- Pinterest is debuting an online marketplace, Pinterest Shop, that showcases a selection of smaller merchants that sell products on the image-sharing app, according to details shared with sister publication Marketing Dive. The rollout of the feature is timed ahead of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, an annual occasion that urges people to support local businesses during the holiday rush.
- @PinterestShop displays hundreds of Product Pins — the term used for shoppable posts on the platform — from 17 merchants hand-picked by Pinterest. Pinterest said it chose to highlight merchants that focus on creativity and craftsmanship, such as The Citizenry, a maker of artisanal home goods, and Yellow Owl Workshop, which sells eco-friendly jewelry, socks and prints.
- Each merchant's pin board in the Pinterest Shop has about 20 products that shoppers can click to reach its checkout page. Pinterest plans to update the @PinterestShop account with more products from the small businesses, per its announcement.
With the holiday shopping rush ramping up this week, Pinterest's online marketplace aims to promote how small businesses can use the platform to sell their wares and cut through the noise during a particularly busy time of year. In creating @PinterestShop, the image-sharing app is touting its ability to capture the attention of shoppers who use its digital pin boards to find inspiration and collect images of products or types of products they may be interested in buying.
Eighty-three percent of weekly Pinners, as the company calls its users, have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest, per the announcement. Almost half (48%) of Pinterest users log into the platform to discover and shop for products, compared with only 14% of Facebook's users, according to Cowen data cited by eMarketer. Those online habits also appear to help drive brick-and-mortar sales, with 57% of weekly Pinners saying they have used the site in stores while shopping, per a consumer survey by researcher GfK.
By showcasing small businesses, Pinterest can demonstrate how its platform works for local or more niche businesses, not just major retailers and mass-merchant brands. As one example of that push, Pinterest last year expanded its "Shop the Look" pins for the fashion and beauty industries to small businesses, and this year created an ad format based on the pins for retailers that want to feature multiple products in a collection.
Social media companies like Pinterest and Instagram also have made a bigger push into e-commerce as they face growing competition in digital advertising from Amazon. Amazon has a fast-growing ad business that also touts its ability to reach audiences when they're most ready to buy. Pinterest in June expanded its third-party partner program, Marketing Partners, and rebranded it as Pinterest Partners to support more shopping experiences on its social media platform.
By broadening its advertiser business and boosting e-commerce functionality, Pinterest can help to maintain its revenue momentum. The company reported a 47% gain in revenue to $279.7 million in Q3 from a year earlier, and forecast sales of $1.1 billion to $1.12 billion for fiscal 2019. Its user base grew 28% from the year-ago period to 322 million, with most of that expansion happening overseas.
However, Pinterest's quarterly loss widened to $124.7 million in Q3 from $18.9 million a year earlier as the company increased spending on sales and marketing, and on research and development.