The Evolution of Pinterest Shop

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Pinterest shop

Pinterest Shop: A Brief Overview

Pinterest Shop, a feature of the Pinterest platform, made its official debut in 2015. As many are aware, this social network primarily serves as a content-sharing tool (Pins) among its diverse community members (Pinners), all constantly seeking ideas and inspiration.

The need to create an e-commerce channel that connects brands with potential customers led Pinterest to implement its own shopping methods, keeping customers within the app, without redirecting them to the chosen brand’s e-commerce website. In this article, we’ll explore the evolution of Pinterest Shop from its inception to the present day, highlighting the new features available to users and retailers, with a glimpse into the advantages of using the platform for business strategies.

What Is Pinterest Shop?

The Pinterest Shop feature, which allows users to purchase products directly on the Pinterest platform, was introduced in the USA in 2015. Initially, only a handful of international brands could utilize it. The first significant change occurred in 2015 with the introduction of the “Shop the Look Pin.” However, as early as 2013, the platform had been moving towards social commerce, further solidifying the established relationship between social media and marketing.

In September 2018, “Shop the Look Pin” became available to all businesses. During the testing phase, it was observed that shoppable Pins were saved five times more frequently than regular Pins. This success was in part due to Pinterest’s visual nature, which encouraged Pinners to request features that better catered to their needs and improved their overall customer experience.

The Evolution of Pinterest Shop

Pinterest, like other social platforms, was not originally created for shopping purposes. It was conceived to virtually recreate the bulletin boards where we pinned photos representing significant moments in our lives. Each board told our story, with numerous boards dedicated to different thematic areas, much like Pinterest’s thematic boards. However, statistics quickly showed that users associated inspiration with the desire to turn what they saw into reality. Pinterest responded by increasingly facilitating the purchasing process for users.

The introduction of Promoted Pins, initially for IOS and later for Android, marked a significant step. Prior to this innovation, users could only make purchases by leaving the app and visiting the e-commerce platform. Eventually, shopping could be done without exiting the application, thanks to the “Buy” button, similar to the experience on Amazon and Ebay. Simultaneously, Pinterest introduced tools to filter products by price range and color to aid in product discovery. Before this update, e-commerce platforms could not promote their Pins directly.

Users had to find what they were looking for by searching, as merchants could only include a brief description and a link to their e-commerce site in their Pins. Despite the absence of direct access to purchase, statistics since Pinterest’s launch in 2010 have shown that the presence of Pins increased product sales.

Shopinterest: Bridging the Gap

Shopinterest, a combination of “Shop” and “Pinterest,” was a free-access platform targeting small American businesses. Access was by invitation, which could be obtained by completing a form. Once on the platform, advertisers could transfer their product catalogs from their Pinterest boards to Shopinterest, including all the necessary details, such as payment methods. Users simply needed to add products to their cart and Pin them.

Rich Pins: Enhancing the User Experience

Introduced by Pinterest in 2013, Rich Pins require a Business account to use. One type of Rich Pin includes product details such as price and availability. This direction aims to provide more information about the product and enhance the user experience.

Zoom, Pinterest Visual Lens, Instant Ideas, and Pinscode

Introduced in 2017, these features aimed to improve the user experience by simplifying product search and inspiring new ideas:

  • Zoom: Not only allows users to zoom in on an item of interest but also facilitates its purchase through a link.
  • Pinterest Visual Lens: Enables image-based searches. For example, photographing food can lead to recipe inspirations, and capturing clothing items can direct users to e-commerce sites for purchasing similar products. Visual search continually improves through Artificial Intelligence.
  • Instant Ideas: A tool that grants access to related content without requiring additional photos.
  • Pinscode: Pinterest’s version of QR codes.

Pinterest has become synonymous with Visual Discovery and inspiration for turning ideas into reality. Users access this platform knowing that something unique, exclusive, and achievable awaits them, thanks to the various tools at their disposal.

Shop the Look Pin: How It Works

With Shop the Look Pins, users can purchase products featured in creative content without leaving the Pinterest app. This feature is available on both mobile and desktop devices. The goal is to transform the inspiration Pinterest provides into tangible results—inspiration remains the keyword for Pinterest as a social platform.

Shop the Look Pins are identifiable by the white dots on sponsored products within the content. Simply tap the white dot on the desired product to open a window displaying all the details. When the user is ready to make a purchase, they can click on the call to action and proceed to checkout through the website.

Creating Shop the Look Pins for Advertisers

To create Shop the Look Pins, advertisers need to utilize Pinterest’s advertising platform, Search Pin Ads, and have a Pinterest Business account. If you have a large inventory of products, it’s advisable to create ads by uploading products and leveraging Olapic and Curalate.

For businesses with fewer products that prefer manual tagging, here’s how to do it, as explained in Pinterest’s guide:

  1. Click and select “Create Pin.”
  2. Upload an image and add a Pin title, description, and destination URL.
  3. Click on the product you want to tag.
  4. Add the product’s URL or affiliate link.
  5. Select a product image.
  6. Repeat steps 4-6 for all the products you want to tag in this Pin.
  7. Click “Finish.”
  8. Choose a board to save your Shop the Look Pin and publish it.


Utilizing Pinterest Tools

Advertisers have access to the Collective Editor, making it easy to manage multiple campaigns simultaneously. From a single virtual workspace, they can create campaigns, ad groups, and sponsored Pins. They can also preview and modify them as needed. Additionally, advertisers can create targeted audiences, with each group comprising a minimum of 100 Pinterest users.

Implementing the Pinterest tag on all website pages allows for user traffic monitoring and tracking visitor actions on the site. This enables retargeting of visitors who haven’t made purchases and upselling to those who have. Furthermore, similar-interest groups can be created based on the actions of site visitors, expanding the profiled audience.

ConclusionPinterest Shop has come a long way since its inception, evolving into a robust platform that seamlessly integrates visual discovery with e-commerce. By continually enhancing the user experience and providing tools for advertisers, Pinterest has positioned itself as a valuable platform for businesses looking to connect with their target audience through inspiring content and seamless shopping experiences. As the intersection of inspiration and commerce, Pinterest Shop continues to reshape the digital marketing landscape.

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