The Man Behind Pinterest’s Buy Buttons Talks Commerce

Tim Kendall, GM of Monetization at Pinterest and one of the drivers behind the launch of Buyable Pins, said the company has encompassed the entire marketing funnel – from awareness to purchase – with its buy buttons.

“It is tempting to draw a buy button on a product and say you’ve enabled commerce,” Kendall recently told TechCrunch. “In our case we feel like we’ve built the full end-to-end capability. We now offer 2.5 million products that are buyable.”

According to Kendall, Pinterest now offers products that connect to all aspects of monetizing the passions of its Pinners, ranging from cinematic pins, to guided search and now buy buttons.

Pinterest’s Buyable Pins, which launched this June, not only provide a way for its partners to add buy buttons to items to buy directly from Pinterest, but also add yet another channel for retailers to reach inspired consumers.

Before the days of Buyable Pins, users would go from a pin to an external website to complete their transactions. While that worked fine for single objects, things like pinned recipes (with several ingredients) did not work quite so naturally under the old system, as it entailed a lot of hunting and clicking.

“At the base, we are a visual bookmarking service that helps people really cover things that are related to their interests,” Pinterest’s Head of Business Development Gene Alston told MPD CEO Karen Webster in a podcast interview on the day that Pinterest rolled out its new Buyable Pins feature.

And in doing so, Pinterest has turned this social bookmarking site into a marketplace.

“We want people to take action on their passion,” Alston said.

“Any good partnership pushes each other. Because we are a marketplace and we have consumers that are very interested in being able to take action on the pins, we realized we had to build a capacity for that for our Pinners,” Alston noted. “For our retail partners it was a real opportunity to meaningfully push conversions on mobile, because 80 percent of our traffic comes through mobile. It can be a difficult thing even still to complete purchases on mobile and if we can be part of that solution and increase completed transactions then that is for every party’s benefit.”

When it comes to the growth of Pinterest’s buyable pins and other monetizing concepts, its seems the flow of information between the company and its partners remains key.

“The big thing that I’ve focused on is making sure, as partners are enabling us to take in their products or take in their content, that we have as much info about their objects they’re handing us as possible,” Kendall explained to TechCrunch. “Because if we have a lot of info, we can build amazing experiences, amazing handcrafted catalogs.”

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Social distancing has changed eCommerce from a ‘want to have’ to a ‘must have’ for businesses, yet retailers could struggle to create convenient payment and refund experiences for their apps and websites, says Abdul Raof Latiff, head of DBS Bank’s digital institutional banking group. In the April 2020 B2B API Tracker, Latiff explains how banks can provide a timely assist via application programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate payments into those eCommerce platforms.

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