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Pinterest Buys Into the E-commerce Space with ‘Buyable Pins’

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Earlier this week, Pinterest announced that it will be rolling out a new ‘Buyable Pin’ product, allowing consumers to complete purchases directly through the app. Over 2 million items will be available for purchase through Buyable Pins when the product is rolled out to iOS users later this month, and on Android and Desktop in future releases.

This new product could have a profound effect on the way in which consumers interact with brands. Users have incentive to go to Pinterest for the full funnel – where they can be inspired, actively search, and ultimately make a purchase. And with this comes the opportunity for brands to nurture consumers and connect with them in a visually beautiful and inspiring landscape, with the potential to be the bridge between branding and direct response efforts.

The new direct-response feature will be identified by a blue price tag in the pins description. Once a pin is expanded, the new blue ‘Buy It’ call-to-action button will sit to the left of the existing ‘Pin It’ button. Consumers will have the ability to filter searches based on price, swipe to view various color options, choose size, color and quantity, and ultimately tap to buy with a credit card or Apple Pay.

Pinterest buy featurePinterest is working closely with payment processors to securely store credit card information after a user’s first purchase – allowing for quick and easy transactions thereafter. Pinterest states that it will not be storing any credit card information itself to protect people’s personal information.

This new product solidifies Pinterest’s position in the marketplace as a socially-driven content discovery and commerce channel. Prior to this update, the platform was merely an outlet to plan and share what could be purchased, but Buyable Pins have given Pinterest a much more tangible meaning.

  • Pinterest is becoming a shopping hub: The visual discovery tool now doubles as a beautiful, inspiring e-commerce site that can be organized to a user’s liking.
  • Need for advanced targeting and measurement solutions: Potential future plans could include more advanced buying models and optimization towards purchase behavior. The recent rollout of audience based targeting and new pricing models set Pinterest up for the introduction of this new product, but the market will now demand more advanced and faster solutions to make the platform more competitive in the evolving landscape.
  • Potential spike in platform usage: A more seamless path to purchase may lead to increases in time spent on the platform.
  • Competing with lower funnel channels: The introduction of e-commerce to the platform combined with Pinterest’s vivid imagery and discoverability by nature now poses an even greater threat to lower funnel players (i.e. Google).

Consumer Implications
96 percent of Pinterest users reported using the platform to research and gather information. The opportunity to buy right from the platform is a major enhancement to the consumer experience. Here’s how users can benefit:

  • Easier to take action: Pinterest is now a single unified platform for discovery and purchase, making it easier than ever for consumers to shop with the click of a button.
  • Improved user experience for mobile purchasing: Buyable pins make purchasing on mobile phones seamless, alleviating the friction of inputting information on a small mobile screen.

Brand Implications
As brands continue to develop their e-commerce strategies, Pinterest has the potential to drive ROI for marketers in the world of content discovery by serving up the following brand benefits:

  • Reach shoppers to generate revenue: Pinterest has no plans of taking a cut of the revenue in the immediate future, and the product is positioned to cost the same as products on brands’ e-commerce sites.
  • Ability to close the loop when there’s an impulse to buy: Brands have the opportunity to nurture users from discovery through the point of purchase with this new seamless experience.
  • New mobile-first revenue stream: Pinterest as a shopping destination has opened up a mobile-first revenue stream for brands – as around 80 percent of users access Pinterest through a mobile device.
  • Integration opportunities: For the launch, Pinterest is working with a select group of brands and retailers currently using Shopify or Demandware.

Pinterest’s plunge into the e-commerce world follows trial attempts by other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. While these platforms continue to test in the space, the opportunity for Pinterest seems uniquely promising given that 87 percent of active Pinterest users have purchased a product after discovering it on the platform in the past six months – which clearly exhibits the social discovery network’s strong affinity for purchase intent.

Cover photo via Pinterest.