Pinterest Offers ‘Price-Change Alerts’ In Bid To Reactivate Purchase Intent

Today, Pinterest introduced “price-watching,” a way for consumers to receive email notifications when the price drops on an item they pinned.

Price alerts mark the “first additional application of rich pin data that we’ve seen and I think there will be others,” said Danny Maloney, cofounder and CEO of Pinterest marketing and analytics firm PinLeague. “But, first and foremost, it really shows the power of rich pins to retailers and gives them something compelling, to basically say, ‘We’re going to convert or reactivate interested customers who have checked out your products in the past but maybe who did not purchase.”

In the two short months since Pinterest added pin details like real-time price and availability of product, it has already amassed more than 10 million pins of products.

The company has also noted that product pins have generated higher click-through-rates than standard pins. Product pins were one part of a trio of “rich pins” Pinterest just launched, that also include recipe pins and movie pins with reviews and newer features like links back to sites of the pin’s origin.

Though Maloney called Price Alerts more of a value-add to rich pins than a pure monetization play, he did say that it sets the stage for deeper monetization down the road as Pinterest looks to grow its 50 million monthly active unique users. The amount of commercial data Pinterest will have about retail and e-commerce pricing and fluctuations could be staggering.

The move follows other experiments in turning pin data into a real revenue source.

After launching basic Pinterest Web Analytics this spring, which reports pinning data to website owners on how many times a pin was viewed and where traffic originated, the platform earlier this week said it’s playing with ways to make pins “more personal,” with a “homier home feed,” deepened recommendations and suggestions for personalized pins and boards based on “Pin It” site data.

Although Pinterest has no formalized ad program (yet) and only first introduced business accounts last fall, there is already an avalanche of user data that makes retargeting more of a reality here for brands and retailers to surface a promoted pin, for example, to someone who has left their site after viewing “X” product.

“If you’re a retailer with tens of thousands of SKUs, it’s zeroing in on, ‘what products are getting people excited?’ That’s already being used in display ad campaigns and display creatives on Facebook and the Web,” said Sharad Verma, CEO of visual social analytics platform Piqora, in a recent interview.

But simple promoted pins would only be a bare basic.

People will only get price notifications, at this time, for items they have pinned. “We hope this makes it easy for people to save on the things they love,” said a Pinterest spokesperson. “When it comes to monetization, we don’t have any plans to announce at this time.”

From a consumer privacy standpoint, Pinterest plans to announce formal changes to its Privacy Policy August 26. The company also announced support for browser-generated Do Not Track signals.


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