Home >industry >Pinterest adds ability to buy products from pins on website

San Francisco: Pinterest Inc. unveiled a way to let users buy products such as clothing, gardening tools and crafting supplies straight from pins on its website, the first move into e-commerce by the online-scrapbooking start-up.

By the end of the month, people will be able to see small blue price tags underneath images of items that are available for purchase, called Buyable Pins, the company said Tuesday at its San Francisco headquarters. Consumers can use Apple Pay or a credit card to check out. Retail partners include stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kate Spade and tens of thousands of local boutiques and brands.

“People have been asking for this stuff a lot," chief executive officer Ben Silbermann said. “Buyable Pins are a simple and secure way to buy the products you love right within Pinterest."

Five-year-old Pinterest is working to boost revenue through advertising, and now e-commerce, after raising $367 million in a funding round that valued the startup at $11 billion in March. The company has 70 million monthly active users and more than 50 billion visual pins on its site.

Pinterest won’t take a commission from purchases made through the new feature. The start-up will, however, make money from the effort by charging advertisers to promote Buyable Pins—an option the company said it is still developing.

Comfort level

“They want advertisers to like it, and they want consumers to get used to it," said Ben Legg, chief executive officer at marketing consulting firm AdKnowledge Inc., which doesn’t work with Pinterest. “Once they have lots of traction with it, they can either take a cut or make advertisers pay more for the top spots in search."

In addition to Apple Inc.’s mobile-transaction service, payment partners for Buyable Pins include Stripe Inc. and EBay Inc.’s Braintree, to create secure connections and to ensure that credit-card information is never stored on Pinterest servers, the company said.

Advertisers have long wanted Pinterest to introduce a purchasing feature as it’s a natural fit for a website where people post pictures of things they admire, places they want to go or recipes they want to cook. The company has been slowly boosting efforts to make money through advertising and other means. Earlier this year, Pinterest introduced ways to download mobile applications directly from the site. Bloomberg

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