(P)insight into Pinterest’s new buyable pins

By Sedora Tantraphol

Earlier this month, Pinterest announced a big change: in-platform purchasing integration through Buyable Pins.

Pins, Pins and More Pins

What’s the difference between product pins, promoted pins, and buyable pins?

Product pins include the price of an item and link to the website for purchase. Product pins have been around for a while, and get pinned significantly more often than normal pins. And, they’re free!


A product pin is a type of rich pin (there are 6, including App Pins, Place Pins, Article Pins, Recipe Pins, and Movie Pins).

Businesses can apply to receive meta tags to embed in your website so that pinned images of your product will automatically become product pins and drive traffic back to your site. The application can take up to a few weeks, so take that into account.

When a user clicks the “pin it” button while shopping on your site, the pin will automatically include the price (highlighted in red in the photo above) and the website from which you can purchase the product (in this case, Nordstrom).

Pinterest recently started a Gifts feed, which pulls exclusively from product pins. For businesses, enabling product pins will increase your visibility through this feed; for users, this is a great way to search for gifts or gift ideas. (And don’t forget, you can pin to a secret board to keep the surprise going).


Promoted Pins work like regular pins, but you pay to have them seen by more people. (Only businesses can promote their pins.) The process is similar to that of other social media platform ads: you set a budget and Pinterest sends you alerts and analytics to help push sales.


In this example, I searched for “heels,” and 5 of the search results were promoted pins.

Buyable Pins are set to roll out by the end of July, starting with bigger brands like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Buyable pins will feature a blue “buy it” button next to the red “pin it” button, which will allow users to access a secure 1-click integrated shopping without ever leaving Pinterest. As we shared recently, secure payment will occur through the Apple Pay app and other trusted credit card processors, and Pinterest promises not to store any information.


Smaller businesses will have to wait to get this feature. For now, the buyable pins work with Shopify and Dreamware, but you can sign up for the buyable pin waitlist.

If you’re a user, you no longer have to hunt down your coveted but unnamed-source item by going to the original blog post and hoping for a link to the actual purchasing site, only to find the item is no longer available and cursing the 3 minutes you will never get back. One click shopping and your adorable, must-have item will be en route to your house! This is awesome and scary at the same time — trolling for “wish list” things can easily turn into a spree of out-of-control-late-night instant purchases!

Why You Should Care:

If you’re a business, promoting your product through product pins, promoted pins, or buyable pins will be a great way to reach your target audience and boost sales. Almost 70% of Pinterest users are female, with an average household income of about $100,000 (that’s a lot of buying power!). Almost 30% of all adult internet users go on Pinterest, and Pinterest has been hailed as the next big social advertising platform. And we all know that visual marketing is highly effective.

So work with your website developers to integrate the rich pin meta tags and get the Pinterest button for your website.

And users, consider enlisting a buddy to keep you from spending your rent money on buyable pins.

As we get more data about the performance of buyable pins, we’ll update this post. Questions or comments? Contact us!