Recently Pinterest introduced several new e-commerce features that it hopes will encourage its 100 million monthly users to buy items through its website. “These features are a big step in helping Pinterest become more of a shopping hub,” said company founder and CEO Ben Silbermann. Buyable Pins were first introduced on the mobile app is also on their site. New offerings include a shopping bag and recommendations for similar items for sale that might be of interest. Pinterest is also improving visual search, which will enable users to search for items with an image, including an upcoming camera search feature that will let mobile users take a picture of an item and compare it to available products sold through Pinterest. According to Silbermann, Pinterest’s goal is to make it easier for users to purchase items through Pinterest.
How Pinterest intends to generate revenue from these new ecommerce features remains to be seen. Currently, Pinterest doesn’t generate revenue from its buy buttons — that goes to the seller. Pinterest is one of the 50+ media channels that BIA/Kelsey asks small and medium sized businesses* (SMBs) about in its Local Commerce Monitor™ annual survey. Pinterest is used by 13.8% of small businesses. When you look at Pinterest usage by vertical category, entertainment and retail small businesses were the highest users. Home/Trade Services, which includes home improvement, could actually benefit from showing off past projects on Pinterest, but their usage is well below average.
* BIA/Kelsey defines small and medium businesses as those with between 1 and 99 employees.