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Buyable Pins Are About to Change Your Ecommerce Business – Here's How

Sep 28th, 2016

A while ago, we've discussed what Pinterest could do for you ecommerce brand. We went over some impressive stats like the number of active users (almost 50 million), average order volume ($50) and others.

All in all, this social network has the makings of becoming your most profitable social selling channel. But something new is happening now, that will make Pinterest even more important in the ecommerce landscape.

After months of teasing people with the idea, the network is finally getting a “Buy” button. That’s right: Pinterest will actively encourage users and ecommerce brands to shop directly on the site.

You might be surprised to learn that many Pinterest users actively asked for this function to be implemented – according to this Shopify’s study, 93% of active Pinners use the site to plan their shopping trips. It would only make sense to finally let them buy stuff directly, without going to the brand’s website.

On the one hand, it will dramatically increase the social sales of any brand that adopts the new function. On the other hand, it removes most of your control over how your merchandise is displayed and positioned to potential buyers.

But on balance, it's a terrific change that holds tremendous potential. Let's see why...

How the Pinterest "Buy" button will work

Buyable pins will appear in the Pinterest iOS app in the next few weeks. They will show up in search results or on the dashboard along with regular Pins. How do you tell the difference between a regular Pin and one you can buy? By color.


Pins with price displayed in blue are buyable (source: Pinterest.com)

Users of Apple devices will be the first to experience this change, and then Android and desktop platforms will follow. Big brands like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and others have already integrated the new function, and ecommerce businesses will have to catch up.

So when users are browsing Pins, they will have an option to view buyable products, sorting them by price, color, type, and other parameters. When they click the “Buy It” button, they will have an option to pay by Apple Pay, or credit / debit card.

At no point will Pinterest users have to leave the site – it seems like transactions will be processed immediately, and then the order will be submitted to the brand for fulfillment.


Transactions take place without leaving Pinterest, from start to finish. It looks like you will get direct access to people’s emails, which means that your list will grow. (source: Pinterest.com)

Why buyable Pins are huge

Here’s the main reason you’ll be interested in the Pinterest buy button – you’ll get 100% of the revenue. Pinterest says they won’t take a cut, and you’ll be able to deliver the exact type of customer service and fulfillment experience that people have come to expect of your brand.

Right now, there’s a limited number of ecommerce platforms supporting buyable Pins: Shopify and Demandware. If you aren’t using either platform, you can sign up to Pinterest’s waiting list and get notified of new integrations as they are created.

For your ecommerce brands, this means that social sales have become a lot more important. You’ll have concrete ROI to measure, and your focus will shift from maintaining awareness of your brand to closing some hard sales!

Of course, you will surrender a certain degree of control over how your items appear to potential customers. But buyable pins are optimized for conversions, so it’s not too big of a deal.

This means that your sales cycle will get shorter, as new people will have a chance to buy your stuff directly on Pinterest, and much of the usual friction associated with acquiring a customer won’t be a factor.

If you haven’t paid much attention to Pinterest, now is the time to start – with this new change, your social traffic is about to become more important and more profitable.

Moreover, other social networks (like Instagram, which is another favorite platform for ecommerce brands) are following Pinterest’s lead and looking to get “Buy” buttons of their own. It’s an exciting time for your ecommerce business, and I hope you’ll make the most of it!

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