How Pinterest is re-creating our shopping experience

Well, as they say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and with Pinterest, you cannot deny the powerful impact of visuals.

It is this social platform which people refer to whilst looking for ideas. It is a platform for self-expression where you can ‘pin’ your likes under various collections known as boards, similar to a cupboard for keeping your favorite objects.

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From drawing inspiration and fresh ideas to serving as a collection of our needs and desires Pinterest comes into play.

How it all started

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The social catalog conceptualized by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra first debuted in 2010 to help people collect their favorite stuff across the Internet.

It was named the best startup by TechCrunch in 2011.

On March 2012 Pinterest reached 11.7 million users to become one of the fastest platforms to reach 10 million unique users and also overtook the microblogging platform Tumblr in terms of unique visitors.

The year 2013 saw Pinterest’s acquisition of the mobile recommendations app Livestar and Hackermeter, a Coding Challenge Site. Buyable pins introduced in 2015, allowed users to purchase items from Pinterest partners directly.

In August this year, Pinterest launched Promoted video coupled with pins to create a more immersive experience.

The latest acquisition Instapaper is a simple news reader & archive tool, which takes Pinterest into the area of written content.

Here’s a look at some of the interesting facts about the platform.

Pinterest Stats

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  • The users stay 2-3x longer on Pinterest than Twitter

A longer duration on the platform suggests that Pinterest is better at engaging and keeping users on the site.

  • 88% of people purchase a product that they pinned

Pinning a product may depict the willingness to buy it later. So Pinterest serves as a cart for storing products.

  • Consumers are 10% more likely to purchase on Pinterest

This stat tells us that people don’t just come to browse but also to buy on the platform.

  • Millennials use Pinterest just as much as they use Instagram

Millennials make up the largest workforce and will become the largest consumer group as well. Pinterest is also attracting the millennials, similar to the photo sharing platform Instagram.

Influencing Our Buying Experience

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Emotions influence our buying experience and in doing, so imagery & visuals also play a crucial part.  A visually attractive item catches our attention quickly. With that said, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are built with an emphasis on visuals rather than text.

Shopping experience

93% of Pinterest users have used it for purchasing or planning to purchase something. So for looking at design ideas or something new to wear, the platform is used by a majority of people for inspiration as well as purchasing decisions, that’s what makes it unique.

Buyable Pins & Shopping bag

The buyable pin along with the social features provides users to buy from Pinterest directly. The buyable pins are however currently available in the US to businesses using platforms like Shopify, Big commerce, and IBMcommerce.

With shopping bag, users can grab items from all over the web and purchase later on. And the best part is that there is no need to make multiple transactions. So if users like something on their phone but aren’t ready to but, they can purchase it later using another device. Pinterest has also partnered with around 20,000 merchants to bring in more products for users.

Native video player

While everyone has been jumping into the Online video race, Pinterest doesn’t want to stay behind. Videos provide people a more engaging and immersive experience. So with the soon to be launched native video player, Pinterest is helping users discover more products.

With an integrated video player, users can watch videos right on the platform and learn more about buying a product.

Visual search 

Another awaited feature is the visual search camera function, to help users tap and search various items around an image to learn and buy.

So, Pinterest will populate the photo with objects it recognizes, allowing the users to tap on an image and get recommendations.  An example can be a snap of a bed at a furniture store and then using the search feature to look for similar products for buying. The visual search feature will soon be rolled to Android followed by iOS and will give the platform an edge over other e-commerce companies.

A database of our Needs

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Pinterest is quickly working up its way with an array of acquisitions. It is uniquely positioned among the social networks, as 75% of the content has been created by businesses. With its latest acquisitions and Shopping bag feature, the scrapbook of ideas is turning to an ideal shopping platform. However, what will be interesting to see is how Pinterest can leverage its newly added functionalities to stay in the social commerce race.


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