June 3, 2015
San Francisco-based social bookmarking site Pinterest announced yesterday that it plans to introduce e-commerce to its platform with “Buyable Pins,” which could go a long way to justify the company’s $11 billion valuation. Pinterest, popular with users for discovering and sharing real world things through a digital scrapbook approach featuring “pinned” items, will allow interested sellers to add “buy” buttons to items they post. The product’s early retail partners include Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Macy’s, Kate Spade and others.
“More than 2 million little blue ‘buy buttons’ will appear on products posted to Pinterest by these retailers,” reports The New York Times. “Payments made through the service will be powered by Stripe, the buzzy young e-commerce startup that services small and medium-size online businesses.”
“Braintree, the payments processing company owned by PayPal, will also handle processing. Other merchants will be able to sell items on Pinterest using Shopify, which does the heavy lifting of online commerce for smaller, independent businesses.”
While Pinterest does not plan to charge traditional fees or percentages, the company will generate revenue by selling its promoted pins advertisements, first launched in December, to its retail partners. The retailers would then be able to insert Buyable Pins in the ads.
“We believe that if we focus on building an incredible experience for pinners, we’ll create a very big business down the line,” said Tim Kendall, GM for monetization at Pinterest, who noted that 87 percent of users have purchased items they discovered on the site. “The reality is that the experience is already a commercial experience.”
Pinterest Reveals Mock-Up For Its First Buy Button, TechCrunch, 6/1/15