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Will Pinterest’s update for retailers mean social commerce will see fruition?

Pinterest has invested in a multi-platform update for businesses that will allow them more control over what consumers see and more promptly displays pins that can be purchased. While the social platform was the first introduce a buy button upon its inception, commerce via social media has been stagnant – but that might change in the near future.

“As social platforms get more and more serious about implementing commerceable capabilities like the Buy Button, retailers would be wise to follow suit,” said Brian Marvin, cofounder a chief operating officer at Bringhub. “Just as it does with social platforms, contextual commerce brings incredible value to retailers.

“Allowing consumers to purchase a product at the very moment they are inspired (without forcing them to leave a page or even finish watching a video), will enable retailers to unlock new channels of revenue and increase customer engagement dramatically,” he said. “Retailers can also leverage customer data unique to contextual commerce capabilities, which allows them to provide a highly personalized experience in real time.

“In turn, this leads to the development of close, trusted relationships between the retailer and consumer.”

Look and feel
As consumers become more comfortable with mobile purchasing, social commerce is sure to follow close behind. The fast evolution of technology on this space will drive convenience factor and subsequently drive purchasing.

That is what makes Pinterest’s update so important. The social media platform has shifted things around in terms of buy buttons and purchasing, continuing to adjust for a better consumer experience.

Pinterest’s update will allow retailers to customize a rotating showcase that sits at the top of their profiles. The first thing users will see will be the best items for purchased or the best content pinned, as determined by the retailer.

Retailers will now look consistent throughout all platforms, which is a major plus point as the more consistent the brand, the better in the subconscious mind of the consumer. Pinterest’s updated platform will now make sure that the boards chosen to be showcased and their corresponding selected cover pictures will appear the same on all devices, giving retailers better control over their brand.

Most importantly, there is a shop slot at the top of retailer’s boards and pages that will feature selected pins that can be shopped. Retailers can adjust these based on their needs, giving presence to what makes sense for their brand such as products on sale or holiday shopping during December.

Social media shopping innovation
Pinterest also recently explored a different way of capturing the buying opportunity on mobile with a shopping bag that spans multiple platforms, which changed the game and is likely to have started the movement towards consumer adoption.

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 are 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 (see more).

Instagram also recently had a major move to commerce by allowing users to shop products featured in photos in a way that mirrors user behavior, another major support of social media shopping.

The social network capitalized on its users’ behavior by making it easier to shop products directly in the news feed with product pages that retailers can tag in their photos. After the anticipation of the buy buttons rush fell flat to the disappointment of retailers, Instagram’s unique experience may usher in sales and create a platform that ushers in mobile sales through an application that most mobile users are on (see more).

“While Pinterest does seem to be more advanced when it comes to Buy Buttons, each social platform is evolving simultaneously,” Mr. Marvin said. “We’ll see all of these capabilities continue to grow in popularity as more retailers and brands start deploying this technology.

“What’s more, if consumers are truly going to adopt social commerce, there needs to be one industry-standard, used across the board, to get them to purchase comfortably,” he said.