Just in time for the holidays, Pinterest is announcing a slew of changes to make it easier for people to shop on its website and mobile app.
First up, the company is phasing out its Buyable Pins — pins served up by retailers that allowed users to buy products without leaving Pinterest — and replacing them with redesigned Product Pins.
The major difference between the two is that Product Pins contain dynamic pricing and stock information. That means if a user pins a jacket on their own personal fashion board, they will see the most up-to-date pricing information whenever they view that pin later, as well as whether that product is still in-stock.
Retailers can enable Product Pins by adding markup tags on the product pages of their site, or providing Pinterest with their product feed. It doesn’t cost anything for retailers to create Product Pins, but they can pay to promote their Product Pins in the feed of Pinterest users.
A Pinterest spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email that since testing out the new Product Pins, clicks on products to retail sites have increased 40 percent. The company doesn’t share how many retailers are on Pinterest, but said there are currently “hundreds of millions” of Product Pins.
The company is also adding product recommendations beneath style and home decor pins. The recommendations will be powered by the visual search technology that Pinterest has been working on for the past few years, since launching its Lens visual search tool.
Pinterest will start by showing recommendations of Product Pins that are stylistically similar to the one you’re viewing. Over time, the idea is that Pinterest’s algorithms should learn the price point and brands you like as well, Pinterest head of shopping product Tim Weingarten told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
“When Pinners come to Pinterest, they’re in sort of this pre-shopping phase, where they have something sort of objective in mind. They’re maybe trying to update their living room, or looking for a pair of jeans for a date,” Weingarten said.
“The overwhelming feedback we got from Pinners, was ‘OK, once I find the idea or find the inspiration, I now want to be able to discover products that are fulfilling that inspiration,'” Weingarten added. “When I click on the product, I want to land on the product page of the retailer to buy it — I don’t want to go to the retailer’s home page, or a category page, or an out-of-stock product [page] and be disappointed and frustrated.”
Last month, Pinterest announced that it had passed 250 million monthly active users. According to a recent forecast from eMarketer, Pinterest is expected to generate $553.3 million in ad revenue this year. The average amount of revenue it’s generating per user is similar to the amount Snap is generating, but Pinterest is still monetizing more slowly than other social networks, most notably Instagram and Facebook.
“Marketers are seeing Pinterest’s potential for reaching consumers as they’re considering products,” eMarketer’s Monica Peart wrote in the report.