Here's How Businesses Can Use Pinterest's New Buyable Pins

Chris CrumeCommerce

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Marketers have been waiting quite a while for Pinterest to launch its long-rumored "buy" button, and at an event at its headquarters on Tuesday, the company announced Buyable Pins, which it describes as a simple and secure way to buy products right on Pinterest. It will roll out to iOS users in the U.S. later this month.

Do you intend to take advantage of Buyable Pins? Let us know in the comments.

"Pinterest is a catalog of ideas," a spokesperson for the company tells WebProNews. "Our mission is not just to show you ideas, but to help you bring them to life. Buyable Pins is the next step in this journey, as we bring the joy of discovering products in your favorite stores offline, online."

Take a look:

Users will be able to buy things on Pinterest when they see a blue price and "Buy it" button. There's also a price filter in the search filters for those looking for something specific, which should make the new functionality all the more useful, and effectively make Pinterest much more of a shopping service in general, even if there remains plenty to do beyond shopping.

When the user is ready to check out, they can tap "Buy it," and pay with Apple Pay or credit card. Once personal info is entered, it will be stored so the user doesn't have to keep entering it every time. Pinterest is partnering with payment processors so it won't be storing credit card info itself. Stripe is one partner.

"You'll find millions of buyable Pins on Pinterest, from great brands like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, retailers powered by Demandware like Cole Haan and Michaels, and thousands of Shopify stores like Poler Outdoor Stuff and SOBU," says Pinterest engineering manager Chao Wang.

So if you're a business hoping to increase your own sales with this feature, how should you proceed?

Right now, Pinterest is only working with a few major brands and two commerce platforms, but if your business uses Shopify, you can log into your account and add the Pinterest channel. Once you do that, you should be able to enable Buyable Pins in a few clicks.

Shopify says in its own blog post:

Shopify is currently the only way for small and medium-sized businesses to sell using Buyable Pins on Pinterest.

If you have an online store with Shopify, you can start selling your products on Pinterest by adding the Pinterest sales channel. Once you’re approved by Pinterest, any product that’s ever been Pinned from your online store will automatically become a Buyable Pin and include a “Buy it” button. All of your Pinterest orders, products and customers will automatically be synchronized with Shopify, just like any other sales channel.

If you use Demandware, you can get Buyable Pins in the coming weeks. Pinterest says to contact your Demandware customer success manager for more details. A post on that company's blog says:

Demandware is enabling its customers to deliver on their digital mobile marketing strategies – and drive sales – through their existing enterprise ecommerce platform, the Demandware Commerce Cloud. Retailers simply need to make their products buyable on Pinterest; there are no new systems or separate inventory required, and retailers capture and process transactions through their native systems.

Cole Haan, a longtime ecommerce innovator, is one of the first Demandware clients to participate in Pinterest Buyable Pins. In a statement, vice president of Global Digital Commerce Josh Krepon noted the “tremendous opportunity” for the company and that Demandware has “greatly simplified the effort” for Cole Haan to enable Buyable Pins.

For everyone else, you can sign up to be put on a waiting list. The company understandably says it wants to set a high bar for the feature, so it's not just making it instantly available to everyone right away.

"Businesses have always been essential to our mission of helping people do things in real life—after all, two-thirds of all content saved to Pinterest comes from businesses like yours," Pinterest's Tim Kendall writes on the company's business blog.

We recently had a conversation with Shawn Budde, CEO of payments company 2Checkout. He said a Pinterest buy button would change the future of ecommerce, and given that

While Buyable Pins are only coming to iPhone and iPad at first, Pinterest promises they'll come to desktop and Android in the future. When you look at stats like these, it's not hard to understand why:

Some old school Pinterest users who used to make money with affiliate links aren't too thrilled about the whole thing, however. Earlier this year, Pinterest put a stop to that with common thinking being that they did so to make way for their own ecommerce efforts.

Pinterest addressed that notion in a statement in February: "We are removing affiliate links to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience for Pinners. Recently, we observed affiliate links and redirects causing irrelevant Pins in feeds, broken links and other spammy behavior. We believe this change will enable us to keep the high bar of relevancy and quality Pinners expect from Pinterest.”

A newer statement provided to TechCrunch just said, “It wasn’t to screw anyone over…It was ultimately a policy decision.”

In related news, Pinterest working on some new stuff for its developer platform, which could lead to additional buying/selling opportunities. More on that here.

Do you expect to better utilize Pinterest to sell products online as these efforts kick into gear? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Pinterest

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.