Pinterest Plans to Introduce a Buy Button Later This Year

Pinners everywhere will be excited for this feature in the works. Pinterest is stepping into the ecommerce game by offering a ‘Buy’ button that will allow users to purchase ‘pinned’ items without leaving the website or mobile app.

According to sources from Re/Code, the feature has been in the works for sometime and is set to release later this year, “in as little as three to six months,” according to sources. Here’s how it would work: Pinterest lets users “pin” photos, websites, and products to virtual boards. The idea is that users would browse through pins and discover products they want to purchase. By clicking on the ‘buy’ button, users could purchase for some of those products without leaving the Pinterest website or the app.

“Currently, Pinterest’s 70 million monthly visitors use the service to save and share images of things like recipes, furniture, food and clothing. But since Pinterest burst onto the scene several years ago, industry observers, analysts, and users have been waiting for the day that it would transform itself from a digital corkboard into a digital mall.”

Lately, Pinterest, much like Twitter and Facebook, have been focused on an advertising strategy, introducing Promoted Pins in May 2014; in addition, a feature that allows users to download iPhone and iPad apps directly from within Pinterest. What’s exciting for many, especially for marketers, about the buy button feature is that it will finally provide the opportunity to use Pinterest as an ecommerce platform. With eMarketer estimating that the ecommerce market would surpass $1.7 trillion in sales in 2015, this is an opportunity Pinterest is unlikely to pass up since it’s looking to generate significant cash.

Pinterest has partnered with payments company Stripe to handle the payment processing side of the feature. A few challenges that Pinterest may encounter is meeting users’ expectations; information such as inventory and shipping costs is information Pinterest probably won’t have available to users. Pinterest will also be competing with sites like Amazon and eBay, which have already taken cues from Pinterest’s grid-like format. Even Google is working hard to incorporate shopping with search.

While many other ecommerce discovery driven apps exist such as Wish, Fancy, and Wanelo, Pinterest will have the upper hand since many of its users flock to Pinterest expecting to discover new products. Pinterest remains tightlipped about the plans, but if they’re able to create a robust buy button product, they’ll potentially be sitting on a big pile of ecommerce cash.

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