In case you hadn't heard, Pinterest is not a social network. That was the statement made by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann back in 2016, in since then, the platform has gradually rolled out more and more tools which further align with its mission to become a product discovery and eCommerce engine, a shift that has not only helped distance itself from Facebook in the social space, but has also better defined the app's unique fit in an ever-crowded app market.
This week, Pinterest has announced some more tools on this front, along with a more clarified mission statement of sorts:
"When you see something on Pinterest you’d like to own you should be able to buy it, or something just like it that matches your unique style. That’s our vision for shopping with Pinterest."
Catering to this, Pinterest is rolling out three new updates, aligned with on-platform shopping.
The first is an update to its Product Pins, which will now replace Buyable Pins across the board.
As explained by Pinterest:
"Today we’re making hundreds of millions of Pins shoppable with up-to-date pricing and stock information, with links that go directly to the checkout page on the retailer’s site where you can buy in a few clicks. Just look for the new shopping tag icon, and you'll know it's in stock."
The new variation will be more dynamic, including up to date stock info and pricing, which will make it easier for Pinterest users to get accurate information to help in their shopping journey.
Using Product Pins is free, and retailers will be able to activate the new option for their offerings by adding markup tags on the product pages of their site, or by providing Pinterest with their product feed.
In addition to this, Pinterest is also adding a new shopping recommendations section beneath Style and Home Pins, enabling users to browse similar items across multiple brands.
"You can browse more in-stock items inspired by the original Pin in the new shopping recommendations section - clicking for more in the section will lead you to a shoppable feed full of similar styles, all in stock."
The 'in stock' element is the key addition here, with Pinterest looking to maintain real-time connection with retailer databases to ensure shoppers can get the products displayed, at the prices listed.
And lastly, Pinterest is also adding a new shopping shortcut, which will enable users to shop right from the feed.
"Just hold down on any Home or Style Pin and click the shopping tag to immediately dive into a shopping feed with in-stock and related products for that Pin, from a variety of brands."
The shopping feed shortcut is rolling out on iOS in the U.S. this week, with Android coming soon.
The enhanced connection between Pinterest and the databases of providers will help improve the Pin shopping experience, providing more transparency and saving unnecessary click-throughs to sites which don't actually have the item in stock, or have changed the price since Pinning.
And the real-time data linkage is already proving beneficial - according to Pinterest:
"In the past quarter since we started testing these shopping features, clicks on products to retail sites have increased by 40%."
With the holiday season fast approaching, this new update could prove key in helping Pinterest maximize its potential, providing its 250 million active users with the information they need to get optimal utility out of the app.