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.”

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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