Countdown to the Holidays with MikMak (ft. SangHa Park with Pinterest)



What’s holiday shopping without researching gift ideas and making gift lists? If you find yourself doing either of the above this holiday season, there’s a good chance you’ll use Pinterest to do so. That’s why for week seven of MikMak’s Holiday Countdown, we’re bringing you a chat with SangHa Park, Pinterest’s Strategic Partnerships Manager. Let’s learn about the ways consumers are getting inspired this year, and the different types of holiday shoppers your brand should get to know.

MM: Hi SangHa, thank you for joining our Holiday Countdown. When it comes to product discovery, Pinterest is really one of the social channels leading the way. In fact, we found that this year on the MikMak Platform, Pinterest was one of the top performing channels particularly for categories like grocery and beautyCan you tell us a little more about how Pinterest supports consumers when they are shopping online this holiday season?

SP: So happy to be here and chat about the role Pinterest plays in holiday shopping: it’s a special one! 

At Pinterest we believe that inspiration is key - it’s what drives people to make meaningful and memorable purchases. 66 percent of weekly US Pinners say that the “inspiration phase” of shopping influences what they buy. Therefore, it’s super important for brands to be present in front of the right audience during this “inspiration phase”. 

What’s more, Pinterest is where shoppers go to plan for their purchases - 84 percent of weekly Pinners use Pinterest when actively considering products and services to purchase, and are undecided. And 83 percent of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they have seen from brands on Pinterest.

MM: That’s really impressive! Looking at it a bit more technically, particularly for brands who are leveraging Pinterest as part of their eCommerce journey, what can you tell us about Pinterest shopper behavior during the holidays? 

SP: I’d say start early, because Pinners have been wasting no time. Every year, the majority of the sales influenced by Pinterest were completed by Cyber Monday. In 2020, 60 percent of sales happened by then. 

This really is because people come to Pinterest first for inspiration. We’ve found that holiday searches trends on Pinterest actually start earlier than when compared to another leading search engine. Brands who started running their holiday campaigns early saw 6 percent incremental sales lift. People who were exposed to Pinterest ads earlier in the holiday season also drove 4.7x more conversions. There’s a lot to say for timing here.

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MM: Wow! They waste no time indeed. Digging a little bit deeper into Pinterest as a platform, what are some things that shoppers look for on Pinterest that stand out to you for the 2021 holiday season? 

SP: This holiday season, it will be important to get in front of shoppers early with memorable content. I can tell you that the form of content that shoppers are looking for recently is video. 

Pinterest has seen a 28 percent increase in “video” keyword searches year over year, as well as a 799 percent increase in video content. 

MM: That is an awesome tip for brands as we head into the holiday season. And what kinds of shoppers tend to use Pinterest? 

SP: Well, not every holiday shopper is the same, and each finds inspiration differently and may make purchase decisions differently as well. At Pinterest we’ve actually identified six types of holiday shoppers based on our global data. I’d love to share that here with you and the readers.

MM: Please do!

SP: Okay, so the first type of holiday shoppers is “the early bird”. Most people on Pinterest are planners, but the early bird takes it to the next level. They start planning before anyone else, always looking for bargains throughout the year with holiday in mind. These early birds will be the ones searching for “Christmas gift ideas” even in April (3x up year over year on Pinterest).

MM: April! That’s so early. You weren’t kidding about “early bird”. We’ve heard a lot about products crossing traditional timing and swimlanes when it comes to eCommerce, and Pinterest definitely looks like a place where this kind of behavior takes place.

SP: Yes, definitely. By contrast, however, we also have our second type: “the traditionalist”. They’re the sticklers when it comes to holiday custom, and stick to their ritual every year. They love familiarity and comfort, but also enjoy finding fresh takes on old favorites.

MM: I can see this group being great for cultivating customer loyalty. Maybe incorporating certain brands or products into their rituals.

SP: We think so too. You may be familiar with the third type of shoppers, “the self-gifter”. For them, holidays means “me” time. They are the ones indulging in self-care days over the holidays, and aren’t afraid to splurge on what they have been eyeing for a while. Weekly US pinners are 30 percent more likely to give themselves a special holiday gift than non-Pinners.

MM: Their boards must be an ongoing shopping list. 

SP: That’s the idea. And I’m sure we all know a “rookie host” in our lives this time of year. That’s the fourth type, the newbie who is trusted with the responsibilities of hosting for the holidays, especially with holiday travel looking unlikely this year. They’re coming to Pinterest for help, and will be looking for festive cocktails and easy appetizers, along with winning suggestions for holiday mainstays. They’ll also be needing gears, everything from wine glasses to decorative lights. We predict that 7 in 10 weekly Pinners will host more events and celebrations at their home than before.

MM: And what about fifth and sixth types?

SP: The fifth type is “the shipping-first shopper”. These shoppers stock up on all their holiday necessities online. Things they value include free shipping, curbside pickup, generous return policies, and helpful customer service. Whatever the case, the shipping-first shopper is looking to minimize hassle with their shopping. 

The sixth type is “the next-level party planner”. They are the ones raising the bar every year, with the most memorable holiday parties. They dominate the holiday scene, causing the rest of us next-level envy. US Pinners are 3 times more likely to create a made-up holiday with their friends and family - something that these next-level party planners might plan a party for.

MM: Thanks for these insights, SangHa! It really sounds like there is something for everyone on Pinterest this holiday season.

SP: Of course! Excited to see what this holiday season brings us. 

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