Thanks to the growing scope of the channel, more merchants are able to create pins from their products directly within the Shopify dashboard. For the social bookmarking company, the expansion rapidly ramps up its shopping proposition to more than 450 million monthly Pinterest users.
Shopify boasts over 1.7 million merchants, and now those in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and other countries can take advantage of the features.
The retail technology company believes the move marks a new era for social commerce, allowing indie merchants to take part and grow their customer base. According to the company, 54 percent of younger consumers around the world discover brands through social media, driving its view that merchants need to show up wherever their consumers are spending time — and increasingly, that means entertainment and social platforms.
That thinking brought the company to Pinterest, an environment where users tend to show high purchase intent, with 83 percent of weekly “pinners” buying based on the content they saw from brands on the platform.
“The future of commerce is commerce everywhere,” said Lola Oyelayo-Pearson, Shopify’s director of UX [user experience], channels and financial services. “At Shopify, our job is to make this possible by giving merchants the ability to market and sell in multiple places while removing the complexity of managing various channels.”
The partnership got into high gear last year, when Pinterest launched a Shopify app to give stores an easy way to upload catalogs to the platform and create shoppable Product Pins with just a few clicks.
Shopify’s “Future of Commerce 2021” study shed further light on retail behavior, reporting that 84 percent of global consumer respondents have been shopping online since the start of the pandemic.
That prompted merchants to jump on Pinterest as a way to recreate the in-store shopping experience and let shoppers browse digital store aisles, see curated collections and compare prices. Its latest internal data shows that catalog feed uploads on Pinterest grew by more than 14 times year over year, as of March 2021.
Of course, pinning isn’t the only proposition for Shopify merchants. The company also partners with others, including Instagram and Snapchat. And over all, it saw installs of social commerce channels grow 76 percent between February 2020 and February 2021.
Brands and retailers such as Rothy’s and Sukoshi Mart have gotten the memo. Both have activated Pinterest through Shopify and seem pleased with the results so far.
“As we grow Rothy’s product assortment, our customer is looking for new ways to discover our collection of shoes, handbags and accessories,” said Kate Barrows, senior director of growth at Rothy’s. The fashion company uses the tool to provide a curate browsing experience, she explained.
“Rothy’s Shopify catalogue feeds into Pinterest featuring our latest styles, colors and patterns and reflecting real-time changes in inventory,” she added. “As we explore Rothy’s next phase of growth, we’re looking forward to global partners like Pinterest and Shopify scaling with us internationally.”
For Sukoshi Mart, the integration allowed it to reach new audiences, like Gen Z, and give customers pricing and availability information. According to Linda Dang, Sukoshi Mart founder, “we saw 3.5 times higher return on ad spend than the industry average in Canada.” She now considers Pinterest instrumental in reaching audiences inspired by Japanese and Korean beauty trends, snacks and lifestyle culture.
Although Shopify is bracing for the departures of several executives, including its chief technology officer, representatives told WWD that its strategic focus on social commerce won’t change.
Pinterest isn’t likely to shift gears either, as the partnership has become a valuable lifeline for the platform, especially after the tech company saw a steep drop in its stock price on Friday. Experts chalked it up to a greater than expected deceleration in Pinterest’s growth. But what has analysts buoyed about the company is its Shopify relationship.
According to a Seeking Alpha insight written by MangoTree Analysis, Pinterest’s access to the raft of small business Shopify merchants matters, because “small business advertisers are going to be the long term driver for revenue growth, as they are the largest demographic of advertisers outside of brand advertisers. This partnership will allow Pinterest to gain exposure to the key small business demographic.”
Indeed, that’s the target for this latest development. Bill Watkins, global head of mid-market and small business sales at Pinterest, pitched small and medium-size merchants as being particularly well-suited to thrive on the platform “because they connect with consumers in a positive environment when they are early in their decision-making journey and full of purchase intent.”
The low friction, with no need to edit code or deploy resources, also frees them up, so they can focus on inspiring consumers, he added.
In other news, the companies also announced the arrival of Dynamic Ad Retargeting and multi-feed support for catalogues.
The former means that Shopify merchants will be able re-engage with Pinterest users who have already shown interest in their products. The latter allows any Shopify store or retailer with a Pinterest business account to add up to 20 product feeds to their account with localized specifics, including currency, language or product availability.