Pinterest “buyable" pins and Instagram “shop now" buttons

By Andrea Lucar | 01 Jun 2015

In the wake of Google and YouTube announcing their click-to-buy buttons, the floodgates have opened for other platforms to grab a slice of the action. Of course, this is great news as it addresses recent statistics showing that users would buy if given the choice when searching and browsing. To that avail, this week Pinterest and Instagram announced the release of their "buy button" features and therefore pave the way to new digital marketing strategies. But what are the main differences and which approaches should be considered before starting a campaign?

eCommerce Approach

Pinterest internalises the purchasing process through Apple Pay or payment processors, users just need to be on the lookout for Pins with a blue price which indicates the item is available to buy. What's great here is that you can use a price filter to adjust your price range when browsing, a great feature that will save time and further target the results.

Instagram redirects the traffic to the merchant's website. Thanks to some strong APIs, Instagram will allow advertisers to manage, track and measure each campaign which is a great step towards automating the process.

The two approaches between the platforms are fundamentally different which will either push brands towards eCommerce integration or traffic redirection. At this stage it's worth considering the costs associated with each strategy and how each option speaks to consumer shopping patterns and tendencies. Target ads and promotions which have

Conversion Potential

Pinterest has a significantly higher average price of purchase ($50) than most major social platforms according to this Shopify study. Additionally, this study shows that Pinterest users are actively looking for ideas and products while browsing, and use the platform to essentially plan their upcoming purchases. This alone offers a strong potential for conversion. The ball will start rolling with a select few brands such as Macy's and Nordstrom in its debut, however the option will be open to other brands soon after.

Instagram's "Shop Now" button is aimed at pushing the merchant's user base towards conversion rather than solely sharing visual content. The potential lies therefore in the follower base and the analytics behind selecting sponsored campaigns which have shown the best results ahead of including ads. Instagram will also benefit from Facebook's information database to offer strong targeting options to have ads feature based on age, location and gender as well as places and things they love. Furthermore, Instagram will allow companies of all sizes to get involved from the get-go, and has been set up to be able to cope with the huge demand.

In short, both platforms offer interesting opportunities to capitalise on the followers' base to proactively drive sales through the ads.