Pinterest's aim is to become a key hub for online shopping, with advanced product discovery and matching features that align with user needs, and help to guide them to relevant products.
To do this, Pinterest, in its own words, wants users "to be able to shop for any item they see" on the platform. And to facilitate that, Pinterest needs to work with third-party partners to better enable the necessary tools, processes and steps to help brands list all of their various offerings within Pins.
Along this line, Pinterest has this week renamed its third-party partner program, and added new technology partners to facilitate expanded product listing capacity.
Because it's now more than a marketing program, Pinterest is re-naming its “Marketing Partners” program to the “Pinterest Partner” program. That covers the various shopping tools and providers it's added, which now will include:
- Platform partners like WooCommerce and Square Online Store who allow businesses to set up e-commerce sites and experiences
- Feed management providers like Feedonomics, Productsup, and GoDataFeed who can manage and optimize product inventory feeds for businesses bringing their product catalogs to Pinterest
- Shoppable experience platforms like Shoppable, MikMak, Jebbit, Drizly, and Basketful who connect products within a Pin with the retailers that can fulfill orders and make it easier to shop
- Tag management providers including PixelYourSite and Tealium who can track closed-loop measurement of online shopping conversions and sales
As you can see from this listing, the new focus for Pinterest Partners is shopping, with a range of tools that will be able to help connect businesses direct to the platform, streamlining their product listing and promotion processes. This aligns with Pinterest's broader push to integrate direct shopping options, including product catalogs, automated 'Shop the Look' Pins and the coming addition of 'Complete the Look' listings, which will recommend complementary products based on automated matching.
In relative terms, Pinterest remains a small player in online commerce, with 291 million active users, but those who do use the platform are increasingly dedicated to it as a discovery platform. Research shows that some 57% of weekly Pinners use the app in-store while shopping, and it's engagement factors like this that Pinterest needs to tap into, and capitalize on, in order to boost its performance.
Much like Snapchat, Pinterest will never be able to compete against the larger players on scale, but if it can maximize engagement and retention among its existing audience, it can still be a very valuable, viable option for many brands, and attract significant marketing spend. For marketers, that means that while Pinterest won't give you maximum reach, it might just help you connect with people more willing to part with their cash - which could well be more beneficial overall.
These new partnerships will help Pinterest build upon this, and continue its ongoing growth strategy.