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Pinterest sees greater opportunity in e-commerce push

Partly attributable to the global pandemic, Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) saw higher engagement on its platform in the second half of last year. In the fourth quarter, monthly active users grew 37% year-over-year to 459 million. The company apparently sees the greater scope of growth and engagement if it can drive users who are making a search query to actually make a purchase online. 

Management/analysts’ comments on Pinterest’s fourth-quarter report

This idea has triggered the company to introduce new features for merchants around the country, which led to a 6 times increase in shopping advertisers on Pinterest in Q4.

By 2021, Pinterest is planning to build momentum by continuing to help more businesses showcase their products and services, and help users have a unique shopping experience. The company wants to expand these features globally to better monetize this strategy.

Pinterest has recently unveiled several other updates to its site like adding more video, image gifs, and interactive posts. The video uploads on its site grew seven times as compared to the same period last year, which was accomplished by providing better video publishing tools to content creators.

Strong fourth quarter

Revenue in the quarter grew 76% year-over-year to $706 million and the company was profitable on a noncash basis for 2020.

Pinterest was able to generate almost two-thirds of its revenue from its brand-based ads and performance-based ads. The company’s efforts in improving the conversion of shopping advertisements have apparently started generating ROE in the fourth quarter.

International business grew 145% year-over-year on the back of strong advertising demand. International markets now represent 17% of Pinterest’s total revenue. The two very big examples of the firm’s advertisement success were the toy company LEGO, and the luxury coffee company, Nespresso.

Outlook for 2021

The San Francisco, California-based company expects revenue growth in the low 70s percent range in 2021. Separately, it expects positive trends from its investment in ad tools like shopping, automation, and sales coverage to increase.

Pinterest also plans to expand the international coverage in existing geographies and expand monetization into Latin America in the first half of the year.

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