After speculation back in February, Pinterest has officially announced the release of their Buy Button this month. According to Pinterest, more than 2 million Buyable Pins will be available to iPad and iPhone users in the U.S. in a few weeks and to Android and desktop users later on.
Price filters will allow customers to sort through pins based on their price range and customers will be able to pick colors, sizes, and more within the Pinterest app. Purchases made through the Buyable Pins will be processed through Stripe, Braintree and ApplePay. Instead of taking a portion of the revenue, Pinterest is charging companies for the implementation of Buyable Pins.
From the information they have released, Pinterest seems to have come out strong by integrating the buy button seamlessly into their interface as a single blue button located next to the Pin button. This design prevents the disruption of the visual appeal of the platform. The challenge now is retailers ensuring the platform doesn’t become a massive advertisement. When utilizing Buyable Pins, retailers need to keep in mind the kind of images that perform well, such as lifestyle and editorial images, instead of white background product images.
Pinterest’s foray into the eCommerce space could be truly revolutionary. Although other social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, have attempted to implement purchasing opportunities directly through their platforms, they have been relatively unsuccessful. Pinterest has an advantage since its users are in a buying mindset when using the platform.
For retailers, Buyable Pins are a great opportunity but also a potential catch-22. Currently Pinterest accounts for nearly 23% of referral traffic to eCommerce sites and its users are 10% more likely to make a purchase than people arriving from other social network sites. It makes sense that retailers could see significant profits from Buyable Pins, however, what could make them so successful is also a downside for retailers.The fact that customers won’t have to leave Pinterest to make a purchase increases the likelihood of conversion, but retailers will lose the benefit of having customers visit their website. The average order value of purchases made through Buyable Pins may be relatively low and the limited interaction with the retailer could degrade brand loyalty.