Pinterest Shopping Spotlights

Pinterest is making a push for shoppable content.

The social media platform is rolling out a new feature, Shopping Spotlights, that allows users to purchase curations by guest editors, including influencers and publishers. Former Teen Vogue editor in chief Elaine Welteroth, influencer Blair Eadie, interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel and publications such as Refinery29, Domino and Who What Wear are partnering with Pinterest for the launch.

“A big focus of our product roadmap in the shopping space the last 18 months has been to bridge the gap between people getting inspired and helping them take action,” said Amy Vener, head of retail strategy and marketing at Pinterest. “Putting [Pinterest users] in the hands of these experts based on trends that are timely, and connecting them to the products they can buy, was a key reason behind why we launched this Shopping Spotlights feature.”

Each week Pinterest will add a new guest editor to Shopping Spotlights. The guest editors will not make commissions from sales of the products they feature, Vener said.

“Our current model as a company is advertising-based, so we do not do any kind of commission or affiliate program payouts,” she said.

About 97 percent of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded, according to the company.

“Consumers are coming to Pinterest looking to hear from retailers and brands,” Vener said. “They’re not necessarily looking to hear from the friends and family model that traditional social media is [known for].”

The total traffic Pinterest has driven to retailers has increased by about 2.3 times since 2019, Vener said. The number of Pinners who engaged with shoppable product pins has increased 44 percent year-over-year.

Earlier this year, Pinterest began verifying businesses of all sizes. Verification makes it easier for a company to sell product on Pinterest’s shopping platforms. It also allows businesses to view analytics related to traffic and engagement from both organic and paid activities.

On Shopping Spotlights, verified merchants can feature up to 20 products at a time.

Since the onset of the coronavirus, overall Pinterest engagement has been at an “all-time high,” said Vener, noting that COVID-19 has also impacted what users are searching for most. When shelter-in-place mandates first took effect, topics such as “pantry recipes” and “activities for kids” were trending. Now, topics such as “home office ideas,” “summer gardening tips” and “work-from-home-wear” are popular.

Additionally, searches for “help small businesses” and “support small businesses” have increased by more than 350 percent in the past few weeks, Vener said.

“There’s a shift in consumer mentality around planning, and optimism does seem to focus somewhat on small businesses that are available,” she said.

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