get to their page that some of the more straightforward shopping tactics on Pinterest that regular retailers are using are put to work. It’s a great strategy, and is a creative blending of the more established content marketing one would normally see on a website’s blog with Pinterest’s platform.

With one week until Christmas, all of the marketing cards are being laid out on the table by companies around the world. What is the most interesting Pinterest campaign you’ve seen?

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