Pinterest Promoted PinsBuyable Pins is helping Pinterest grow from an engagement channel to a shopping discovery platform. However, there isn’t substantial data yet to prove that Buyable Pins is a mature direct-response marketing play—but there’s no doubt they drive value.


Boost Media shares 5 opportunities for retailers to drive value with Buyable Pins:


1.Drive incremental sales without transaction fees


Unlike Amazon, Pinterest does not take a cut of revenue from transactions driven by Buyable Pins. This makes Buyable Pins an enticing proposition. Pinterest is betting on monetizing Buyable Pins via the increased ad revenue from customers engaging with the ads.

Key takeaway: Even if volume is low, you can still drive incremental sales.


2. Reach new mobile customers

Buyable Pins are mobile-only. Chances are, there isn’t a 100% overlap between people who purchase on mobile and desktop—you’re likely to net new individual customers.

Early indicators support this idea. In a February 2016 private communication with Boost, Pinterest shared these examples:

  • The small clothing boutique, Spool No.72 is seeing 84% of sales from Buyable Pins coming from new customers.
  • The online marketplace for handmade goods, Madesmith Co. has seen 7.1% of the site’s total orders from July to September, 2015 coming from Buyable Pins—and 100% of those customers are new.


Key takeaway: You’ll increase mobile sales and likely to reach new customers through Buyable Pins transactions.


3. Improve your mobile shopping experience

Buyable Pins enable retailers to sell on mobile without investing in a mobile-friendly storefront. Ultimately, all major retailers need to own their own desireable mobile-optimized ecommerce site. But Buyable Pins can provide data on what the opportunity is before making a large investment.


Key takeaway: Running Promoted Pins is a quick way to boost sales on mobile without making a big up-front investment in your mobile site.

4. Garner earned media from paid advertising

One of the beauties of Buyable Pins—and Promoted Pins in general—is that brands can gain free visibility via users who Repin Promoted Pins to their followers. The advertiser pays the for first engagement—the Repin. But subsequent engagements are free, giving brands the opportunity to earn visibility and eyeballs long after a Buyable Pins campaign ends.


Key takeaway: Maximize free engagement from Repinning by front-loading your Promoted Pins budget to gain Repins early on.


5. Modernize your inventory-buying process

93% of Pinterest users plan future purchases on Pinterest, giving brands a view into future customer desires. ModCloth is a clothing brand that has seen tremendous success in estimating future demand by letting customers vote on what products they want. You could test a similar strategy on Pinterest by measuring how many Repins you get on different products or color variations to gauge interest.


Key takeaway: Measure non-transactional Promoted Pins engagement such as Repins to estimate future product demand.


Where to go from here

Buyable Pins are relatively new, so it’s unclear whether or not they will lead to a significant source of direct revenue in the long-term. If it does, brands early to the game will have the advantage, and realize value in the meantime. There are about 10,000 retailers using Buyable Pins—it’s not too late to be an early adopter.