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Pinterest hops on the e-commerce trend with “buy” buttons

Pinterest is the latest social media platform to hop on the e-commerce train. Here’s what you need to know to maximize your pinning power.

pinterest traffic

pinterest traffic

Pinterest hops on the e-commerce trend

These past few weeks have been non-stop updates of social media platforms merging with e-commerce. From Twitter’s dedicated and curated pages, to Instagram’s integrated links, social media is the newest and hottest e-commerce spot. Now Pinterest is entering the trend as well, with their recently launched “buy” buttons.

Pinners using the new button can purchase items without ever leaving Pinterest, sound familiar? It should. When users find something they like, they can pay via Apple Pay, or credit cards. Payments will be handled by Stripe and Braintree (owned by PayPal). Pinterest will also partner with Shopify and Demandware, in an effort to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to sell products through the site. Again, a bit like Twitter and Instagram have recently done as well.

Why does e-commerce on social media seem to be trending?

My opinion is that the faster you move a user from Pinner/Tweeter/Instagrammer to purchaser, the more likely the user is to complete that purchase. Now that users have the ability to complete these purchases without ever leaving the social media platform, sales are almost guaranteed to increase.

As promoted Pins, curated Tweets, and integrated Instagram links already exist, it is not hard to fathom that each individual platform will use it to reach out to their followers. Pinterest can notify users when there is a sale through promoted pins at the top of the page (as they are already keeping track of what you pin); Twitter brands can tweet their followers with discount codes and sales; and Instagram brands can post pictures of sales and new products to keep users engaged and excited about products.

On the flip side of this, you should consider what this means to the customer service aspect of your business. Increased sales and increased visibility, also means increased customer reviews, complaints, issues, and return (if applicable). This may mean you need to increase customer service efforts, or just be prepared for an influx of additional user buying in a completely new way.

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What we can learn from Pinterest

One thing we can learn from Pinterest, especially, is they have already addressed their users concerning the collection, usage, and opting out of how your data will be collected for promoted pins. Keep in mind, most promoted pins, elicit more clicks than pins users find on their own, Pinterest still keeps their terms and privacy language extremely user-friendly.

In regards to payment information they state: “When you buy something on Pinterest, you’ll need to share some payment and contact info with us so that we can complete your order. We’ll save this info so you don’t have to type it in next time you make a purchase. We’ll also share this info with the seller, and they’ll treat it as if you bought from their website directly.” However, if you do not want your information stored or shared just go to “Order history” from your account settings and swipe to hide your purchases.

Not only have they give users a better way to understand their policies, but they have given them the information to opt-out. However, keep in mind if you are a seller utilizing the promoted pins, that they may not reach every person in your target audience, as people are free to opt-out of sharing the very information that gives Pinterest the best chance of targeting them.

Social media e-commerce is here, time to target those audiences and make the most of it.


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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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