Newspaper article International New York Times

Pinterest Moves into Retail by Adding 'Buy It' Buttons

Newspaper article International New York Times

Pinterest Moves into Retail by Adding 'Buy It' Buttons

Article excerpt

The online scrapbooking service said it would offer the ability to buy products from inside of pinned items, in what is its first foray into e-commerce.

Pinterest, the online social scrapbooking service, has long claimed to help people discover new things in the real world. Soon users will be able to buy those things, too.

The company, based in San Francisco, announced on Tuesday that it would offer the ability to buy products from inside pinned items, in what is its first foray into e-commerce on its service. The new product, named "buyable pins," enables sellers large and small to place a "Buy it" button on items that they post to the site.

Founded by the entrepreneur Ben Silbermann and some of his colleagues, Pinterest has quickly caught on as a sort of digital scrapbook where people can save images of items that draw their interest online. A user may come across an interesting pair of jeans on the web, for example, and "pin" a photo of those jeans to a Pinterest board. The idea was that users could collect items that they may find or buy later.

But there was no way to purchase items directly on Pinterest, so for many users, the idea of buying their saved items was largely aspirational. That changes with buyable pins, as Pinterest, which has raised more than $1.3 billion in venture capital, works to justify its valuation of $11 billion. While the company does not disclose its number of users, estimates place its audience in the United States at more than 75 million, according to the online analytics firm comScore.

With buyable pins, Pinterest has teamed up with major retailers like Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Kate Spade and Macy's. More than two million blue "Buy it" buttons will appear on products posted to Pinterest by these companies. Payments made through the service will be powered by Stripe, an e-commerce start-up that focuses on small and midsize online businesses. Braintree, a payments processing company owned by PayPal, will also handle processing.

Other merchants will be able to sell items on Pinterest using Shopify, which does the heavy lifting of online commerce for smaller, independent businesses. …

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