Pinterest has announced on its business blog the launch of a long-rumored feature that will allow businesses to turn their pinned products into “Buyable Pins.” Such pins will be displayed in the color blue and will allow the Pinterest user to initiate and complete a transaction without leaving the popular website.
Pinterest is launching the new feature with a few large retailers, and it is partnering with Shopify and Demandware to provide the feature to the users of those companies’ ecommerce platforms.
1. Buyable Pins are activated through your ecommerce provider.
Currently, the two announced ecommerce platforms are Shopify and Demandware. Here is how to activate Buyable Pins through them:
Shopify: Log into your account and simply add the Pinterest channel. You can enable Buyable Pins in just a few clicks.
Demandware: Pinterest announced that Buyable Pins would be available to users of Demandware within a few weeks (of its June 2, 2015, announcement). We will update this when that takes place.
2. After activating Buyable Pins with your ecommerce provider, the pins will begin to show up on products in your ecommerce inventory.
The pins are blue and if customers click on them, it will be as if they initiated the transaction on your site. Because the transaction is handled through your ecommerce provider, the customer can even choose the color and size or other ordering options on Pinterest. Magic, huh?
You’ll receive the order via your ecommerce provider and fulfillment will be handled as you handle all orders.
How much does it cost? (You’ll like this answer.)
Currently, the business selling a product through Buyable Pins is not charged any additional fees over their current transaction costs paid through their ecommerce and merchant account providers.
So how does Pinterest make money?
If you’re wondering how Pinterest can make money without charging the seller some form of commission on transactions initiated on their website, here are some guesses.
Advertising (Promoted Pins): While Pinterest says it won’t charge for the Buyable Pins, the feature will open a door to Pinterest advertising that “promotes pins.” (Their pitch will be: 1. Make your products buyable on Pinterest. 2. Advertise to make those pins more visible to Pinterest users.)
Referral fees: Pinterest may possibly receive some referral fees from ecommerce companies if new accounts sign-up as a result of clicking on either of these two links: Shopify.com/pinterest or Demandware.com/pinterest
Affiliate fees: As part of its preparations to go public, Pinterest took over all affiliate store relationships (and commissions). While Pinterest will not be charging businesses a fee for having Buyable Pins, they will still receive commissions from retailers with whom they have affiliate store relationships. And unlike the affiliate store relationships that generate $5 a month to a blogger, Pinterest affiliate relationships generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
A tip for promoting your pins
If you have Buyable Pins, reach out to the taste-makers and fashion curators in your marketplace and encourage them to choose your Buyable Pins rather than another retailer’s.
(We have nothing to sell there, but check out Pinterest.com/Smallbusiness.)