Pinterest Adds A Buy Button, Sending Stilettos To Your Door

By Greta Kaul
San Francisco Chronicle.

If you can dream it, you can buy it.

That’s where Pinterest — the San Francisco virtual scrapbooking site best known for wedding planning, recipes and crafts — appears to be headed, announcing Tuesday it will work with merchant partners to add a “buy it” button to some 2 million pins.

In late June, when the buttons are added, users will be able to buy everything from patterned pillows to killer stilettos without leaving the Pinterest app. Early partners include Macy’s, Nieman Marcus and Nordstrom.

“In just a few taps, that item will arrive at your door,” said Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s chief executive officer.

Observers have long speculated that this day would come, and it’s no secret that turning Pinterest’s loyal fan base — many of them affluent women — into buyers could make Pinterest and the merchants a lot of money.

Monetization has been the million-dollar question for all social media companies, and both Facebook and Twitter began testing similar buttons last year.

As of last year, more than a quarter of online adults used Pinterest — 42 percent of women and 13 percent of men, according to the Pew Research Center.

Users on Pinterest upload and organize images, or pins, and other types of content into virtual wish lists called pinboards.

Pinboards can be organized around travel, events or ideas for home decor. When the Buyable Pins feature is introduced at the end of this month, 2 million of them, from Pinterest’s merchant partners, will appear on the site. The company will release the feature for iPhone and iPad users, then expand to other platforms later.

When users click the button to make a purchase, they will enter credit card or Apple Pay information, and their address. The app saves it, asking for additional passwords only for large purchases. The new feature will also allow users to sort Buyable Pins by price.

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