Pinterest Pins Lead Path To Purchase

Pegged by GlobalWebIndex as the fastest-growing social media site in 2014, all eyes are on Pinterest right now. And with an anticipated valuation of around $11 billion, it’s turning heads.

Last week, Pinterest secured another $186 million round of funding led by Goldman Sachs and Wellington Management Company. And if Eva Smith, Pinterest’s head of marketing and communications insights, says, “We don’t have any plans to announce a buy button at this time,” everybody listens.

This enthusiasm lies in the fact that Pinterest has 47.1 million U.S. Pinterest users – an estimate made by eMarketer.

The real focus now is on the way Pinterest influences its users’ purchasing decisions. To better understand the impact Pinterest has on future purchases, Pinterest ran a study with Millward Brown Digital. “The focus of the study was to gain a much deeper understanding of what it is our pinners are doing and how they’re using the platform,” said Smith, according to The Wall Street Journal. Of those who have actively used Pinterest in the last six months:

  • 96% have used Pinterest to research and gather information
  • 93% have used Pinterest to plan for purchases
  • 87% have purchased something because of Pinterest
  • 32% have purchased an item in a store after browsing Pinterest

However, about a quarter of active Pinterest users said they did not do anything after viewing Pinterest content, including visit a brand, retailer or media website, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Pinterest ran the study because it is looking into how to best gain from advertising on its platform. It’s a difficult task, as the advertising business model is evolving. As MPD CEO Karen Webster mentioned in a recent op-ed, “Consumers now have tools, access and the power to decide where and what and how and when they’ll get their information about the products and services that they’d like to buy.” To actually get their attention is therefore not an easy feat in itself.



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.