6 ways Pinterest is better than Instagram for e-commerce (and vice versa)

When it comes to promoting your business through visual content, there’s no doubt that Instagram and Pinterest pop up first in your mind. But this begs the all-important question:

“Which one’s better for my store?”

And, as usual, the answer depends on the kind of business you run and the goal you’ve set.

To help you make the best decision possible, this article will shed some light on:

  • Must-know aspects before going for either platform.
  • 6 ways Pinterest is better than Instagram (and vice versa).

Sounds, right? Then keep reading! 😉

👉 Must-know aspects before choosing Instagram or Pinterest

First of all, if you’re still unfamiliar with how these platforms work, make sure to check out our posts on Pinterest and Instagram.

With that checked off the list, let’s go over a few must-know aspects before making up your mind.

✅ 1. Who and where your audience is

The old “know thyself” from Ancient Greece is also a good starting point for your business.

To determine your most suitable social network, you first need to know which one your audience is on. And to know this, you need to know who you’re addressing; that is, your buyer persona.

In other words, who’s your ideal customer?

The more specific you are about that person’s details, the better. For instance, it’s important to know if it’s a man or a woman, their age, their hobbies, their occupation…

And what does this have to do with the social network you must use?

Suppose you sell gardening products and your customers are mostly women in their 50s. Based on their age, that specific audience isn’t likely to be on Instagram. Plus, you know their hobby is to decorate their gardens, so they probably look for tutorials on the Internet.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say either Pinterest or YouTube would be solid starting points.

See how important it is to know your target audience?

✅ 2. What do Instagram and Pinterest have in common?

If you want to sell on Instagram or Pinterest, don’t forget both platforms revolve around visual content.

Unlike other social commerce networking sites where text is also important (such as Facebook), your text will be pointless on Instagram and Pinterest unless the image is powerful enough to get a user’s attention.

Another thing in common is that they’ve been the two most rapidly-growing platforms the last few years. Here’s some data to give you an idea:

So if you’re implementing a content marketing strategy, either platform can help you gain visibility.

👉 Pinterest vs Instagram: Why is Pinterest better for your e‑commerce? (or vice versa)

Though both platforms are focused on sharing images and videos, their functioning and audience differ from each other.

Here are a few key points that will tell you why Pinterest is your best choice – or why it’s Instagram instead.

✅ 1. It’s the “Google of ideas”

Do you own an e‑commerce related to fashion, decoration, gardening, the arts, or cuisine?

Then Pinterest could be the perfect place to gain visibility.

And, however boho it may sound, finding inspiration and creative ideas is what drives most Pinterest users, be it for cooking, crafts, or home décor.

In short, they’re most interested in content they can put into practice. This could be in the shape of tutorials, tips, recipes, or ideas.

For example, imagine you want you decorate your balcony and are looking for inspiration.

Pinterest works very similarly to every other search engine (hence the previous comparison with Google).

You just need to type in a keyword such as “balcony decoration” into Pinterest’s search engine to get hundreds of results. In this example, this décor shop shows you a photo of a cute balcony decorated with some of its products.


Here’s another example.

We searched for “plate decoration” and came across this other shop that sells acrylic markers and that has shared a video with ideas on how to decorate a clay plate using some of their markers.


As for Instagram, it’s not confined to creative and “inspiring” content.

Instagram users expect to stumble upon attractive and flashy images where products are shown in action.

Interestingly, the shop sharing tutorials and ideas for their markers on Pinterest follows a different strategy on Instagram.

Their content shows the end result after using their products. In this case, the appearance is what catches the users’ attention and makes them want to buy their markers to replicate what they’ve seen.


✅ 2. It contributes to better positioning

If your shared content on Pinterest is properly optimized for a specific keyword, you’ll get better positioning on Google.

To give you a clearer picture – and going back to the previous example – if you google “balcony ideas”, this is what we get.


As you can see, the second and third results are Pinterest pins (i.e., shared content on Pinterest).

Not only will they be able to find your products by searching for them on Pinterest, but also on Google.

As for Instagram, searches are carried out through hashtags within the platform. Unlike Pinterest’s pins, however, Instagram posts don’t contribute to better positioning on Google – but profiles do (as long as they’re optimized for a specific keyword).

✅ 3. Its audience mainly consists of women

According to a report by Statista, as of January 2021, 77.1% of Pinterest’s audience was women.

On the contrary, Instagram’s audience is more balanced in terms of gender: 51% are women, while 49% are men.

Whether that’s a pro or a con largely depends on your target audience. If it mainly consists of women, it may be advisable to give Pinterest priority over Instagram.

✅ 4. It directs traffic to your website

Pinterest beats Instagram in this category since the latter is quite limited in terms of capturing traffic­.

The thing is that Instagram doesn’t allow you to click on links in posts. The only functional link you can insert is in your bio or your profile’s main page.

Pinterest makes things much easier since it allows you to add a link to every uploaded post, which is really useful to direct traffic to your website – that is, to get more visitors who are actually interested in what you’re selling.

By just hovering the mouse over the picture, we see it’s linked to another page’s URL. And it only takes a click on the picture to go straight to the website in question.


From that point on, traffic is directed however you want.

You can link the picture straight to your store’s website, to some of your blog posts, or even to a specific product page.

✅ 5. It helps build your brand

Pinterest can prove really useful to implement a content curation strategy.

In other words, it’s perfect to select high-quality content (both yours and someone else’s) to share with your audience.

By providing quality content to your audience, you’ll build authority and strengthen your brand as your users will eventually see you as a sector leader and a trustworthy source of information.

And to do that, Pinterest allows you to re-pin, that is, to share content created by other users.

Therefore, Pinterest not only lets you post your own pins, but also those including relevant content from other profiles that might be of interest to your own audience.

In this example, we can see a shop devoted to vegan and sustainable bags and accessories sharing content related to zero-waste, sustainable lifestyles, and minimalism. Among others, their pins feature tricks to store food reusing containers and tutorials on how to make a minimalist closet.


✅ 6. It humanizes your brand

Pinterest allows you to show your audience who you (and your hobbies, for example) really are. You connect with them by showing a more human side of the company and putting a face with the name.

For example, at Toy Doggie (a pet accessory shop), apart from showing their products, they share “dog-like” quotes. In doing so, they’re telling you, “we don’t only sell dog clothes and collars; we also love dogs”.


👉 Instagram or Pinterest? Which one are you going for?

Here’s a little trick in case you’re still unsure after reading this post: study your competitors and check which social networking sites they’re on and whether they’re successful or not. You can learn from both their good and bad moves.

If you think both platforms suit your business, then choose them both!

Mind you, whichever you go for, make sure not to cut corners when it comes to content if you really want to get good results.