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Pinterest expands shopping tools, streamlining discovery

August 5, 2019

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


Pinterest is emphasizing personalization in its latest effort to make the social platform more shoppable.

Retailers can now use new features, including personalized shopping hubs, to reach consumers as they browse Pinterest. Unlike other platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest positions itself as a discovery tool through which consumers are more willing to engage and transact with brands.

“Pinterest is the platform people come to when they’re in a planning and shopping mindset, making it possible for brands to be discovered in a welcoming environment,” said Tim Weingarten, head of shopping at Pinterest, San Francisco. “For the first time, we’re adding personalized shopping ideas right in home feed.

“We’ve been bringing more commerce opportunities for retailers including the introduction of Catalogs, Shopping Ads and browsable catalogs on home feed,” he said. “These features are part of ongoing updates to bring more shoppable surfaces to Pinterest.”

Pinterest discovery
Pinterest has 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.

This is an expansion of the Catalog feature that Pinterest originally launched this spring.

Pinterest has also recently shared new features are focused on making the app more diverse and inclusive. Image credit: Pinterest

Initially limited to Pinterest boards within style, home, beauty and DIY categories, the platform will aggregate similar product pins to what the user has been looking at and saving themselves. With Pinterest’s Catalog feature, retailers can upload more products, allowing for the creation of more dynamic Product Pins (see story).

“We've also updated the shopping spaces alongside Pins to make it easier to dive into specific brands,” Mr. Weingarten said. “This is in addition to related products from other brands and personalized ideas that can also be found across Pinterest.”

According to research from Neustar, consumers arrive at Pinterest early in their shopping journeys. However, purchases inspired by Pinterest searches are not always immediate, meaning some brands may undervalue the platform.

In examining sales from five brands, Neustar’s findings showed that Pinterest generated 18 percent of incremental sales and revenue despite accounting for 11 percent of advertising spend.

Pinterest also outperformed other social media networks, paid search and display advertising.

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


Pinterest is enhancing its video suite for brands and businesses. Image credit: Pinterest

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).

Shoppable social
In recent months, a number of social platforms have been introducing new ways for consumers to shop online and through mobile, similarly looking to bridge discovery and conversion.

Google is the latest technology giant to invest in new features as it works to build a seamless ecommerce shopping experience across its platforms.

Hoping to capitalize on the hundreds of millions who already rely on Search, Images and YouTube throughout their shopping journeys, Google is redesigning its Shopping experience. To increase discovery, Google will expand Showcase Shopping ads to appear on Images and eventually YouTube, reminiscent of shoppable ads from Instagram and Pinterest (see story).

Additionally, Instagram has been working to streamline the shopping journey for users, allowing them to purchase items from brands directly without leaving its application.

Several luxury brands are among the first to roll out Instagram Checkout, including Dior and Prada. After making itself nearly invaluable for brands with the help of an expansive audience and a suite of advertising tools, the Facebook-owned platform is looking to facilitate an end-to-end purchase journey from discovery to conversion (see story).

As social media and shopping converge, Pinterest is looking to leverage its position in the purchase path.

“It’s important to know that people have always used Pinterest for shopping inspiration and to discover products and brands whilst they’re in a planning mindset with the intent to buy,” Mr. Weingarten said. “We’ve spent years developing the platform to make discovery easier for users by serving billions of personalized recommendations for Pinners every day.”