Pinterest has unveiled transactional pins. Will its “Buy Button" work better than Twitter’s and Facebook’s version?

Pinterest has already offered a slew of paid advertising units. Now the platform is tapping into the "Buy Button" for further revenue generation opportunities.

The visual discovery platform unveiled buyable pins today. The pins are blue and sit next to the regular red pins. Users can search for buyable pins. For example, when a user types "jacket" into the search bar and clicks on the blue "see more" button at the top right corner, Pinterest will show a number of jacket options. If the user further clicks on the blue "$" sign, they will be able to enter a price limit by scrolling up and down. Once they set a maximum price, they will be able to swipe through all the jackets within the price range and pick up their favorite.


When the user is ready to check out, they can pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Pinterest will store the consumer's credit card information for future transactions. Once the purchase has been made, users will be able to go back to searching and pinning their favorite items. 

"It's fantastic news for the merchants. Pinterest is a great place for consumers to discover and explore things they like, so the intent for purchase is really high," says Adam Forrest, senior director of Americas Marketing for software company Demandware.

"Pinterest's Buy button gives retailers the opportunity to capture that emotional moment. When pins become transactional, brands - especially those who have a large user base such as Kate Spade and Cole Haan - will be able to monetize their Pinterest fans through a call-to-action Buy button," he adds. 

Facebook started experimenting with Buy Buttons in July of last year. This was (Read more...) followed by Twitter in September and Google this past May. Pinterest appears to be a late mover to the game but Forrest thinks the visual discovery platform's buyable pins could work better than its competitors as the platform is more personal.

"On Pinterest, users can find items based on their interest, collect the products and then purchase them directly from a brand. The platform is more about the shopper, while other social media networks are less about the individual," he says.

For Forrest, Pinterest's move is another step in the natural evolution of social commerce - as consumers' shopping behavior continues to change, platforms must be agile and ready to adapt to meet their demands. 

"Consumers are switching from device to device more often and making purchases in more ways than ever before. They are no longer dedicating their time to just one destination. Therefore, it's critical for online merchants to engage their shoppers at every possible end point," he notes.

Macy's and Nordstrom are among the first brands to test out buyable pins. Pinterest is going to roll out the new e-commerce feature on iOS devices in the following weeks.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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