Pinterest is not going to be just a digital pin board any more, it is expected to enter e-commerce soon. The popular platform has planned to launch ‘buy’ buttons embedded right next to housewares, clothing and even recipes to enter product delivery service that sees more than 70 million active users.
On Monday, Tim Kendall, who heads partner products at Pinterest, at MIT’s EmTech Digital conference said the company was working hard to roll out the new buy buttons and suggested the dominant online retailer Amazon and grocery delivery service Instacart would be the kinds of companies that might benefit. Through this new feature, the users can click the buy button next to a recipe and buy all the necessary ingredients needed for the recipe. Similarly, for house wares and clothing on Pinterest, a single click on them could add the items to the wishlist or to shopping cart as selected by the user. He conveyed that the work is currently under progress to implement this system and could be expected soon. He also added, “We want this to be all over Pinterest.”
Right now, the social giant partners with big brands and works to pass on some piece of data like price and where to get that are displayed along with pins to other users when they repin the post. Kendall says the partners can soon pass on more data into the API, which could “enable pretty sophisticated experiences” like multi-product Buy buttons.
Kendal terms the whole process as ‘discovery-purchase-experience flow’ through Pinterest, though he says the process has long way to go as it is still only in the concept stage. During the conference, he uses Pinterest to search for lamp and the pin result for the lamp included a way to add the lamp to the user’s Amazon Wish List.
By adding the action buttons to Pinterest, the company is trying to intensify the efforts to increase revenue from its more than 70 million users. Now, the company makes money from charging companies for ‘promoted pins’ that are more visible for users than other content.
But Kendall emphasized on the fact that commerce aspect of the company was more important than the advertisements in the site. He reveals that it is quite difficult to differentiate Pinterest’s products and services from the social networks like Facebook and Twitter that supports ads. “One of the biggest misconceptions about Pinterest, even by people who use Pinterest, is that we are a social network,” he said. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter focuses on displaying the past and the present and communicating with one another. But Pinterest, he said, “We are tool for you to figure out what you want to do in the future.”
According to him, if things work as per his plan, the social site’s money-making plan would be in better sync with the way people use its service than the revenue models of ad-supported social networks would be. Partners would be able to drive more sales through the buy button and thereby more incentives for them to create storefronts within Pins of all products they offer. More content means attracting more people to stay long on the website. It could also enable the company to charge partners to increase the reach of the products through the pinned ads.