Paid Social

Getting Started with Pinterest Ads for Your Ecommerce Business

Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese,
Apr 11, 2023
Pinterest logo

If you're an ecommerce business owner looking to expand your marketing efforts, Pinterest Ads are a valuable addition to your marketing strategy. Pinterest is a visual discovery platform with over 450 million active users, making it a prime location for any business to showcase their products and reach potential customers. 

“Our Pinterest ads management has allowed clients to increase revenue and ROAS by around 20%, while also allowing them to increase budgets more sustainably. One of our clients has spent just over $100k in the past 30 days on Pinterest, generating $664k in revenue! Another has spent just shy of $9k in the past 30 days and has already generated close to $50k in revenue. The average ROAS usually hovers between 5x and 7x for all of our current clients advertising on the platform.” Juan, Senior Growth Marketing Manager @ Shoelace

The really great thing about Pinterest is that you can capture users when they are in an intent/planning stage, as Pinners tend to look towards Pinterest for inspiration, so it's a great place for advertisers in the apparel, furniture, and beauty (among others) to be in!

We briefly discussed Pinterest ads in our previous blog article but in this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up a Pinterest Ads campaign for your ecommerce business, while also sharing tips on how to create compelling ads and measure their performance. So, let's get started!

Understanding Pinterest Ad Formats

Pinterest Ads offers several ad formats to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here's a quick overview of the four main ad formats:

Examples of Pinterest Ads

Standard Promoted Pins:

Promoted Pins are regular Pins that you pay to promote to a targeted audience. They appear in users' home feeds, search results, and category feeds, making them a great way to reach a wider audience.


  • File type: .PNG or .JPEG
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 2:3 or 1000 x 1500 pixels. Pins with an aspect ratio greater than 2:3 might get cut off in people's feeds depending on where they are viewing.
  • File size: Desktop 20 MB, In-app 32 MB
mobile phone showing pinterest carousel ad

Carousel Pins:

Promoted Carousel Pins allow you to showcase up to five images or videos within a single Pin. Users can swipe through the carousel to view all of the content, making this format ideal for showcasing multiple products or features.


  • Images: 2-5 images per Pinterest Carousel
  • File type: PNG or JPEG
  • Max file size: Desktop 20 MB, In-app 32 MB
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 or 2:3
mobile phone showing pinterest video ads

Video Pins:

Promoted Video Pins allow you to feature a video in your ad. These ads autoplay when a user scrolls past them and can be up to 15 seconds long, making them a great way to capture users' attention and showcase your product in action.


  • File type: .mp4, .mov or .m4v.
  • Encoding: H.264 or H.265
  • Max file size: Up to 2GB
  • Video length: min. 4 seconds, max. 15 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Square (1:1) or widescreen (16:9). Note that max. width videos cannot exceed the height of a 1:1 ratio.
Mobile phone showing example of Pinterest Shopping Collection

Shopping Pins:

Pinterest's Shopping Pins enable businesses to convert their product catalogs into Pins that reach potential customers and drive sales. These Pins display product details and can be tagged with clickable dots to showcase specific products.

Each ad format has its own specifications and requirements, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them before creating your ads. Consider which format would work best for your product and audience, and don't be afraid to test out different formats to see what works best for your business.

Targeting Options for Pinterest Ads

Pinterest Ads offers a variety of targeting options to help you reach the right audience for your business. Here are the main targeting options available:

  • Keyword targeting: With keyword targeting, you can choose specific keywords that you want to target. When a user searches for those keywords on Pinterest, your ad may appear in their search results.
  • Interest targeting: Interest targeting allows you to target users based on their interests, such as fashion, home decor, or travel. Pinterest uses data from users' activity on the platform to determine their interests.
  • Demographic targeting: Demographic targeting allows you to target users based on their age, gender, language, and location.
  • Location targeting: With location targeting, you can choose specific locations to target, such as countries, regions, or cities.

When creating your Pinterest Ads campaign, consider which targeting options would be most relevant to your business and audience. You can also combine different targeting options to create a more targeted and effective campaign.

How Much Do Pinterest Ads Cost?

