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Why the “Buy It” Pins Aren’t a Game-Changer…Yet

Published: June 8, 2015

Author: Brad O'Brien

Perhaps you’ve heard: Pinterest introduced Buyable Pins this month; here’s the skinny on how they work, and for whom
Exciting announcement? Yes. Big potential revenue driver right now? Not likely.
The simple fact that the Buy It pins are only on mobile for the moment is a limiting factor. Mobile conversion rate is always a hurdle, especially when trying to get actions (conversions) on a platform where people are used to just hunting/gathering ideas for the future, or curating their ‘aspirational world’.
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann’s statements on the new offering speak volumes on its real potential. A few takeaways:

-He’s being very modest about the e-commerce potential of this new offering. He sees it more of an addition to the core Pinterest offering and a way to make the platform more useful for its users. 

-He doesn’t think this move will make Pinterest the next e-com giant.

-Will it attract new users? “Hopefully.” Different users have different motivations.

The pins do pose a bit of a problem for advertisers as well. Since all buying actions would be contained within Pinterest, you would lose the insights on user behavior on your site in their path to purchase.
My honest opinion? This is most viable for nationally recognized brands. It makes sense that Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom are among the first brand partners. They have national recognition and brand trust. For most brands, a potential customer will still want to know more about your brand before just purchasing from a third party like Pinterest. 
In general, Pinterest advertising is getting more refined and viable, which in the coming months should make these particular pins a feature more advertisers (when they get access) will be likely to try. For now, just keep the feature on your watch list. (Once again, thanks to Social AM Deepika Patel for her insights.)

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