“One of our fastest-growing user bases right now is Gen Z and we know that this audience cares deeply about choosing the brands they do business with,” Kaplan said. “But it’s not just about Gen Z – this is the direction shopping is going in general.”
Buying vs. shopping
What makes Pinterest’s stab at commerce different from other platforms has been its focus on discovery and capturing intent rather than facilitating the transaction itself, Kaplan said.
“There is a role for us to play in bridging upper-funnel discovery and bottom-of-the-funnel purchases,” Kaplan said. “We can build experiences that take advantage of our inherent strength, which is that we have latent intent.”
The vast majority – around 97% – of the billions of monthly searches that take place on Pinterest are for products that aren’t associated with a specific brand. This gives retailers a chance to reach people before they’ve made up their minds on what to buy.
Enabling retailers to attract those potential prospects is the difference between “buying” and “shopping,” Kaplan said. Buying is purely transactional, whereas shopping is part of an experience.
“We’re trying to bring more joy and inspiration back into that shopping experience,” Kaplan said. “These are things that are missing from the digital economy right now because so much of ecommerce is focused on purchases and transactions.”
That said, Pinterest is planning to finally start testing native checkout. On the company’s Q2 earnings call in July, Todd Morgenfeld, Pinterest’s CFO, said the test will begin at some point this year.
According to Kaplan, though, native checkout testing hasn’t started yet, but should kick off “relatively soon.”