Pinterest Makes Major E-Commerce Push With “Buyable Pins”
Pinterest will give U.S. users the ability to purchase directly on the social discovery network later this month.
Pinterest, already a place where online people go shopping, is about to become even more commercial. Today, the company announced that it will give users in the United States the ability to buy directly from Pinterest network with “Buyable Pins.”
It’s a move that has long been anticipated for the most product friendly of the social networks. According to comScore, Pinterest has 70 million monthly active users, users apparently very hungry to buy the stuff they see.
One of the most common requests from those users? “‘I wish Pinterest was a store,'” said Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann reading a tweet from a Pinterest user during the introduction of the new product this morning at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. “‘Like how great would it be to walk in and buy all those clothes and food and shoes and puppies and boys?'”
“People have been asking for this stuff a lot,” Silberman added, “and while we can’t promise puppies and boys, I’m really excited to announce today Buyable Pins.”
The new Pin product will start appearing later this month, at least on Apple iPhones and iPads. Because 80% of Pinterest activity is on mobile devices, Buyable Pins were designed for people to use on the go. Silbermann said buying is a one-finger experience intended to help taking the frustration out of trying to make purchases on mobile devices. Support for Android and the web versions of the platform will come later this year.
So later this month iOS users will start seeing blue Buyable Pins alongside the normal red pins. Uses will be able to pay with Apple Pay and credit cards; Pinterest is working with Stripe and Braintree to process payments; those companies, not Pinterest, will store customer payment information.
Pinterest said it will not take a cut from transactions; and Pinterest executives said they have no plans to change that. The idea is for purchases on Pinterest to cost the same as purchases on merchant’s e-commerce sites. Pinterest hopes that those businesses will purchase Promoted Pins to push those products into people’s home feeds and category and search results.
There will be more than 2 million Buyable Pins at launch, said Pinterest, which is working with major retailers such Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and two e-commerce platforms — Demandware and Shopify — to get going.
Marketers interested in joining the program can sign up on this waiting list. But a quicker way for small and medium businesses to get access to the product is through one of the e-commerce partners. Shopify’s director of product Satish Kanwar said tens of thousands of Shopify merchants should be ready to go using its new Pinterest sales channel. And he said the on-boarding process is quick enough that new Shopify customers who sign up soon could have Buyable Pins at launch.
Pinterest’s move pushes the company past the e-commerce efforts of Facebook and Twitter, each of whom started testing an in-feed buy button last year but are still testing to find the right mix. Social media companies have had a spotty history of commerce attempts, but Pinterest has long been considered the platform that could make it work because of Pinners’ strong purchase intent.