Coffee nooks and tie-dye looks: Pinterest knows what Aussies want
Tie-dye outfits, roast lamb, and at-home coffee nooks: this is what Australians have been punching into the search bar of visual mecca and discovery platform Pinterest far more than usual during lockdown.
Furthermore, activity on the platform in recent weeks shows a return of optimism with users planning for the future, with travel-inspired “repins” and boards making a comeback.
According to Nielsen data, Pinterest has 7 million unique monthly visitors in Australia and Zealand and 4 million “ideas” are saved by users on the platform each day. From the casual user to the hardcore Pinner, Pinterest is a place to help them plan their next event, activity, cooking session, or home makeover.
As a result, new internal data from Pinterest provided to The Australian Financial Review about what people are searching for offers an interesting pulse check on consumer sentiment. Seeing what people plug into Pinterest’s tool bar can also provide brands and marketers insights into emerging trends and what people are thinking of buying.
As Australians spend more time at home even as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, Pinterest noted many users are looking to turn their home into an ideal space, with an 88 per cent increase in searches for “dream apartment”.
From “charcoal couch living room” (searches up 78 per cent) and “artsy bedroom” (up 76 per cent) to “coffee nook” (up 74 per cent), Australians want to repurpose their homes to suit a greater array of interests and needs.
This included strong interest in do-it-yourself projects in April; searches for “DIY desk” doubled, and searches for both “DIY projects” and “DIY room decor” surged 165 per cent.
In clothing, “tie-dye outfits” saw a 134 per cent increase according to searches on Pinterest from March to April.
Under food, searches for “healthy vegan recipes” were up 80 per cent across the same period, “high tea food” saw a 77 per cent increase, and “san choy bow recipe” was up 70 per cent.
Year-on-year, searches for “working from home” are up 300 per cent, “self-care checklist” are up 400 per cent and “spa day at home” are up 400 per cent. Cue people rushing for their next scented candle and face mask fix.
Pinterest’s Australia and New Zealand manager, Carin Lee-Skelton, argues the platform is more of a visual discovery tool than simply another form of social media.
“When people come to Pinterest, they come for themselves and their lives. It’s an incredibly personal platform, it’s not about what is going on the internet, and what their friends and family are doing,” Ms Lee-Skelton says.
“They are coming to plan and create boards for what they ultimately want to do in their real life. It’s a unique market of people who are very receptive to the ideas put in front of them, because they don’t yet know what they want to buy.
“They are coming to Pinterest because they ultimately want to go off and get something.”
However, in recent weeks the team noted a return to more future-oriented planning across the site. Ms Lee-Skelton says this is a sign of reblossoming hope and optimism about the future, with people again repinning pictures of Greek islands and Italian holiday destinations.
“In the early days of COVID, we saw people coming to visit to plan for ‘now’. Those immediate things for what they needed at the time.
“But what we are seeing now is data that shows that people are being optimistic about the future. And marketers are using these insights to adapt their messaging,” she says.
Companies that have been placing ads and campaigns on Pinterest include Myer, Optus, Amazon Prime Video and mattress-disruptor-come-furniture-merchant Koala Furniture.
The team has since grown to 10, including recent hire Sophie Shepherd, who before joining Pinterest was Instagram’s first employee in the Australian and New Zealand market and helped to ramp up the social media app’s monetisation strategy.
Pinterest is currently working with a group of around 16 advisors from consulting firm Accenture to finesse its user experience, make the platform more desirable for creatives and influencers to post content on, and to scale Pinterest’s ad offering to small and medium businesses.