Pinterest was created in 2009 by entrepreneur Ben Silbermann and friends and was intended as some kind of digital scrapbook, where people could make a note of things that interested them online, in one convenient place. Their claim was that they helped people discover new things, but users were only ever able to “pin” things that they may be interested in buying, to look at a later date. Their buying would merely be aspirational. However, Pinterest has now announced the launch of their new service, “Buyable Pins”, which will enable users to buy their favourite Pinterest find, directly from inside the app!
More than two million blue “Buy It” buttons will be appearing on the site on products from big-name brands such as Cole Haan and Kate Spade, plus products from department stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Other merchants will be able to use this new Buyable Pins feature using Shopify. These two companies worked closely to expand this solution to small to medium-sized eCommerce merchants.
This is a great step forward for Pinterest, as currently, there is no buying mechanism on the site and if users want to buy an item, they click through the pin onto an external site. This might work well in lots of cases, but if you were admiring a gorgeous recipe for dinner, you would have to look up all the ingredients individually and check them out one by one. However, with this new feature, you could have all your ingredients delivered within one tap of a button.
They are also going to enable adding items to your Amazon Wish List.
You are probably wondering why Pinterest will want to link to things like Amazon and go down this eCommerce route all of a sudden, but it really is a natural progression, and will make them a fortune in the process! Although they don’t intend to take a cut from the retailers’ purchases, which is the conventional route, they plan to sell adverts to buyers. These adverts would come in the form of promoted pins, which retailers can then add these Buyable Pins buttons onto.
However, this new feature should also improve the user’s shopping experience, especially from a mobile device. Right now, Pinterest is only making the Buyable Pins feature available to US customers on iPads and iPhones, with the plan to launch on Android and desktop shortly. Those who shop on mobile devices will no longer have to type in the credit card information and address before purchasing an item. Instead, Pinterest have teamed up with Stripe and Braintree (a company owned by PayPal), to help simplify the checkout process. The Buyable Pins feature is specifically targeting mobile sales.
Pinterest is not the first company to be trying out this feature. Stripe and Braintree already have a working relationship with Facebook on a variety of mobile payment products and Stripe currently works with Twitter to enable buyers to purchase items from within a tweet!
So, this is not entirely new, but will sure to be an improvement to our mobile shopping experiences.