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07/11/2022

Pinterest adds four new e-commerce features

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Pinterest continues building out e-commerce functionality.

Pinterest Inc. is not standing still in its efforts to become an e-commerce platform.

The visually-oriented social media network is introducing several new e-commerce features: Pinterest API for Shopping, Product Tagging for Pins, Video in Catalog, and Shop Tab on Business Profiles. Highlights of each new feature follow.

Pinterest API for Shopping
Pinterest is extending existing investments in shopping and measurement features, including catalog and product metadata management, in an effort to enable more efficient improved data quality for retail products. According to the company, the Pinterest API for Shopping has been shown to lead to a 97% accuracy level for price and availability data. 

Product Tagging on Pins
This shopping feature allows retailers to make their lifestyle pins (posts promoting products for daily living on Pinterest) shoppable. With product tagging, retailers can add products from their catalog to their scene images, enabling consumers to shop for items directly from imagery. In initial tests, Pinterest found that users showed 70% higher shopping intent on product pins tagged in scene/brand images than standalone product pins. 

Video in Catalog
Pinterest is enabling video assets in their product catalog to give users a view of the product from multiple angles when making a purchase decision, with the goal of driving conversions. 

Shop Tab on Business Profile
This new feature is a high-intent shopping surface that enables retailers to conduct easier product group management directly on their Shop tab, which is a feed of shoppable pins based on the in-stock products Pinterest identifies in an image. It also provides customizable product group cover image and descriptions and an enhanced mobile interface for a seamless social shopping experience. 

[Read more: Pinterest enables shopping via photo]

“At Pinterest, our goal is to turn inspiration into action, and our vision for shopping is to make it possible to buy anything users are inspired by on the platform,” said Jeremy King, senior VP of engineering at Pinterest. “In 2021, the number of users engaging with shopping surfaces on Pinterest grew over 215%, and 89% of weekly users use Pinterest for inspiration in their path to purchase. The new shopping features such as the API for Shopping allows brands and retailers to reach high-intent users during the earliest stage of their shopping journey with the most updated catalog data.” 

Interest pivots to shopping
Pinterest has been gradually rolling out digital shopping features. In June 2022, the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Yes, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based shopping platform for fashion that enables users to shop a personalized feed based on their input on brand, style, and size.

In another example, in January 2021, the company launched Try On for Home Decor, a new feature enabling customers to shop for home decor products they find on Pinterest using AR. 

And following the July 2021 rollout of shoppable video pins known as “Idea Pins,” in August 2021 Pinterest released several new offerings aimed at brands and retailers seeking to advertise to its user base. These included an update of Pinterest’s Collections Ads, which enable retailers to select a main asset and a corresponding product group to create a multi-image ad unit. 

Another new Pinterest feature, Merchant Details, enables advertisers to communicate their values with categories including Eco-friendly, Invested in Good, Responsibly Sourced, Personal Touch, and Inclusive. In addition, Pinterest expanded its Verified Merchant Program, which provides enhanced distribution and merchant services to participating sellers that offer quality products and content, accurate metadata, and reasonable shipping and return policies.

[Read more: Pinterest to give special attention to ‘trustworthy’ retailers]

Pinterest has also been experimenting with a feature called Ideas ads with paid partnershipwhich is a new ad format that enables select advertisers to promote shoppable video-based Idea Pins from managed creators.