Back in February, as part of its Q4 19 update, Pinterest noted that it was working on its own profile verification program, in order to provide extra assurance to Pinners in regards to trusted businesses which had met the platform's standards on customer service and process.
Now, with demand for eCommerce rising, and Pinterest seeing significant increases in traffic, the platform has announced the launch of its 'Verified Merchants' program, which will see a blue checkmark added to brand profiles that meet Pinterest's quality and transparency requirements.
As explained by Pinterest:
"We’ve launched the Verified Merchant Program with retailers who’ve met our qualifications for high quality customer service experiences through manual review. Verified Merchants will display a special blue checkmark on their profiles, and become eligible for increased distribution within high-intent shopping experiences and metrics like conversion reporting."
As you can see here, Pinterest's verification program adds a familiar blue checkmark to your profile, providing an extra level of authority, and ideally trust, for your brand. In addition to this, verified merchants will get access to new features sooner, while the key benefit is likely the increased exposure via the platform's 'shopping experiences' - e.g. the 'Shop' tab in the app, recommendations on shopping Pins, etc.
Pinterest also notes that it's made significant updates to its Catalogs process, "which lessen the time from feed ingestion to Product Pin creation", while it's also improved its 'Dynamic Retargeting' tools to better focus your ad offers onto people who've engaged with similar products on the platform.
Improvements like these will be first made available to Verified Merchants in future, another lure to get more businesses to improve their Pinterest process, and deliver better shopping experiences through the app.
So, how can you get verified?
In order to get your blue checkmark on Pinterest, you need to follow these steps:
Connect your catalog: Uploading your feed is the fastest way to get your products onto Pinterest.
Install the Pinterest tag: A tag helps you track actions that come from Pinterest. You can install our tag, or use a compatible tag manager.
Meet our Merchant Guidelines.
So, for Pinterest, part of the benefit here, aside from pushing brands to improve their customer service process, is to get more product listings on its platform, including up to date information on stock availability and pricing. By connecting your product catalog, you give Pinterest a heap more items to list, adding to its Shoppable Pins - while in order to qualify for Pinterest's Merchant Guidelines:
"Pinterest must have current (within 24 hours) and accurate information about the price and in-stock status of the product. This is obtained from daily feed syncing or Pinterest frequently scraping meta-tags on product landing pages, and by including your product in a Pin, you permit Pinterest to scrape your product information to keep the information current."
Pinterest gets more accurate, informative Pins, you get better exposure through shopping listings on the site. It seems like a reasonable pay-off, but each brand will need to assess the viability of such process within their own systems.
Pinterest's Verified Merchant Program will only be made available to merchants based in the US initially, with a view to expanding the program to other regions later in the year (which may, of course, be delayed due to COVID-19).
Definitely, having that blue checkmark adds an extra level of authority on other platforms, and that learned response will make it a more attractive option on Pinterest. The qualifications will require some extra work, but if you're looking to make Pinterest a serious focus - and with 335 million users, and rising, it's definitely worth consideration - then it may be another element you need to factor in.
eCommerce is on the rise amid the current lockdowns, and that could lead to a significant, larger consumer shift. And the longer we're confined, the more likely that will be.
If you're looking for another way to maximize your online shopping experience, it may well be worth a look.
If you're interested, you can learn more about the program at pinterest.com/verified.