Everything to Know About Pinterest’s Expanded Shopping Options
It is the great hope of Pinterest to position itself as a centralized hub for all online shopping activities, and to provide a number of useful tools for advanced product discovery, as well as matching features which nicely synchronize with user needs, by helping to direct them to products they are thought to be interested in. In the past, Pinterest has phrased this in a way that makes it clear they want their users to have the ability to purchase any item which can be found on the platform.
In order to help bring this about, Pinterest has decided to partner with third-party companies which can provide tools, processes, and methods which will assist brands in listing all the offerings they are making available via Pins. In mid June 2019, Pinterest emphasized this commitment to third-party partnerships by completely renaming its third-party partner program, and by adding a host of new partners which are adept in modern technology, and which will be able to facilitate the capacity for additional product listings.
The new third-party program
Up to now, the third-party marketing program used by Pinterest was called Marketing Partners, but as of now, that name has been changed to be Pinterest Partners, and it will include all the various providers and shopping tools which are expected to add value in the way of product listings and increased purchasing capabilities. Two third-party partners which will help businesses to establish e-commerce sites and improve their shopping experiences will be Square Online Store and Woo Commerce, with these two being central to the Pinterest strategy.
Third-party partners which can manage and optimize feeds relative to product inventory, so that businesses will have no trouble meshing their product catalogs with Pinterest, will be partners such as GoDataFeed, ProductsUp, and Feedonomics, all of which specialize in establishing product feeds.
To increase the shopping experience for Pinterest users, the platform will be partnering with Basketful, Shoppable, Drizly, MikMak, and Jebbit, each of which has the ability to associate products within a Pin with a number of retailers which can make shopping easier, and which can easily fulfill orders. There will also be third-party partners teaming up with Pinterest which specialize in providing tag management, such as PixelYourSite and Tealium, which are companies that specialize in tracking closed-loop measurement of sales, as well as online shopping conversions.
From the listing of third-party partners which Pinterest is already affiliated with, or which they intend to do business with, it should be apparent that the primary focus for Pinterest Partners is on shopping and on the shopping experience in general. Improving the shopping experience on the platform will be accomplished by providing a whole range of tools that will allow businesses to become more tightly connected directly to Pinterest, and to streamline product listings, as well as promotional processes.
This aligns very nicely with Pinterest’s overall initiative to integrate direct shopping operations with its platform. This will help to include more product catalogs as well as automated Shop The Look Pins, in addition to the future addition of Complete the Look listings, which are intended to supply recommendations for complementary products that would be based on automated matching.
Pinterest status in online commerce
At present, Pinterest must be considered a relatively small player in the online commerce arena, with only a little more than 290 million active users. However, those who do make use of the Pinterest platform are becoming increasingly dedicated to it, because it is such a powerful platform for discovery and for ease of making purchases. Research has demonstrated that an impressive 57% of weekly Pinners make use of the app while they are actually shopping, and it’s this kind of engagement that Pinterest is seeking to exploit, in order to boost its own credibility and performance statistics with its dedicated fan base.
In the same way that Snapchat cannot realistically hope to compete against the larger platforms, neither can Pinterest have realistic expectations of unseating some of the larger e-commerce platforms and overtaking them as a huge online store. However, if it can at least maximize engagement and increase fan retention with its current existing audience, it can still be a tremendous and viable option for a great many brands seeking to use the platform.
It can also attract a significant segment of the total marketing spend available, and it can certainly appeal to at least a niche market for many businesses. Even if you can’t achieve a maximum reach with your Pinterest marketing, it can certainly help you connect with people who are known to have a greater interest in shopping and in spending their money on products advertised on the platform. This in fact, may be more beneficial to businesses than advertising their products on some of the larger e-commerce platforms, because the more dedicated Pinterest audience is also more likely to spend more dollars on Pinterest products.
Results of the third-party partnerships
It is expected that the new third-party partnerships announced by Pinterest will allow the platform to build on the dedicated interest of its fan base, and that by providing all these new capabilities to businesses, that Pinterest will take a significant step toward increasing its growth and fulfilling its growth strategy. What remains to be seen is how Pinterest users react to the enhanced shopping experience, and the greater ease of browsing through product listings provided by businesses.
While there is little doubt that it will be much easier for shoppers to find products they want, and that the total shopping experience will be much improved, it is not known how strongly this will translate into growth for the Pinterest platform itself. The likelihood is that the dedicated users who routinely shop on Pinterest will find the new capabilities to be very helpful, and that they will be used to a great extent, which means that Pinterest itself will be the happy beneficiary of that increased usage, and will have an even more dedicated fan base.