Pinterest has just released its new trend report for the year ahead, with 27 predictions, like Gemini hair (why settle for pink when it can be pink and purple?), superfoods from the ocean, and mushroom-inspired décor. Those trends matter to all advertisers. But they’re especially ripe for the many retailers that have found new customers as Pinterest keeps sharpening its commercial edge.
Celie O’Neil Hart, Pinterest’s global head of content and writing, tells Retail Insider what Pinterest’s 400 million users are looking for now.
Retail Insider: Your research finds that shoppers on Pinterest have 85% bigger baskets versus shoppers on other platforms. Could you break down why that's true? Is it more time spent browsing?
Celie O’Neil Hart: Most people who use Pinterest arrive with intent to shop. These are shoppers who spend and buy more, more often. When you aren’t hurried to purchase—when you browse and consider and try on—you put more in your basket.
A lot of shopping sites focus so hard on making shopping fast that they forget about the fun. They really solved for buying, not for shopping. Think about how weird shopping in a store would be if someone were chasing you around the whole time, yelling, “Check out RIGHT NOW.” Isn’t that exactly how online shopping feels sometimes? While other sites hurry people to conversion, Pinterest invites them to browse and consider.
We believe everything on Pinterest should be shoppable. People on Pinterest are 40% more likely to say they love shopping compared to people who don’t use Pinterest.
Retail Insider: What makes Pinterest such a different shopping environment from other social media?
Hart: Pinterest is personal media, not social media. It’s for yourself, not your selfie. Plenty of other platforms help you connect with friends or strangers; Pinterest is about reconnecting with yourself and planning for a life that inspires. We also know it’s hard to feel inspired if you don’t feel safe, so we’re focused on building a more positive place online that actually helps you improve your life rather than distracting you from it.
Ultimately, people’s intent on Pinterest makes the platform different. They’re coming to Pinterest with intent to shop and find ideas. That gives brands a unique opening. Ads are additive here because people are actively looking for products and solutions, so shopping features like a dedicated Shop tab on profiles for merchants and Shopping Lists or AR Try on for lipstick and eyeshadow are natural extensions of that.
Retail Insider: Your trends are always unexpected—like wildflowers in baking or pool parties for dogs. How long does it take for a micro-trend to snowball?
Hart: Not long. This is one of the things that’s fascinating about trends on Pinterest. When people start searching, they quickly go above and beyond their original category. They’ll revisit a search term again and again, typing different verticals or categories into the search bar.
An example from this year: “Rust married” shows burnt orange rising in weddings, but it’s already popping in adjacent categories like fashion, home and food. That desire to go deeper on a trend means Pinterest trends last a lot longer than trends on other platforms. Black Swan, a third-party research firm, found that trends on Pinterest sustain monthly growth more than 20% longer than trends on the rest of the internet. They’re not just a flash in the pan, which means, as an advertiser, you don’t have to worry about them dropping off quickly after you invest.
Retail Insider: What’s your favorite of the new trends?
Hart: Mental health is top of mind, especially for Gen Z. They’re looking for ways to build therapy into more parts of their lives beyond just talk therapy. The “Now Processing” trend shows a rise in other forms of therapeutic support, like art journaling therapy, which is up nearly 4000%. Music therapy, writing therapy and therapy writing prompts are also trending. As we said in the report, Gen Z especially—but all audiences, really—are seeking more creative ways to feel their feels in 2023.
Retail Insider: Did any of the trends surprise you?
Hart: Look, I love a train as much as the next person, but I was impressed that Gen Z is so focused on sustainability that they’ve literally made air travel uncool. The “All aboard” train trend surprised me in a good way, especially the fact that it’s being driven by the youngest generations on Pinterest.
For the older audiences, I love that boomers are getting the post-pandemic parties started. They’re looking for any opportunity to host a party. We tried to honor that in how we wrote about the trend: “Sorry kids, Nana’s got plans” and “More years, more reasons to party."