Yesterday (June 1) at MIT’s EmTech Digital conference, the world got its first look at how they will be able to buy with Pinterest. The company’s head of partnerships, Tim Kendall, took the crowd through a mock-up of how Pinterest’s forthcoming action button is rolling out.
So how will third-party experiences and Buy buttons fit directly into a product discovery service that sees over 70 million active users a day?
Well, today Pinterest’s corporate partners use their Pins of products to pass along data like prices – and then hope Pinterest enthusiasts will pass along that post through repinning. With the new service, Kendall explained to TechCrunch, partners will be able to push additional data into the API, enabling “pretty sophisticated experiences” like multi-product Buy buttons.
In the current absence of a dedicated button, users go from a pin to an external website where they can complete their transaction. While that works fine for single objects, things like pinned recipes (with several ingredients) don’t work quite so naturally under the current system as it entails a lot of hunting and clicking. Initial reports on the Pinterest buying experience in Re/code in February indicated that the social media firm’s payments play would essentially stay in that model by using a Buy Button to pass traffic on to external retailer sites and apps where users would complete purchases.
Kendall further noted this is all still conceptual, as Pinterest hasn’t held talks with potential partners yet – though he did reference how this service could easily be tied into Instacart or Amazon Fresh to allow consumers to essentially knock off their shopping lists with one tap on a recipe. He also demoed how a user could find a lamp on Pinterest and instantly add it to an Amazon Wish List thanks to a “Wish List” button powered by data Amazon sends to the Pinterest API.
Action buttons represent a range of opportunities for Pinterest to monetize their popular service as it will theoretically drive more merchants to the platform, as well as more consumers to the products.
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