My first thought when I discovered Pinterest was finally incorporating a “Buy It” button to over 30 million pins in the next few weeks:
It’s about time.
In some ways Pinterest is arriving late to the e-commerce game, yet it has already surpassed the hype and excitement other social media platforms have received. Will buyable pins be able to live up to their expectations by making an impact on the online shopping sphere? As a platform that inherently promotes impulsivity and online retail, I’m feeling pretty optimistic.
Here's How It Works
On iOS devices, certain pins will have a blue ”Buy It” button next to the familiar “Pin It” button that will allow shoppers to select a size/color combination and purchase the product within the app. Their payment information can be stored, creating the frictionless shopping experience pinners have been requesting for some time. While most active users have already purchased something because of the site, more than 75% of Pinterest users are on mobile devices where clicking through to enter payment information is slow and inconvenient. By cutting out the need to enter payment details, shoppers can scroll, pin, and buy-all with just a few clicks.
Retailers to Reap Some Serious Benefits
Shoppers aren’t the only people eagerly anticipating this new virtual mall. Companies that have often overlooked Pinterest and its e-commerce potential are now seeing the opportunity to reap serious benefits from buyable pins. Despite being an underdog to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, there are strong market statistics in Pinterest’s favor:
- The average order value of sales coming from Pinterest is $50, higher than Facebook, Twitter, and any other major social platform.
- Over 90% of users use the platform to plan purchases.
- Pinterest is the #2 source of all social media traffic to Shopify stores.
- Over 2 million people pin products per day.
Combined with the addition of promoted ads and buyable pins, Pinterest-enabled retailers will be able to unlock some serious data about the people they are reaching through the network, including volume and types of users purchasing their products.
Converting Pins to Purchases
What really can set things apart for retailers however, is the access to secure payment methodologies that many independent merchants currently don’t have. Similar to Etsy or even eBay, Pinterest’s in-app payments, provided through Demandware and Shopify, will allow retailers to promote, sell, and score serious revenue by transforming interest in their products to actual sales. While it is unclear how Pinterest will initially benefit given no additional fees are charged during the transaction, lesser-known retailers are being given a huge opportunity to make an impact on this marketplace, regardless of commissions Pinterest may demand down the road.
Who’s Ready to Shop?
Ultimately, time will tell how important a part of Pinterest’s business model this new e-commerce platform will be. Personally, I believe it has all the right components to be Pinterest's holy grail: eager audience, attractive business and consumer data model for vendors and single-click purchase... not to mention the massive and proprietary database of user purchase behavior they will collect.
So-get pinning, get selling, and get shopping. The “Buy It” button is ready for business.