Graph showing different cost-per-click of ads
Statista Social Media CPC

The pricing of Pinterest ads is not fixed due to the auction system in place (similar to other advertising platforms). Advertisers specify their maximum bid for a particular campaign objective, such as driving engagement, click-throughs, or conversions. The actual rate for an ad will depend on various factors, such as the targeted keywords, categories, ad types, etc.

For instance, the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) may range from $2 to $5, while cost per click (CPC) can be approximately $1.50, as we’ve seen with our own results and also shown via Statista. These ranges are broad and subject to fluctuations based on Pinterest's underlying pricing framework as well as the change of the seasons. Depending on the time of year or even the upcoming holidays, pricing of advertising will fluctuate.

How to Create a Pinterest Ad

Setting up your Pinterest ads can be as easy as a few clicks with their new quick set up method. However this option doesn’t allow precise control over your targeting options, so we’ll review both set up methods and you can decide which works best for you.

Quick Setup Guide

Select “Ads” and then “Create Campaign”. Once on the Create Campaign page, click on “Switch to 3-step ad creation”.

Pinterest Ad Dashboard

Once here, select a previously created pin for your ad, enter the Destination URL, set the budget and you are done! Hit “Promote” to publish your ad and begin advertising on Pinterest. It’s that easy!

Steps to creating a Pinterest ad

Now for the longer method

Don’t be intimidated by all the options in this method. If you want more control over your ads and who they are targeting, this is the option for you. 

Step 1:

Pinterest Business Ad Creation Dashboard

Navigate over to the Pinterest Ads webpage. Click on “Ads” from the top menu and select “Create Campaign".

You will need a Pinterest Business account to start advertising, and will have to supply credit card information in order to start running your ads. 

Step 2:

Screenshot showing Pinterest campaign details

Select your campaign objective. Brand Awareness & Video views are for building awareness for your product or brand. Consideration should be used when you want to get more people to get to know your products and services, and can work well with informative ads. The Conversions and Catalog Sales options are for getting and tracking sales. Keep in mind, in order to use any of the Conversion options you will need to set up Pinterest Tracking, which can easily be done by connecting your Google Tag Manager to your Pinterest account. This is the easiest way to connect your website with Pinterest, however they offer many other integrations as well!

Screenshot showing ecommerce site logos

Another great way to help ensure your data is being counted properly is to set up Pinterest API. This will allow for greater visibility between Pinterest and your website, which will make it easier to track the sales coming from Pinterest. 

Keep in mind that depending on which objective you select, you may have different options in the next few steps so be sure to read each section carefully. 

Step 3:

Screenshot showing Campaign Name and status

Screenshot showing campaign budget and schedule options

Set your campaign name and budget.

Step 4:

Ad Group details screenshot of options

Name and create your ad group.

“Reconnect with users” is Pinterest's Retargeting option, where you can target Pinterest users who have interacted with your brand, match a curated list (like an email list) or have visited your website. 

“Find new customers” will target Pinterest users who have not interacted with your brand, but match similar interests, ages, or other demographics of your choosing. 

If you wish to select “Choose your own”, you can actually create a combination campaign that targets both Prospective customers and Repeat Purchasers. Always test to see what works best for your specific brand's needs. 

Step 5:

screenshot of demographics options in setting up an ad

Narrow down your target audience using the demographic options. You can select specific age groups, gender, location, and even target specific devices as well.

Step 6:

ad set up showing placement and tracking options

Select where you would like your ads to show up in Pinterest feeds. Selecting “All” is recommended so that your ads show up in as many places as possible. That being said, if your budgets are slim, you may only want to target “Search” as users looking for specific products have higher intent.  

Step 7:

optimization and delivery ad setup options

Choose your Optimization, Delivery & Bidding. This is how often customers will see your ads. You can choose between Weekly and Monthly. Leaving this setting as “Optional” will allow for Pinterest to decide how and when to show your ad, but you can still set a monthly cap. 

Step 8:

Screenshot showing options to choose pins for Pinterest Ads

Create your ad. You can select a pin that you already have in your library to use for your ads, or you can create a whole new pin to promote. Once done, hit publish. 

