Pinterest Boosts Interest in E-Commerce with New Buy Button (June 8, 2015)
In the latest move to blur the lines between social media and e-commerce, popular social sharing site Pinterest will enable users to make purchases through its platform. The company announced it will begin rolling out “buyable pins”—special icons attached to merchandise from brands, including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. By clicking on the icon, users can get more information about the product, select different sizes and colors, and purchase the item using Apple Pay or a credit card—without having to leave Pinterest. In all, more than 2 million items will have buy buttons attached when the service debuts, the company said. The feature is set to roll out for iOS in the coming weeks, with Android and desktop support to follow, according to a Pinterest blog post.
With 70 million monthly users, Pinterest already serves as a powerful driver of e-commerce by connecting shoppers with retailers—and the new buy button promises to enhance that convergence by enabling users to make purchases while pinning and browsing, rather than having to exit the site and go to a retailer’s page to buy an item. And with 80 percent of Pinterest users accessing the site via mobile device, according to the company, streamlining the purchasing process is a key way of combating shopping cart abandonment—one of the biggest challenges to mobile commerce. Pinterest won’t charge retailers for posting buyable pins, nor will it take a cut of transactions. Instead, the company plans to offer merchants the ability to place “promoted pin” ads, which will incorporate buyable pins.
Pinterest’s new purchasing feature comes amid a flurry of social media providers rolling out e-commerce initiatives. Last September, Twitter unveiled a buy button that merchants can embed in their tweets. That move came just weeks after Facebook began testing a buy button that appeared in ads and page posts in users’ news feeds.