Pinterest revs up social commerce with new shopping features for retailers

The news: Pinterest is looking to significantly shift from a discovery engine to more of a commerce platform—and it has announced its first major initiative since CEO Bill Ready took the helm last week.

New features:

  • The Pinterest API for Shopping: This feature includes additional catalog management and metadata capabilities to improve product information. Brands using the feature, including Target and Home Depot, report that pricing and availability data are 97% accurate.
  • Product tagging on Pins: This allows merchants to make Pins shoppable. Merchants tag items from their catalog within brand imagery, adding context and relevance to Pins. During its testing phase, users displayed 70% greater shopping intent on product Pins tagged in brand imagery and scenes versus standalone Pins of product imagery.
  • Shop tabs on business profiles: These are receiving a number of enhancements to give sellers greater control over how their products are represented.
  • Video in Catalogs: The platform’s existing Catalog feature, which ingests feeds from brands’ ecommerce sites, now enables video assets to be included in those feeds as well. This should help give users a more in-depth look at products when they’re making buying decisions, driving conversions in the process.

Zoom out: With more than 440 million monthly active users, Pinterest has developed into a site where consumers fall in love with goods and companies they had no idea existed.

  • With the addition of these new capabilities for merchants, Pinterest is aiming to simplify the process for getting brands to invest time and money to optimize their presence on the platform.
  • The company’s acquisition of AI-powered shopping platform The Yes last month is another indicator that the company’s future is in commerce.

The number of users engaging with shopping surfaces on Pinterest has grown more than 215% year over year, according to SVP of engineering Jeremy King—impressive considering the platform’s user growth has been stagnant. Our forecast has US Pinterest users actually dropping from 85.4 million in 2022 to 84.7 million in 2026, though the platform will pick up users in key European markets during that time frame.

The big takeaway: When we covered Ready becoming Pinterest’s new CEO, we (accurately) predicted social commerce would be more prominently featured in the company’s plans. This is the first step in those plans, with undoubtedly more to come in the near future.

  • Our forecast has Pinterest surpassing $3 billion in worldwide ad revenues for the first time in 2022, reaching $4.68 billion in 2024. Undoubtedly, the more Pinterest makes itself a cornerstone of brands’ social commerce plans, the greater likelihood companies will spend more on ads to drive those sales.

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast