- Pinterest this week introduced several updates to improve the shopper experience on the image-collecting platform. Product Pins show up-to-date pricing and inventory information and also have direct links to a checkout page on a retailer's site to make a purchase, according to a company blog post.
- Pinterest also added a shopping recommendations section beneath Style and Home Pins that suggest similar in-stock products personalized to each user. Those who look at images of home decor and fashion items will see a "products like this" section to find products to buy online.
- The image-curating social platform unveiled a shopping shortcut that lets iOS users in the U.S. shop directly from their feeds. People can click the shopping tag on any Home or Style Pin to immediately enter a shopping feed with in-stock items and related products from a variety of brands. The revamped shopping features boosted clicks on products to retail sites by 40% since Pinterest began testing last quarter.
Pinterest's latest update to its Shoppable Pins will likely drive more social commerce on its app and website as the company diversifies its sources of revenue and works to build out its mobile capabilities. Pinterest is among the social media companies experimenting with social commerce, even as most consumers are still not entirely comfortable buying products through shoppable posts on social platforms. While 80% of shoppers are familiar with social commerce, 82% have yet to transact using buy buttons or Shoppable Pins, according to a study by digital commerce firm Sumo Heavy. However, the survey also found that 58% of U.S. adults said social media influences their purchasing decisions, compared to 45% in 2016, which is an encouraging sign for companies like Pinterest that continue to explore innovative mobile commerce and social media trends to engage users.
Pinterest is distinct from other social media companies because users engage with the platform as they plan projects like home renovations or redecorating, seek travel inspiration or look for the latest fashion trends. The company continues to add features that make its app and website stickier with users. In February, it combined Lens visual searches with text searches in its iOS app in a move to differentiate its services from those of rivals. The number of visual searches in the past year has jumped 140% to 600 million queries every month, signaling that its effort to boost Lens over the past year and a half have likely paid off.
Meanwhile, the company has worked to make its platform more compelling for advertisers. In August, Pinterest introduced a wider, more engaging and visually appealing video ad format to all brands after testing it with Adidas, Warner Bros. and U.K. retailer John Lewis. Last fall, the company released self-service tools to let marketers place search ads on its platform without intervention from a live salesperson and began testing an auto-targeting feature to extend keyword campaigns into more searches to entice more marketers to allocate budgets to Pinterest.