Pinterest’s Buyable Pins unbundle E-Commerce

The popular visual community Pinterest has started to bring “Buyable Pins” to shop systems Bigcommerce, Magento, IBM Commerce Websphere, Shopify and Demandware:

In June, we announced Buyable Pins to let people buy things they want right from Pinterest. These made-for-mobile Pins help you drive incremental sales at no extra cost. Now, we’re excited to bring Buyable Pins to new commerce platforms so more businesses can sell their products on Pinterest.


We’re also rolling out new Buyable Pins from Bloomingdale’s, Wayfair, DVF, Steven Alan and thousands of new merchants from our launch partners Demandware and Shopify. In just 3 months, we’ve doubled the number of Buyable Pins—there are now more than 60 million Buyable Pins available on Pinterest!

The main part of Buyable Pins is that users buy right inside Pinterest via Apple Pay or the credit card information stored at one’s Pinterest account. This dramatically changes the user experience of buying within the mobile app.

Obviously the option to start the buying process right away is increasing the conversion rate. From Pinterest:

A study of Buyable Pins from Shopify merchants showed 2x higher conversion rates compared to other Pins on mobile.


Many merchants are acquiring new customers through Buyable Pins, too. Spool No. 72, an online clothing boutique based in Washington, said 84% of their Buyable Pins customers are new.

Buyable Pins are also driving about 7% of all sales for Madesmith, a shop for handmade goods based in Brooklyn. 100% of these sales are coming from new customers.

Just a few days ago Pinterest has shown off its new public API. Polyvore, which itself was recently bought by Yahoo, has integrated Pinterest through this API:

Polyvore group manager Vishwa Ranjan says “Pinterest and Polyvore [are] a match made in heaven” and credits his company’s API integration with Pinterest for making it easier for users to interact with both services. The result: “Pinterest is by far the top network in terms of number of shares. It’s also the top network in terms of traffic.”

The API, in essence, allows Pinterest to ease into becoming an alternate store front.

Pinterest has 100 million monthly active users.

A few weeks ago Buzzfeed published an interesting portrait on Pinterest and its plan for an “e-commerce platform”:

Ian Schafer, CEO of ad agency Deep Focus, said he’s always referred to Pinterest as half-shopping. “This is the other half” he said of buyable pins. “It turns the company from being just a search, bookmarking, and curation platform to an e-commerce company. That is really really powerful stuff.”

Pinterest already has a key tool for commerce: a recommendation engine that serves 1.5 trillion recommendations a year on the platform. Though the company says it has separate engines for ads and non-sponsored content, the technology can be used to show relevant products to people browsing the platform. More significantly, it can surface products they never knew they wanted to buy, something seen as a key Amazon deficiency today.

Pinterest does not stand alone with implementing
‘buy buttons’ into its service. Twitter and Google are trying something similar. Even Facebook is testing its own buy feature. It is officially a trend. With its focus on pictures and its information architecture around discoverability and (most important maybe) intent, Pinterest is currently far better positioned to be successful.

This data from SimilarWeb (via Business Insider) gives us a glimpse into how good Pinterest’s positioning might be:

etsy traffic


  1. […] to tack buy buttons on top of their user generated content? Pinterest is already experimenting with integrating buy buttons into the platform. Instagram is certainly working on similar features. Why would they open the […]


  2. […] This is part of a larger trend of social discovery which we are seeing already with Pinterest. […]


  3. […] Pinterest’s Buyable Pins unbundle E-Commerce […]


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