Can Pinterest Conquer Social Commerce with 'Buyable Pins'? - eMarketer

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Can Pinterest Conquer Social Commerce with 'Buyable Pins'?

Pinterest drives more-qualified ecommerce traffic than Facebook, Twitter

June 9, 2015

Last week, Pinterest announced it would be adding “buyable pins” to its service as a way to integrate ecommerce into the social media platform. In a world where social commerce has failed to work out for giants like Facebook, what does the future hold for buyable pins?

US Pinterest Users and Penetration, 2013-2019

Pinterest has a substantial audience. In the US, eMarketer estimates, its total size is approaching 50 million, or more than one in four social network users. And that audience may be more primed to buy than your average social network population.

“Pinterest is already serving as more of a proven driver for ecommerce sales than Facebook and Twitter have to date,” said David Rekuc, marketing director at Ripen eCommerce. “While FB and Twitter are definitely sending traffic to online retailers, Pinterest is sending more-qualified traffic.”

That’s because many users of Pinterest are there to create what Rekuc describes as, essentially, “socially curated glorified wish lists.”

While not everyone on Pinterest is always in a consideration phase, that wish list use case is well documented at this point in Pinterest’s development. And that could mean Pinterest has a chance to crack the social commerce code that other platforms have missed out on.

“I definitely think that it has a much better chance to work on Pinterest because of the intent signal,” said Rekuc. “If you’re targeting a demographic [on Facebook], it might be the right person but the wrong time. Pinterest has more of the right time baked into it.”

That said, Pinterest will face challenges. For one thing, the site doesn’t have a long history of trusted commerce, and is missing one major piece of the puzzle to create one: reviews of products and sellers.

According to research from Pinterest and Millward Brown Digital, more than nine in 10 US Pinterest users had visited the site to help with purchase decisions, and 87% had purchased something because of Pinterest.

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