Shut up and take our money: Pinterest’s buyable pins

By Sedora Tantraphol

Back in July, we gave you (P)insight into Pinterest’s new buyable pins. Buyable pins feature a blue “buy it” button next to the red “pin it” button that allows you to purchase the product instantly. So far they’ve only been rolled out on mobile devices, but they’ll be hitting your desktops soon. (On an Android phone, the “buy it” button appears at the bottom of the screen next to the “pin it” button; on an iPhone, the “buy it” button appears at the bottom of the screen while the “pin it” button appears at the top).  

Buyable pins rolled out about 6 months ago with only a few top brands, but have since expanded to over thousands of shops selling clothes, home goods, items for babies, gifts, DIY, and more — even sales!

In case you haven’t mastered the Pinterest shopping habit yet, we’ll break it down for you.

Search and Buy

To search buyable pins — if they’re not already showing up in your feed — click on the search magnifying glass icon at the top of your mobile device. “Shop” is a new category that has been added to the list.

Photo 1 Search CategorySelecting “Shop” will take you to a list of Pinterest’s favorite buyable pins that have been sorted into product categories.

Photo 2 Favorites List

Since it’s winter and sweaters were the first category that popped up, I went ahead and clicked on that and found a bunch of sweaters. I clicked on the first one that popped up:

Photo 3 Sweater

It’s actually a cute sweater, so I think I’ll buy it. Hit the blue “buy it” button at the bottom and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can select a size/color (if appropriate; if not, you’ll be taken directly to the payment screen):

Photo 4 Size

Select your size, then you’ll finish up on the payment screen, and soon all your hours of pinning cute items will lead to those items arriving on your doorstep!

Photo 5 Payment

Other ways to search

You can also search using filters. After you click “shop” from the categories list, you can use the search bar at the top to search for general or specific  items (i.e., “scarf” versus “knit scarf” versus “plaid scarf”). You can also filter by price. At the top right, click the blue dollar sign icon to filter for price. Use the button on the right to scroll up or down to indicate your price level. In keeping with the winter theme, I’ve searched for “scarf” and set it to $25:

Photo 6 Scarf

Back on the “favorites” list page, you can also click the “shop now” button in the top to see featured items of the day.

And of course, if you’ve shopped but aren’t ready to buy, you can always pin it for later.

They’ve updated their page about how Buyable Pins and the payment process works – including this new video. For now, it’s still limited to larger brands —  smaller retailers will still have to sign up for the waitlist — using 5 ecommerce platforms (Bigcommerce, Demandware, IBM Commerce, Magento, and Shopify).

Promoted Pins

Any business can now pay for promoted pins – similar to buying ads on Facebook or other social media platforms. Paying to promote a pin will ensure that it is seen by more people, targeted to users’ interests, location, and other data. Since its rollout last January, promoted pins were only available to large companies; making the promote feature available to all businesses opens the market up and will contribute to Pinterest’s projected $3 billion in revenue this year.  Promoted pins will send users to your website to purchase your goods, which differentiates it from buyable pins which allows the user to buy the product directly in the app.  

So from a business standpoint, you can get your product in front of more eyeballs through both promoted pins and buyable pins — happy selling!