Are we about to enter into a new realm whereby Pinterest can fully facilitate eCommerce brands in their quests to increase sales and revenue? Could eCommerce have found its natural Social Media home in Pinterest? With the introduction of the new buy buttons and the way in which Pinterest has evolved into an altogether more consumer focused platform, the stage could be set for the Pinterest buy button to yield eCommerce sales levels previously unseen by any of the other major social media sites.
Why is Pinterest different from other social media sites, in its relationship with eCommerce? Over the years we have seen brands and indeed Facebook and Twitter’s owners try to turn the two social media giants into arenas that are fully able to facilitate eCommerce sales. Facebook and Twitter have millions of users the world over and are by far the most frequented of all the social media sites. The problem is however, that Facebook and Twitter do not elicit much trust in consumers. The media is rife with incidents of catfishes, identity theft and fraud all linked to Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest on the other hand has slipped under the radar in regards to security misdemeanours. We live in an age of internet paranoia, where maximum safety when it comes to identity is so important to internet users and for consumers payment security is paramount. After suffering from earlier bad PR, Twitter and Facebook have consequently ruled themselves out of the race for eCommerce dominance. Pinterest however, seems to have gained the publics trust. Due to high numbers of users on Facebook and Twitter and also because of their own innate set-ups, all of one’s activities on these two platforms are instantly shared and documented for lots of people to see. This means that any shopping or purchasing activities will show up on a user’s feed, causing all of their followers to become privy to these incidents. In short, for those of us who don’t want their aunt or co-worker, seeing what they have just bought, going through the site to buy goods may not be advisable.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is closely linked to consumerism. Whereas people go on Facebook and Twitter to view selfies and share their opinions and feelings, individuals go on Pinterest with one thing in mind- shopping. Whether it’s shopping for food, clothes or recipes, Pinterest users log on to the site, wishing to see pictures of items that they want to buy. The buy button may still be a thing of the future, and firmly in the design pipeline, but other similar approaches have already been tried an tested. The rich pins, promoted pins and pin it buttons, have also been used by consumers to make purchases. These buttons allow the user to precede to a brand’s website in order to buy the items that they have expressed an interest in. The fact that consumers have to depart Pinterest and go to an external site is a slight down-side of the pin it button and has in some cases deterred consumers from making their purchases. The buy button would mitigate this issue and this suggests it would generate even more success. The previous prominence of the promoted pins and rich pins, means that Pinterest has already cemented its self as a buying platform, in the minds of online consumers. This suggests that the transition from its current form to a new site complete with buy buttons, will be a smooth one. Consumers will not question the presence of the buy buttons or view them as out of character for Pinterest or inconsistent with its brand. A quick online tutorial in how buy buttons work and consumers will instantly see the benefits of them and set about using them to their full advantage.
Pinterest has a reported $11 billion from funding that they can use to build and test the buy button. With finances of this magnitude, no doubt the buy button will be a thing of considerable power and success.