Step 9:

pinterest ads dashboard showing publish button

Review your setting, and if you’re happy with everything. Click “Publish” at the bottom of the page. Hooray! You’ve just set up a Pinterest ad.

Measuring the Success of Your Pinterest Ads

animated scrolling graph

Measuring the success of your Pinterest Ads is crucial to understanding the impact of your advertising efforts and making informed decisions about future campaigns. You can see all of the standard metrics from their dashboard, but it’s a combination of reviewing all the metrics that really make up how you should be optimizing your campaigns. We recommend businesses track a few different ecommerce KPIs that are important, and for Pinterest ads we suggest paying attention to the following:

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

First off, Click-through rate (CTR), which refers to the percentage of users who clicked on your ad after seeing it. A high CTR indicates that your ad is resonating with your target audience and being redirected to the appropriate landing page. Consider creating landing pages for specific Pinterest ads that will allow you to better track your campaign data.


In conjunction with CTR, Conversions are an important factor to your ads. Conversions refer to the number of users who took a specific action after clicking on your ad, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. Tracking conversions can give you a sense of how effective your ads are at driving desired actions. When looking at Conversion at CTR together, you can better understand if your audience is properly being directed towards the web pages that they are interested in and intended to see. 

Cost Per Click and Cost Per Conversion (CPC)

Cost per click and Cost per Conversion. These refer to the amount of money you're paying for each click on your ad and the amount of money you are paying per customer that purchases from your site respectively. Tracking each of these metrics can help you understand how much you're spending to drive traffic to your website. Typically Costs per Conversions are fairly low on Pinterest, hence why so many marketers use this platform for their clients and businesses alike. 

By tracking these metrics and using them to analyze your campaign performance, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your ads for better results. Use this data to make informed decisions about future campaigns and refine your advertising strategy over time.

Tips for Optimizing Your Pinterest Ads

Using data to better optimize your Pinterest ads is just the start of how you can improve the quality and conversion rate of your ads. Pinterest is a platform built for showcasing your product photography and lifestyle shots, so it’s important to put the best your brand has to offer on the platform because that’s what is expected from users navigating the platform. 

  1. Be Creative: Our first tip for optimizing your Pinterest ads is to be creative! As we mentioned, use your best photography to showcase your products and be creative with your ads. Users go to Pinterest for an experience unlike the other social media platforms and expect visually appealing images with positive messaging attached to them.

  2. Always be testing: Testing different targeting, creative, and even copy can help you identify which audiences are most interested in your products. Try testing different keywords, interests, and demographics in combination with different ads to see what generates the best results.

  3. Use high-performing Pins for your ads: Use your Pinterest Analytics data to identify Pins that are performing well and use them as the basis for your ads. This can help you create more effective ads that resonate with your target audience.

  4. Remember Mobile Users: The majority of Pinterest users access the platform from their mobile devices, so it's essential to optimize your Pins for mobile viewing. Use vertical images, clear and concise copy, and easy-to-read fonts to make your Pins mobile-friendly.

  5. Retargeting Users: Retargeting allows you to show ads to users who have already interacted with your brand on Pinterest. These ads are for easy wins to re-engage users and drive conversions.

By following these tips, you can optimize your Pinterest Ads for better performance and results. Use data-driven insights to refine your strategy over time and continue to improve your advertising efforts.

The Wrap Up

Pinterest Ads can be a valuable tool for ecommerce businesses looking to reach new audiences and drive sales. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create effective Pinterest Ads that resonate with your target audience and generate positive results.

Remember to start by setting clear business goals and defining your target audience. Use Pinterest's targeting options to reach the right users and create ads that showcase your products in an appealing way. Monitor your campaign performance and adjust your strategy as needed to maximize your return on investment.

By taking the time to create effective Pinterest Ads, you can drive traffic to your ecommerce site and increase sales, helping your business grow and thrive in the competitive ecommerce landscape. And if you still have questions regarding pinterest ads, our expert team of Growth Partners can help you to achieve your goals! Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can boost your sales using Pinterest ads.

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