The roll-out seems modest at first: Pinterest announced that visitors will be able to buy directly onsite through the use of “Buyable Pins." But before you get too excited, there are limitations: customers must be on an IPad or IPhone, and only merchants utilizing the Shopify or Demandware e-commerce platforms qualify to sell through Pinterest. In addition, a few major retailers that are piloting the program are included. Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom’s are the powerhouses that get to give it a go for now. Even as a pilot program, however, buyable pins represent a big evolution in social commerce. Why? Because merchants will now have an entirely new sales platform to sell-through, covering their off-site presence as well as their on-site channel. The big blue pin is not the first effort at monetizing social media, but it is the most talked-about development in awhile.
Major brand managers are certainly excited about this enhancement, particularly as there is no additional cost to this e-commerce opportunity other than paid placement that is already available. Pinterest is currently not taking a percentage of the sale and the transactions promise to be smooth and simple. Several major payment processors (including Stripe, the native payment app within Shopify) will execute the financial transaction, or customers can use Apple Pay. Rest assured, no payment information will ever reside at Pinterest. Shopify merchants will also appreciate the ability to measure and track the number of pins, repins, and orders using the Pinterest Channel Dashboard in their Shopify Admin console.
Once merchants start to measure the effect of putting buyable pins in front of Pinterest’s 70 million users, that advertising revenue could increase substantially. As Pinterest continues to build out the shopping functionality, the ease of buying through the platform will be a powerful incentive for Pinners. Already they can sort by price, attributes, as well as collections, and curated sections such as a “Shop our picks” tab. In fact, buyable pins are really just an evolution of rich pins, already the most popular type of pins within the platform because of the enhanced product information available to visitors.
The service will be extended to Android devices and the desktop version of Pinterest soon.
If you are a merchant on Shopify or Demandware, you can also easily install AddShoppers’s social commerce functionality with just a few clicks! These two leading e-commerce platforms have integrations with AddShoppers, as well as Pinterest, to assure you get the most from your onsite and offsite traffic. Even better, you can take advantage of our Pinterest-specific opportunities, such as our “Pin It To Win It” social contests, to build your Pinterest presence and engage other Pinners looking at your boards. With the introduction of buyable pins, its a win-win situation representing further evolution of social commerce.