How Pinterest boosts its ecommerce potential

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Pinterest has a lot of potential for ecommerce, and seems more suited for retailers than some other shopping channels. 

It was originally known as the ideal platform to procrastinate, organise your favourite pins to endless boards, or create virtual wish lists. Many things have changed since then, and Pinterest is now more serious than ever with regards to ecommerce.

Customers and purchase intent

Pinterest now has more than 110 million monthly active users and according to Mary Meeker’s recent report, 55% of them visit the platform to find and shop for products.

This is even more impressive when compared to stats that show just 12% of Facebook and Instagram users visit those platforms to find and shop for products.

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Pinterest users are aware of the platform’s commercial potential and their purchase intent keeps the new features coming, in an attempt to materialise the ecommerce opportunities.

Even when people are not ready to purchase a product directly from Pinterest, 93% of them say that they use the platform to plan for their purchases, while 87% have made a purchase after discovering a product they liked.

Pinterest’s focus on ecommerce

Pinterest seems to have become more aware of its ecommerce potential, and this has let it to introduce more partnerships with brands and new features to improve the shopping experience through the platform.

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Image source: Pinterest

It has now partnered with more than 20,000 merchants, bringing more than 10 million unique products on Pinterest, in an attempt to take advantage of all the customers that are ready to purchase a product they may have just discovered.

As for the ecommerce opportunities and how they are reflected on Pinterest, there are currently:

  • 300 million boards for fashion
  • 180 million boards for food and drink
  • 130 million boards for home decor

while there is also an international interest, with 45% of users being outside U.S.

Buyable pins

Buyable pins were first introduced on Pinterest’s mobile app, but they now arrived in the desktop version to expand the ecommerce opportunities.

This is an easy way to drive sales, as purchases can be made directly through the pin. Buyable pins can be found in search results, in related pins, but also in a business profile and they can be spotted by the blue price, which indicates their difference from the average pins.

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This allows customers to grab a deal they may discover on the go, while brands can enhance the shopping experience and increase their profit.

As Pinterest clarifies, this is aimed to benefit brands that still control the shopping experience, as the platform does not handle shipping, or customer service. Pinterest serves in this case as the mediator to boost its status in the ecommerce world, while both brands and customers enjoy the benefits of it.

Shopping bag

Pinterest has introduced the shopping bag feature to help customers select multiple products at a time.

As an ecommerce platform, Pinterest realises that some features should be taken for granted while customers shop from the platform, and the shopping bag was just the beginning.

Blog Shopping Bag

Up to now, it is available on Android and desktop, and iOS will also feature it soon.

Shop from a specific brand

Another useful feature that Pinterest introduced is the ability to shop from a specific brand, simply by filtering the results to focus on one brand.

This way a customer may simply visit a brand’s profile, find the new filtering options for the popular products, the sale items, or even the shipping deals.

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The combination of the filtering for brands along with the shopping bag make the purchasing process much smoother, and more akin to traditional ecommerce sites. 

The evolution of visual search

Pinterest is heavily focusing on visual search in order to improve the pinning experience and make the pin (and product) discovery easier.

It already introduced in November a visual search tool that allows users to zoom in any pin and search for the specific products, colors, or patterns.

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If there’s a pin for example of a living room, users can simply zoom on the carpet and find relevant pinned products on the right side of their screen.

Pinterest has mastered the idea of automatic object detection and it turns out to be very useful, as it displays an impressive collection of relevant pins for every product a user might like. There are already 130 million visual searches every month and this seems to be a great opportunity for every brand to showcase its products to the most targeted audience.

What’s even more impressive is Pinterest’s plans to expand the visual search to the real world and connect the actual products with pins. A simple photo may connect the visual experience with the right recommendations of pins and this is certainly very promising if it works out well for Pinterest.

An ambitious plan that needs to be embraced

Pinterest seems to be very ambitious for its future plans and we feel that it is close to open a new ecommerce world to users and brands, provided that it manages to scale up its growth.

It’s not always easy to live up to the expectations and sometimes it’s not even easy to convince users to “follow your plans”. If Pinterest manages to present all its next plans accordingly, and actually inform users and brands of the new additions, then we are expecting big things in the next year.

Since then, if your brand is still not trying it out, maybe it’s the right time to do so, finding the right audience and experimenting with all its features that could bring traffic back to your site and increase the sales.

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