People have been clamoring for the ability to shop on Pinterest — one of the only social platforms where it actually makes sense to buy things — for years, and while the company has been sort of interested in becoming a retail destination since launching Buyable Pins in 2015, the efforts have seemed half-hearted at best.
Now Pinterest seems closer to realizing its ecommerce ambitions. The company is rolling out several new shopping features, it announced at its global advertiser summit, Pinterest Presents.
Pinterest is launching something called Your Shop, which is a customized shopping page that uses an algorithm to feed users brands and content from creators based on their preferences. Rather than needing to leave the platform to make a purchase, Pinterest is also introducing the ability to check out directly on the site. (Finally!)
A new Pinterest API will automatically upload and update a retailer's merchandise availability. For example, if an item is out of a stock, that will be automatically reflected on Pinterest. The same goes for price changes in products.
And the platform will soon let users turn Idea Pins into Idea Ads so creators can make ad revenue off their pins. Currently, creators monetize their Idea Pins through paid partnerships. Brand deals bring in most of a creator's income, but they look to make money through other sources, too, like advertising revenue and creator funds. Idea Ads is yet another incentive to get creators on the platform to promote products and make both ad revenue and money from partnerships.
Pinterest is also rolling out new tools for retailers. This summer, businesses in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. will gain access to more audience tools and real-time search data through Pinterest Trends, which businesses use to understand what’s popular in categories like beauty or travel.
Pinterest has obviously been interested in shopping for years, and in recent months has invested more effort into becoming a mall. Back in October, the company introduced live, shoppable shows. A couple months later, Pinterest introduced an AR feature that let users see what furniture would look like in their home. But even with these new tools, people still needed to leave Pinterest to complete their purchases on other sites. The company is now making it clear that it never wants users to have to leave Pinterest to shop.