Most of us have probably spent at least some time browsing recipes, interior design tips or travel information on Pinterest. Visitors to the site love it because it’s visual, engaging and creates opportunities for personalization. But who knew that it is such a great marketing vehicle—especially for the holidays?

Pinterest works harder for marketers than other social media platforms because people browsing on Pinterest are there to shop or do shopping research. It’s a great tool to drive online sales all year long but it really pulls for marketers at the holidays.

Pinterest users have a shopping frame of mind

Most Pinners (Pinterest users) come to the platform in a browsing and shopping mentality. Consider these Pinteret shopping statistics:

  • 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest
  • 80 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest.
  • Pinterest shoppers are spending significantly more per checkout averaging between $140-$180 per order compared with consistent $80 and $60 orders for Facebook and Twitter shoppers.
  • 47% of Pinners begin their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving and 87% of Pinners have purchased something because of Pinterest.

Pinners start holiday shopping early

Holiday planning begins early on Pinterest. Almost half of Pinners start their holiday browsing at least a couple months prior to the winter holidays to explore gifting ideas. Experts agree that adding business and shopping content sooner rather than later will help them gain awareness early and maintain it throughout the hectic holiday season.

Pinterest can help drive in-store purchases

Online shopping and purchases are the main strategies for Pinterest, however, it is also a great tool to drive in-store purchases too. Retailers can take advantage of this movement to add Pinterest signage in store to validate purchase research and send new customers back to your Pinterest content for engagement long past the holiday season.

Add a Pinterest button to product listings and follow up with analytics

With a Pinterest button, your site visitors can save your content to their Pinterest boards to review at a later time for gift buying ideas. It’s not all about pretty pictures though. Pinterest has web analytics features to give brands some insight into Pinterest activity. For example, Pinterest can show the number of people who have pinned from a company’s website, how many have seen the pins and the number of people who have visited the site from redirection from Pinterest.

The analytics can also show the Most Repinned, Most Recent Pins and Most Clicked pins so that brands can gauge interest and modify Pinterest content when necessary.

Overall, Pinterest is a great selling tool for the ramp-up period before the holidays and industry experts recommend it for its power to showcase and influence.

“Brands need to go forth and pin,” according to senior vice president of social, mobile, and content lead at Digitas Jordan Bitterman. “A recent study reveals the opportunity for brands to drive the conversation on visual platforms like Pinterest. By leveraging rich consumer insight, brands can take the guesswork out of their visual content strategy, and share the types of images their audience wants to see.”