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Pinterest appeals to brands with expanded shopping ads

Pinterest Shop the Look ad Pinterest is introducing Shop the Look ads. Image credit: Pinterest


Social platform Pinterest is introducing new shopping tools for brands, as it continues to position itself as an advertising alternative to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

New offerings including “Shop the Look” ads and Shop tabs for business profiles are consistent with Pinterest’s identity as a discovery platform. Social commerce is a priority for Pinterest, and the platform steadily continues to unveil new features for advertisers to drive consumers down the purchase funnel.

“[The new features are] part of our ongoing commitment to help retailers get their products in front of people in a shopping mindset on Pinterest,” said Amy Vener, head of retail strategy at Pinterest, San Francisco. “All of these features allow retailers to put their most relevant products in front of people who are in a shopping mindset, but haven't yet made their decision on exactly what or who to make a purchase from.

“People have always used Pinterest for shopping inspiration,” she said. “Inspiring Pinners with the most relevant shopping experience – in their taste or style – leads to more product discovery and increases the chance that people will ultimately buy from your brand.”

Pinterest shopping
Pinterest has adapted its organic Shop the Look pins into an advertising format.

Brands and retailers can soon feature up to 25 items in a single image, on both mobile and desktop devices. Users will be able to view a showcase of four items, highlighted by white dots, before clicking through to see or purchase the remaining items.


Pinterest positions itself as a discovery platform. Image credit: Pinterest

Organic Shop the Look features are available to select partners in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, France and Japan, while the ads are slowly being rolled out, starting with the United States.

Business profiles are also receiving a redesign, including a profile cover, which can be either a still or moving image, and streamlined navigation.

Most notably, a dedicated “Shop” tab encourages users to directly shop items from a brand’s profile and drives traffic to a retailer’s Web site.

Social network Facebook offers a similar Shop tab, though it is underutilized by most brands (see story).

Pinterest is also expanding its Catalogues offering to select brands in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

With Pinterest’s Catalogues feature, originally introduced in the U.S. in March, businesses can upload more products, allowing for the creation of more dynamic Product Pins. Catalogues enables brands to upload entire catalogs into Pinterest, instead of single products one at a time.

Pinterest Shopping

Pinterest is enhancing its catalog features for retailers. Image credit: Pinterest

A self-serve tool also allows businesses to convert existing products on Pinterest into Shopping Ads (see story).

“Shop the Look ads will give businesses even more ways to visually engage Pinners earlier in their shopping journey with the ability to identify and shop specific products within a Pin,” Ms. Vener said. “The new business profile will help brands provide an even more personalized experience, which increases the relevance to people who are actively looking for what to buy or try next with the new Shop Tab.”

Pinterest pushes
Pinterest has also been emphasizing personalization as the social platform becomes more shoppable.

This summer, Pinterest rolled out shopping suggestions at the top of its home feed, as well as browsable catalogs alongside pins. Participating brands include customizable furniture retailer Joybird and home furnishings brand Parachute (see story).

In another move to help brands and advertisers serve up actionable inspirational content to consumers, Pinterest recently updated its video features.

Pinterest has created a new video tab so brands can feature all of their video content in a centralized location. Business users will also have access to an enhanced uploader, analytics and a Pin Scheduler tool for videos (see story).

“More than 300 million people turn to Pinterest to plan for things like a home remodel or for inspiration for a new outfit, content from brands and ads are additive and welcomed, and not intrusive as they are on other platforms,” Pinterest’s Ms. Vener said. “Luxury brands have a  unique opportunity to get their most appropriate products in front of people before they’ve decided on what brand to purchase from – an ideal mindset for any brand.”