Pinterest appears to be committing to social commerce, adding a shopping cart, enhanced search functionality, and expanding its Buyable Pins to desktop.
While social commerce has been slow to take off — with Twitter going as far as recently killing off its buy buttons — Pinterest has doubled down by announcing new shopping and search features designed to enhance its e-commerce capabilities.
Pinterest now provides a shopping cart that allows shoppers to purchase multiple products from different merchants. The cart is accessible through the mobile app and the desktop website.
Pinterest is also enhancing the visual search function it rolled out late last year, making different products within posts easier to search for. Instead of having to manually create a search box around the specific product you’re interested it, clickable dots are automatically placed on different searchable products within the post.
It’s also building out mobile technology that will enable users to find online products based on real-world photos they’ve taken.
The social platform is also making its Buyable Pins available through the desktop website, instead of just the mobile app. The move is designed to capitalise on digital shopping trends behaviour, which see users browsing on mobile and purchasing on desktop.
“People come to Pinterest looking for ideas—like what to eat for dinner, what to wear to work and how to style their homes. And when someone finds an idea on Pinterest, it often leads them to something they want to buy,” said Pinterest commerce product marketer, Amy Vener, in a blog post.
According to Vener, users are increasingly viewing Pinterest as a place to shop — something that other social networks have not been able to crack.
And it appears that this is at the heart of Pinterest’s monetisation strategy. While the other social networks are aggressively pursuing the advertising and analytics monetisation strategy, Pinterest appears to be banking on social commerce as the cornerstone of its financial future. The nature of Pinterest’s pin board-style platform means that users come to the site with a strong intent to purchase, much more so than on other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.
While it’s unclear whether this strategy will pay off, Pinterest’s apparent commitment to selling through its platform and its willingness to experiment may finally begin to shed some light on the potential of social commerce.