Pinterest Reveals Its Buy Button, Lets Pinners Make In-App Purchases

Originally published in FORBES on June 2, 2015 By Kathleen Chaykowski.
Pinterest Reveals Its Buy Button, Lets Pinners Make In-App Purchases
Pinners have long been asking for a way to buy clothing, home decor and recipe ingredients directly within the bookmarking app, according to Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silberman. Starting later this month, that feature will be a reality with Pinterest’s new Buyable Pins tool.
Pinterest has partnered with a range of large and small retailers, such as Macy M +0.09%, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom JWN +0.00% and Kate Spade, as well as with Apple AAPL -0.29% Braintree, Stripe and major credit card companies to add a blue price tag to millions of products featured on the app. With only a few taps, pinners will be able to purchase items without leaving the app through a secure, simple system, Silbermann said.
“Pinners have been super, super clear about what they want next,” Silberman said at an event at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. “People want to buy things on Pinterest.”
Buyable Pins are an extension of rich pins, which include more detailed descriptions than regular pins, as well as links. Pinners will be able to find Buyable Pins through the same search tools that are already part of the app, such as, home feed, search, category feeds and boards. For example, when pinners find a shirt they like, they can scroll through images of the shirt and select different sizes and colors. To check out, users will tap a “Buy It” button and can make the purchase through Apple Pay, Pay Pal or a credit card. The shirt will then ship to the user’s doorstep for the same price the user would pay on the merchant’s website, Pinterest said.
Stripe will be the primary payment partner, and credit card information will never touch Pinterest’s servers, according to the company.
“Pinterest knows who you are, and now with Stripe they can store your payment details and your shipping details,” Stripe cofounder John Collison said in an interview. “Retailers want to reach their customers wherever they are. You want to be out there, whether that’s on Pinterest, Twitter or anywhere else.”
The new feature follows Pinterest’s move a few months ago to launch app pins, which allow users to install apps from Apple’s App Store without leaving Pinterest. Last year, the bookmarking site launched place pins, which help users plan trips around the world. When Pinterest’s cofounders Evan Sharp and Silbermann spoke to FORBES last fall, Silbermann said the site’s next big step was becoming a frictionless platform for shopping. There are more than 50 billion pins on the app, growing at a rate of 75% per year, Silbermann said.
“When customers are on Pinterest and they are being inspired, it’s a new and different way for them to interact and get to know the Macy’s brand,” Serena Potter, group vice president at, said about the new feature. “It’s a great way for us to find new customers and to introduce existing customers to some of our other products.”
Buyable Pins will not involve any fees for pinners or merchants, Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships said. The feature could be a significant revenue driver for Pinterest. Even though retailers don’t pay for the pins, advertisers pay for promoted pins, which help place products in front of the pinners who are most interested in purchasing them, Bradford said.
Pinterest has 70 million monthly active users, according to comScore. Nearly 90% of pinners have made a purchase because of Pinterest, a recent study by Millward Brown found.