It can be difficult to stand out among an expansive pool of brands. Bon Femmes, an online shop that features women-made art and décor says Pinterest pinners are helping spread the word.

As a new brand, any exposure is welcomed, says Bon Femmes founder Omotola Akinbiyi.  “My brand is still so young, most of the shoppers [online and in store] are first timers,” she says. “I’ve had customers come into the physical store and let me know they first saw the brand on Pinterest.” The retailer launched online in 2019.

Getting noticed can be difficult for a new brand and Bon Femmes, an online and Chicago-based physical store featuring art, home décor, cosmetics, and other items made and designed by women, is no exception.

“It is so much easier connecting with potential customers using Pinterest’s tools,” Akinbiyi says. “It’s easier to share new items, new collections, etc.”

Pinterest tools for merchants include the Shop Tab. This allows the retailer to turn its product catalog into product “Pins” to make it easier for Pinterest users to find and share products by pinning them to their boards. Merchants can add the Pinterest tag to their website to measure conversions and use it as a tool to retarget ads, according to Pinterest.

And while tools like the Shop Tab may not always translate into immediate sales, “It still gets eyes on the site that might not have originally even been aware of the brand,” Akinbiyi says.


Pinterest pinners do the legwork

Nearly three quarters of Bon Femmes web traffic comes from mobile devices, with an average of more than 8,000 monthly visits to the website (includes both mobile and desktop visitors), according to SimilarWeb data during September-November 2021 within North America. Bon Femmes pays for Instagram ads and expects web traffic as a result, but it’s the uptick in web visitors from the Pinterest app that Akinbiyi says is a welcomed source of organic exposure.

In 2020, Bon Femmes received a total of 6,330 visits from Pinterest, Akinbiyi says. However, after updates to the Pinterest app, including the ability for consumers to use their phone cameras to take a photo or use an image from their camera roll to tag to products, Akinbiyi says website traffic from Pinterest has more than doubled.

In fact, Pinterest brought 15,264 redirected web visits in 2021 compared to 6,330 in 2020, an 83% increase.

Akinbiyi notes that Instagram’s 16,161 visits in 2021 were a result of paid ads. Other traffic drivers to the website, such as organic search, like from Chrome and Mobile Safari browsers, brought in 23,593 visits in 2021 compared with 16,742 visits in 2020.


According to SimilarWeb, which tracks desktop traffic (25% of Bon Femmes’ overall web traffic visitors), between September-November 2021 in North America, Pinterest accounted for 93% of its social media traffic with other social platforms including Facebook (7%) and Instagram (0.5%) accounting for the remaining share.

Akinbiyi says that she’s also noticed an influx of traffic when one of Bon Femmes’ Pinterest pins goes viral. “Which always brings more traffic to my site,” she says.

Prior to launching this store, Akinbiyi worked in the arts and began writing a blog, Bon Femmes, in 2015, highlighting female artists. Bon Femmes transitioned from a blog to an online shop in 2019. In April 2021, Akinbiyi opened a physical storefront in Chicago, open only on Saturday’s (Akinbiyi holds a full-time job during the week elsewhere).


Akinbiyi still writes posts in the “Journal” section of the Bon Femmes website, highlighting artists such as Sixtine van Kemmel.

Bon Femmes also notes that it is taking care to minimize its environmental impact where possible, including using packaging that is 95% recyclable. The retailer intends to raise that to 100% “with more research,” according to the Bon Femmes website. According to a Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights March 2020 survey of 989 online consumers, 30% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for environmentally sound fulfillment policies and practices.

Another useful Pinterest feature, says Akinbiyi, is the merchant details section which appears on a merchant’s profile below the business name. It allows retailers to highlight values or causes it promotes. Under Bon Femmes by Omotola A.’s profile details, Akinbiyi shares that it is an online shop featuring art, design, and beauty/self-care products created by women. As of December 20, 2021, the store noted it has nearly 10,000 followers within Pinterest and 1.7 million monthly views.

Tools like Pinterest’s shop tab and Pinterest’s merchant details searches make it easier for consumers to share what they see and, Akinbiyi says, can potentially lead to a purchase. But the biggest value is bringing attention to a newbie brand looking to transform clicks into awareness and eventually, into sales, she says.


When consumers are directed to Bon Femmes’ site through Pinterest pins, Akinbiyi says it’s an opportunity to understand the shopper a bit better “and what they’re looking for from the brand,” she says.

Augmented reality for an immersive shopping experience

Pinterest offers visual search, where consumers can take a photo with a smartphone or tablet that generates a selection of pins that are similar to the photographed items. From there, consumers can choose to visit the retailer’s website.

But it’s the the Pinterest Lens which uses augmented reality (AR) that presents a new opportunity for shoppers to connect with brands. Launched in January 2021, lens offers consumers an interactive way to try on before they buy. 11% more Pinterest users are using the AR Try On for Beauty tool on the Pinterest platform, where consumers can virtually try on products like lipstick or eyeshadow from brands like Chanel, Gucci and L’Oréal, among others. Pinterest is not measuring sales as a result of using the augmented reality tool, but noted it is driving web traffic to merchant websites.

According to Pinterest, the number of shop tab searches have increased by 144% during Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. Lens snapshots increased by 122% during the same period.


According to a Digital Commerce/Bizrate Beauty survey of 1,000 respondents in August 2020, 8% said they wanted the ability to virtually try on beauty products, while 6% surveyed noted actually using the tool during their online shopping experience.