Pinterest is the latest social media platform to announce plans to monetize the products pictured on its browsing app through a buy button powered by Stripe.
What Pinterest is calling Buyable Pins will be introduced in a few weeks. Items with a blue price tag button can be bought right through the app using a credit card or Apple Pay. After inputting personal information during sign up, data is stored for one-click checkouts on subsequent visits.
The point of discovery is shifting from the high street to social media feeds on our phones, said Stripe in an emailed statement. Elegant, clean checkout experiences are paramount to converting on mobile, and so we're thrilled to be Pinterest's primary payment partner for Buyable Pins.
Stripe is a natural fit due to its ability to facilitate multi-national transactions, said Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst and consultant for Double Diamond Payments Group. Many of the social media platforms are used around the world, so a merchant selling via these platforms needs to be able to transact with a user that could be anywhere.
Merchants using Stripe can accept more than 100 currencies, including Bitcoin. For Bitcoin transactions, Stripe charges 0.5%. For transactions in fiat currency, Stripe charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. That price can drop depending on volume.
The global marketing platform is a relatively new phenomenoneven Amazon is broken up into a variety of distinct, local sitesbut social relationships cross borders all the time, so social media shares can go global quickly, Oglesby said. Therefore, merchants leveraging social media marketing need to be able to transact globally as well.
While Pinterests interest in monetizing its content is interesting its not surprising. Rumors first surfaced about a Pinterest buy button in February.
Pinterests true market potential is still largely untapped, but this should be a major step in the right direction, said Oglesby.
According to eMarketer, in 2015 Pinterests U.S. user base will reach more than 47 million people. Pinterest is launching the Buyable Pins in the U.S. initially on iPhone and iPad. Android and desktop users will see the buy buttons in future releases, Pinterest said. Well-known brands participating in the launch include Macys, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. Merchants that use the Shopify ecommerce platform will be able to enable Buyable Pins in a few clicks; merchants that use Demandware will have access to the buy pins in a few weeks.
Response to the announcement has been positive so far. In answering a question from the comment section of the Pinterest blog post on the launch, Yuan Wei, a software engineer at Pinterest said the social media platform will not take a fee from buyers or sellers.
With Stripe, merchants only pay per transaction; there are no monthly fees. Earnings are transferred to a merchants bank account on a two-day rolling basis. Plus, if the merchant gives a refund to the customer, Stripe will return the fee in full.
Payments initiated through social media sites are becoming more popular recently. While Facebook and other social media sites have struggled to garner much adoption of its payment initiatives, the success of peer-to-peer mobile payment app, Venmo has caused a resurgence of activity. Venmo is a Twitter-like interface where users post messages, sometimes using only emojis, with a payment.