Pinterest has been doing its best to distance itself from the idea that it is a social media platform for the past couple years, and is constantly devising new ways to distinguish itself as an e-Commerce engine and a marketplace for product discovery. For the past several years, Pinterest has been rolling out new tools to help users in this regard, and it continues to find new ways to provide its followers with aids and tools that make these twin aims more and more possible.
The powers that be at Pinterest have let it be known that their mission for the foreseeable future is to make it possible for all their loyal followers to purchase any item they see while browsing the platform, or at least an item which is comparable in function and form. To support this revised mission, Pinterest has just recently rolled out three major new updates, all of which relate to e-Commerce shopping. Those updates are discussed below, to give you an idea how you might be able to adapt those same updates to your own e-Commerce enterprise.
Update to Product Pins
This update will replace Pinterest’s Buyable Pins, and it will make zillions of Pins available for purchase to followers, including the most current stocking information, as well as pricing. These will include links that are directly tied to the checkout page of the specific retailer’s website page, where the actual purchase can be accomplished with just a few clicks.
As the owner of an e-Commerce store, this will be of great advantage to you, providing that you can get your products listed on Pinterest and linked back to your online store. The big improvement here is in the accuracy and up-to-date nature of the pricing and stock information for users, which in turn will make the entire shopping experience much more enjoyable and modernized for users.
It is expected that this renewed focus on pricing accuracy and in-stock guaranteed status, will also help to avoid user frustration and potential abandonment during the checkout process, since there will be far less reason for abandonment. It is completely free for retailers to use these Product Pins, simply by providing Pinterest with a product feed, or through the addition of markup tags on your website.
New shopping recommendations section
This is an entirely new section which has been added by Pinterest, and it has been situated right beneath the Style and Home Pins area. The purpose of this new section is to allow users to browse through a variety of different items offered by a number of manufacturers. More in-stock items will be displayed in this area, all bearing some relationship to the original item browsed, and by simply clicking on ‘More’, you’ll be able to see a much greater variety of items which are similar to the original, although perhaps different in style or form.
The main point of interest here, after the variety of course, is to have a direct connection with retailer databases, so that it can be guaranteed to users that any selected item is in stock and can be purchased on the spot. Accurate pricing information is another advantage of this shopping recommendations section, which will make it much easier for shoppers to find items they really need, and at prices which are correct as displayed.
New shopping shortcut
The point of this new shopping shortcut is to enable users to shop right from their feeds. Here’s how you activate the shortcut: Press down on any Home or Style pin, and then you can click on the tag for shopping. This will immediately take you into the latest shopping feed, with all in-stock products as well as similar products, all of which are related to the specific Pin, and which are made by a number of different manufacturers. This shortcut was rolled out for users of both iOS and Android users in late October, and has already been in use for nearly a month.
Single Pin format
Directly after the rollout of the three updates described above, Pinterest issued another enhancement in early November for both Android and iOS users, which featured a renewed emphasis on content from people followed by any individual user, by implementing a single pin format on the following tab of the app. This will allow pins to be displayed in all their full-width glory, and imparting a look similar to Instagram to the following feed.
It also gives users the capability to navigate to a link which has been pinned, by making a single click on the pin. This offers a much more immediate experience to users who have little patience for waiting around, because it makes an instant connection. This will indirectly also benefit retailers because of the improved appearance of pins, and because of the faster navigation to a pinned link. Since shoppers are notorious for their impatience, this should help to provide a faster experience for shoppers, so they aren’t tempted to abandon the product in the middle of a purchasing cycle.
Enhanced connection between Pinterest and retailer sites
Because there will be an improved connection between Pinterest and the databases of retailers, it is expected that Pinterest users will have a much better shopping experience on the platform, and it is likewise expected that retailers will benefit greatly because of the increased exposure for their products to the very broad base of Pinterest users.
Accuracy will be better, with prices that are correctly reflected on the Pinterest product, instead of listing prices which have been changed since the last posting. There should also be much less frustration on the part of shoppers, because they won’t be clicking through to items at retailer sites which are out of stock and unavailable. According to Pinterest, these three new features have already had a significant impact on user experiences, with clicks on products which are tied to retailers’ e-Commerce stores up by a full 40%. As an owner of an e-Commerce store, it would be to your advantage to get in on this Pinterest enhancement, to achieve greater visibility for your entire product line.