Pinterest Pins Down Commerce With Buy Button Rollout

pinterest buyingIn a move aimed at speeding the conversion path between “pinners” and thousands of retailers, Pinterest will debut buyable pins allowing users to purchase products directly from its website, the company announced Tuesday at its San Francisco headquarters.

The feature was specifically designed to make mobile purchases faster and easier as users browse their favorite pinboards. Rather than forcing users to leave the website to purchase items, a few clicks enable them to gather more information about products, choose colors or sizes if needed and quickly check out using Apple Pay or a credit card.

“The reason we’re so excited about them is we think the buyable pins take us closer from turning Pinterest inspirations into a reality,” said Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann.

Pinterest’s blue price tags will begin adorning more than 2 million products later this month on iOS devices. Android OS and desktop will come later this year.

Retail partners include Nieman Marcus, Macy’s and Nordstrom. Pinterest also joined forces with commerce platforms Demandware and Shopify. Demandware’s clients include big names such as Cole Haan, Kate Spade and Ethan Allan, while Shopify’s 165,000 local and independent retailers will gain access to Pinterest’s 70 million monthly users. Pinterest is the second leading source of traffic to Shopify’s stores.

“It will allow us to not only find the right audience and convert them faster, but also from a user experience [standpoint], they are able to buy in the moment as they are extremely excited about discovering our products,” said Sumeera Rasul, founder of Madesmith, a Shopify retailer.

Pinterest’s focus on making mobile payments quick and simple seems like a no-brainer considering that 80% of its users access the site through a mobile device. It’s a trend reflected in Demandware’s data, said Elana Anderson, SVP of worldwide marketing at Demandware.

“We have over 200 million visitors per month across our platform and we have been witnessing fundamental changes in behavior,” Anderson said. “We’ve seen business from mobile phones increase nearly 40% year over year, and purchases from mobile phones have increased by nearly 60%.”

Products purchased via buyable pins won’t cost users any more than they’d pay at a retailer’s website. Pinterest also won’t charge retailers for creating the pins, but will monetize the feature by offering promoted pins.

“Our goal is … every merchant can use a buyable pin but they can put a promoted media buy behind it to scale it,” said Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships.

Serena Potter, Macy’s group VP of marketing, downplayed concerns about hosting products at another platform, potentially at the expense of some types of first-party data.

“For Macy’s, we really want to be where the customer is,” she said. “We think Pinterest is a fantastic platform that supports the customer to discover, be inspired and find new products in a new and interesting way. It is new for us to do a third-party order integration, but we think it’s about reaching new customers. We think it’s better servicing our customers and really activating those customers on a mobile device.

She added, “We know our customers are there, the technology is there. It’s really important for us as a brand to be at the forefront of new innovations.”

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