What the Pinterest “Buy It” Button Means for eCommerce Companies

Pinterest "Buy It" button blog feature

Just over a week ago Pinterest started rolling out their new Buyable Pins. After a good amount of waiting and discussion, this little blue button of course didn’t come without some built-up hype. With major brands like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Cole Haan, and Michaels signing on for the initial release it is clear Pinterest is pursuing to have a large impact on the eCommerce industry.

But what does this mean for eCommerce companies? The impact the Pinterest “Buy” button can have is inevitably large, but what benefits does an eCommerce company see from implementing it? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

First, we need to look at what the button actually entails.

What you need to know about the “Buy It” button

When browsing through Pinterest a blue price will appear below the image, showing that this is a buyable pin. A blue “Buy It” button will also be beside the regular “Pin It” button where it will be easy to make a purchase right from the site.

Pinterest "Buy It" Button Example

The initial release of the “Buy It” button is only in the United States (sorry fellow Canadian friends!) and you must be a mobile Apple user to see it. But don’t fret, Michael Yamartino, Head of Commerce at Pinterest says that they’re “working hard to get [every device] buyable Pins in future releases.”

Purchases administered through Pinterest can be made through Apple Pay or any major credit card. They claim to have a simple and secure checkout that was made for mobile, which should mean a great online user experience.

Pinterest has also partnered with Shopify and Demandware, giving companies using these platforms the option to add in a “Buy It” button. Demandware customer, Cole Haan’s Vice President of Global Digital Commerce, Josh Krepon speaks out about their excitement:

“There are well over 70 million monthly active users on Pinterest, and many of them Pin products with the intent to buy… It’s a tremendous opportunity for Cole Haan to enable Pinners to purchase their favorite products with just a simple tap and Demandware has greatly simplified the effort for us to take advantage of it.”

As for monetization, Pinterest won’t be taking a cut of the sales processed on their platform, but will be making money on this through promoted pins, which will help your products be shown to your target audience.

Now where are these pins actually going to appear?

The short version: everywhere!

They are going to be in users home feeds, in their boards, in search results, and on company’s profiles. There also is going to be a new “Shop Our Picks” category to see all of the buyable Pins.

The Pins won’t appear like a sales message, they’ll look normal to the Pinterest browser. The only difference will be the blue price indicating that this is a buyable pin and it should not disrupt the shopping experience.

The Shopper’s Perspective

Stepping back and looking at this from a user perspective it really will be quite useful! My initial reaction was “Oh no, this is going to be expensive!” Being an avid Pinterest user, there are hundreds of things I have found and would have loved to purchase, but wasn’t able to find the product off of Pinterest or wasn’t willing to search.

There are numerous companies which had the potential to gain me as a new customer and by having the Pinterest “Buy It” button they probably will.

My opinion of the simplistic, easy place to shop mindset is not shared by everyone, as made clear in the comments of Pinterest’s initial release, but I think that the pickup and attraction of this new feature will do more good than harm.

Pinterest "Buy It" Initial Release Comments

Yikes. But that is just a few peoples opinions, and assuming there are more shopaholics scrolling through pages upon pages of Pinterest boards, buyable pins is definitely something you need to start considering!

So now comes the most important part, how does this affect your eCommerce business?

What “Buy It” on Pinterest Means for Your eCommerce Strategy

Pinterest is already showing products, projects, recipes, etc. and getting Pinners excited about it, while also giving them all the information they need to make a purchasing decision. This button encourages shoppers to go forth and make the purchase.

A good eCommerce marketing plan probably already has a Pinterest strategy, now the “Buy It” button is making it actionable.

There are two millions people posting product pins every day, but only 100 thousand daily visitors to the Mall of America. With 93% of Pinterest users intending to make a purchase, that is a massive online audience with a lot more potential than a storefront in the largest mall in the United States.

Serena Potter from Macys.com said that “When customers are on Pinterest and they are being inspired, it’s a new and different way for them to interact and get to know the Macy’s brand. It’s a great way for us to find new customers and to introduce existing customers to some of our other products.”

And I think that translates to any brand.

So other than the obvious exposure, what are the benefits?

Benefits of Pinterest’s “Buy It” Button

When a shopper is already searching for something specific, having your relevant product and the ability to buy that product right there is a great way to reach online shoppers, Pinterest-aholics, impulse shoppers, or whatever we *ahem* they call themselves.

  • The checkout process is built specifically for mobile.

With 80% of Pinterest browsing being on mobile so far in 2015 it only makes sense that Pinterest begins their release with mobile only. This also means for you that the barriers for your customers to complete the purchase won’t be because of a bad mobile user experience.

  • A (relatively) free way to advertise

I’m sure most eCommerce marketers already have a Pinterest advertising strategy in place and while having a company Pinterest page and promoting your products is a great way to start, adding that purchasing step will increase the chance of sale. It also can enable you to reach an audience who never would’ve purchased in the first place.

I say relatively free because Pinterest is still intending to turn a profit from promoted pins, but they appear to not be necessary to install the “Buy It” button.

  • Intent to Purchase

As I mentioned before, 93% of Pinterest browsers have an intent to purchase. That’s over 65,000 potential customers in one place!

  • Increased Word of Mouth

As any one who has watched something go viral before, the benefits of word of mouth marketing are massive. Having others sharing your posts can help expand your audience drastically. And while Pinterest was already a great source for that, the instant buying option will have your bottom line seeing the benefits as well.

  • Enhanced Discovery

Many shoppers will stumble across interesting items on Pinterest that they didn’t have a perceived “need” for. Thus, they wouldn’t have actively searched for these products and wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of their existence.

So, how successful will the “Buy It” button be?

It is a bit too soon to tell. But with more than 70 million active monthly users I think it is safe to say it has the potential to have a really strong impact. Personally, I am sure I will be making a purchase (or 27) whenever they decide to open it up to us Canadians!

Pinterest has long been a source for planning outfits, recipe ideas, wedding preparations, DIY projects, etc. Now with the option to purchase straight from the site online browsers are soon to be online shoppers, making Pinterest an excellent site to expand your ecommerce to.

Now all that’s left is a “Hire Chef” button to make all the delicious recipes we keep pinning!

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