The Future of eCommerce with Buyable Pins
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There has been a lot of social commerce hype around Pinterest’s announcement of Buyable Pins recently, launching with a select number of retailers. This is pretty cool news.
Unlike Twitter and Facebook’s buy buttons, Pinterest users will be able to purchase an item without ever having to leave their account and redirecting to a retailer’s website. Instead, Pinterest’s API taps directly into a retailer’s eCommerce system to pull stock availability and pricing information, making rich pins richer.
Buyable pins that are available from an online retailer will be shown by a blue “Buy it” button. This is a really great strategic move, considering pinned images often live much longer on the social platform than in stockrooms.
Pinterest users will have the opportunity to filter search and category results by what’s “buyable,” with real-time inventory and pricing to ensure no discrepancies.
It’s also been recently confirmed that Google will add buy buttons to mobile search.
What exactly does this mean for the retail and eCommerce industry?
What we’re seeing is how merchandising is going beyond the online storefront and that content and commerce are converging. This is a potential disruptor to the traditional product page and online shopping experience.
It’s inevitable that other buy buttons will be developed. However, to make transactions truly native to the experience, versus simply linking back to an online storefront, there is the need for experienced API integration.
With this integration requirement, Buyable Pins are not a feature that retailers can simply turn on—yet. It requires the social network’s API to integrate seamlessly with the eCommerce platform APIs, and likely the need for a specfic app to connect the two.
Where is this all going?
What happens when multiple social, search, and third-party apps need to be integrated?
When a shopper makes a transaction with a retailer’s eCommerce system through a third party, they are one step further away from the experience intended by the merchant. This could likely interfere with a retailer’s influence with cross-sells, personalized the experience, cross-network retargetting, affect loyalty programs, and more.
Retailers want the ability to bring this information back from third parties and integrate it with their single customer view or other analytics dashboards, power personalization engines and automated marketing programs. Advanced commerce APIs make this possible, while bridging the gap physical storefront touchpoints may create.
Pinterest and other social giants are paving the way for many more offline selling opportunities that, rather than merely redirect visitors to an online storefront, actually facilitate a seamless shopping experience. To stay up-to-date with the evolution of shopping, commerce platforms need to be well-equipped to extend beyond the online site and support the blurring of channels—online and offline.
Photo by Morning Brew