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Pinterest bets on shopping bag feature to corner social media commerce

With the buy button struggling on social media, Pinterest is exploring a different way of capturing the buying opportunity on mobile with a new shopping bag that spans multiple platforms.

Pinterest knows it has a huge opportunity to target consumers with options to purchase, as users are often on its platform to look for products and ideas. Now, users will be able to purchase items featured on Pinterest on the Web, as well as on their mobile devices, and add them to a bag to complete multiple purchases, along with a checkout feature to compete with PayPal and Apple Pay that saves users’ information.

“For years, Pinterest has talked about turning its social platform into a revenue-generating marketplace,” said David Bowen, director of product management for commerce at Episerver. “With this next step, the company is focusing on the customer experience to increase revenue.

“It will now be easier for Pinterest users to browse and shop for multiple products across mobile and web with a shared basket. In turn, this will lead to higher average order values and therefore revenue,” he said.

Pinning social sales
The social media app is shifting more towards a revenue-streaming platform, and is working on various mobile and Web pushes that will kick up sales. After a disappointing first run for the buy button, Pinterest has launched a series of purchasing updates.

For instance, the buy button itself is no longer featured on Pinterest, but instead will be featured as an add-to-bag option. Users will be able to add purchases to their virtual bag, which spans multiple platforms, in an effort to appeal to those that would like to purchase numerous items or take some time to research and complete the sale later on a different device.

The shopping bag feature has been added to Android devices and the desktop site; however, iOS devices will see add to bag relatively soon. Users will be able to access their bag while spanning various devices.

Pinterest is also making it easier to see other content by having users click on the search icon within a pin, which then displays boxes for each product detected within one pin. Users can click on each box to see related pins to that particular product.

PayPal and Apple will be competitors to Pinterest’s new checkout feature, which allows users to enter their information once and then saves it for future reference.

Paying with Pinterest
Pinterest is moving further into the retail landscape with a new feature for its iOS application that allows users to search for buyable pins, competing with major mobile commerce apps such as Amazon and Etsy (see more).

Brazilian furniture store Tok&Stok also brought Pinterest to life through an in-store activation that allows users to pin items to their personal accounts through a real-life button equipped with Bluetooth and paired with a mobile application (see more).

“The biggest challenge Pinterest will face is competition from the other seamless mobile checkout and payment options, including PayPal, Google Wallet and the new Apple Pay,” Mr. Bowen said.