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The image bookmarking service better known as Pinterest has more than doubled the amount of Buyable Pins offered on its platform to 60 million since initially debuting in June. The company also added thousands of new merchants with the addition of three new e-commerce platforms: Magento, IBM Commerce and Bigcommerce, the company said Monday during Shop.org's Digital Summit in Philadelphia.
Some of the new merchants include Bloomingdale's, Wayfair, DVF and Steven Alan, among others.
While the growth is tremendous, much of it was expected.
"The biggest challenge to date was that [Pinterest] wasn't a commerce generator," said Scott Shamberg, president, Performics. "In fact, in many cases it was a poor user experience due to broken links, 401 redirects or unsearchable products. With the release of a 'buy' button, it's no surprise that retailers and marketers alike want to thrive with this opportunity."
But he added, "Again, however, that is really table stakes. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all beat Pinterest to the 'buy now' approach and they are all, frankly, chasing Amazon's One Click."
There are no fees for merchants or Pinterest users, the company said, and returns are on merchants, not Pinterest.
The company generates revenue whenever merchants advertise on the site."As long as advertisers continue to generate revenue and continue to grow their spending with Pinterest ad products, this should be O.K.," Mr. Shamberg said. "I can see them requiring a minimum spend to create a baseline. I do, however, foresee a future where they move to a performance-based model."
"Clients are increasing their spend with Pinterest for two reasons," Mr. Shamberg added. "First, is the release of Pinterest cost-per-click ads, which allow advertisers to optimize toward clicks. Second, is that most brands are looking for effective commerce-driving social alternatives to Facebook and are now willing to give Pinterest a try. That being said, advertisers will likely flight Pinterest media slightly earlier than traditional holiday media, given people typically pin-and-plan for the holidays 30-to-60 days in advance."
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Buyable Pins are only offered for iPhone and iPad users, with plans to bring them to desktop and Android in the future.
Site Used For Purchase Ideas, Study Says
About 47% of active Pinterest users are more likely to experience a major life event in the next six months, according to a study by Millward Brown done in partnership with Pinterest. "They are also disproportionately using Pinterest to plan for these moments—especially millennials," the study said.
The same study found that about 96% of people who use Pinterest say they use it to research and gather information. Some 93% say they use it to plan for purchases. Of those surveyed, 83% said they purchased something – not necessarily from Pinterest – because they were on the site.
Of the 50 billion pins on the site, about 80% of them, or 40 billion, are "repins," which is similar to sharing an image on your own wall, Millward Brown said.
"We want to make sure as many products as possible are buyable," said Michael Yamartino, Pinterest's head of commerce. "We don't see it as 'What percent of pins do we want to have buyable?' It is really about when we could tell a user is in shopping mode, when they have intent to buy and can when we can show them exactly the right product."
Pinterest has been making monetization moves since the start of 2015, when it officially began selling ads to marketers. In March, the company named Tim Kendall – who was previously head of product management – as Pinterest's first general manager of monetization.The company followed that announcement in May, when it introduced new services tailored toward marketers such as an in-house creative and cinematic pins.