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From Lifestyle App to Product Discovery Platform: How Pinterest is Revolutionizing the Way We Shop

Pinterest is revolutionizing the way we shop, and it is vital that online stores understand how and why. Luckily, Deliciously Entertaining gives a good example to study from.

Customer Success Team
February 28, 2024

If there is one thing that we can say about social media is that it is never stale. Over the past years, we've seen a steady rise in TikTok, LinkedIn and Pinterest. And while giants like Facebook and Instagram remain strong, these platforms have found their own distinctive and sizable target audience. To make sense of this, we will use this article to focus on Pinterest and how it is revolutionizing the way we shop.

How does shopping work on Pinterest?

The main idea behind Pinterest is that it is a visual discovery engine. Instead of getting blog posts and articles, you get visual content to showcase what you are interested in. Getting photos of the things you might want to purchase is by no means a novel idea. But, Pinterest really did make the most out of our proclivity to pay more attention to images than to written content. In a similar fashion, TikTok became a full-fledged search engine for modern generations, and Google places more and more SEO stock into visual content.

The way that Pinterest tackled shopping is primarily through Product Pins and Shopping Boards. Here's a general idea of how it works.

Product Pins

Product Pins include rich information such as product descriptions, pricing, availability, and where you can purchase the product. This information is displayed directly within the pin, providing users with valuable details at a glance. Of course, Pinterest recognized that product info can change and does so often. This is why they made Product Pins dynamic, meaning that the information displayed is updated in real time. In this way, users always have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about the product.

Once a user decides that they like the product, they need not go far to purchase it. Within product pins, there are shopping features that allow users to take direct action. They can add the product to a shopping cart, visit the retailer's website, or make a purchase without leaving Pinterest.

Lastly, businesses that use Product Pins can benefit from increased visibility and reach on the platform. These pins are often prioritized in search results and may be featured in curated collections and recommendations, helping to drive more traffic and sales.

Shopping Boards

Another thing that Pinterest makes great use of is shopping boards. What there are, are collections of product Pins that users create to organize and save items they are interested in purchasing or exploring further. Through these boards users have a personalized shopping experience, allowing them to discover and save products from various retailers across the platform. This also allows them to go more in-depth into the products they are interested in and compare prices, reviews, and recommendations.

Here's how Pinterest Shopping Boards work:

Creating a shopping board is fairly easy and intuitive as Pinterest has long recognized the value of good onboarding. Once you create your shopping board, you can start adding product Pins. You can easily add pins from their own browsing on Pinterest, from their home feed, or from search results. Furthermore, you can save product Pins directly from retailers' websites using the Pinterest browser button or the "Save" option integrated into many online stores.

Pinterest is revolutionizing the way we shop simply because it is easy to use, and it doesn't push you towards shopping.

Once you've added the wanted pins, it is similarly easy to organize as you see fit. You can arrange products within the board, add sections to categorize different types of products, and even collaborate with others by inviting them to contribute to the board.

Why Pinterest is revolutionizing the way we shop

While there are other factors that help Pinterest experience the success it has, these two are the most notable aspects as others tie into them. So, why do these, relatively simple, aspects make Pinterest stand out from other shopping platforms? Well, to understand that, we need to take a more in-depth look into the psychology of shopping online.

Online shopping

When people shop online it is rarely out of need. If you need a basic day-to-day item like bread or milk, you likely won't go online. You will visit your grocery store. Instead, when people do shop online, they tend to do so as a leisurely activity. Therefore, it is not enough to simply provide discounts and sales, but also an overall pleasant shopping experience. This is precisely what Pinterest does best.

Due to how technology has developed we tend to experience written content as static and uninteresting. Meanwhile, looking at images is a common pastime for many online users, regardless of age, gender, and race. More and more people spent hours either watching photos on Instagram or videos on TikTok. What Pinterest did is that they made our proclivity for watching image-rich content a key part of shopping.

How you feel while shopping

Shopping on Pinterest feels much closer to viewing social media than to actual online shopping. After all, Pinterest is all about lifestyle content, and how various products can make a specific lifestyle happen. So, while it has shopping, it is not fully focused on it. This, as it turns out, is key as it allows for an enjoyable, leisurely shopping experience. As if you were walking down the street with nicely designed, small stores all around you. If you wish, you can shop. But, you are equally free to simply enjoy the view and get ideas. In fact, the process of doing so is quite pleasurable in its own accord.

Window shopping is a common pastime for many people.

This lack of product placement, ads, and offers makes for a comfortable, pleasurable, and, which is most important, unique shopping experience. If you know what product you want to purchase, you can simply look for an online store that sells it. But, if you are looking for ideas on how to improve your lifestyle, you will visit Pinterest.

Leisurely shopping

Pinterest, either through design or sheer luck, has hit upon a major element of what we feel will be the future of shopping. Namely, the stores that are able to seamlessly weave shopping into everyday online scrolling will see substantial revenue. Modern technologies provide a ton of options to make shopping accessible and stress-free. And, in all likelihood, these technologies will only continue to develop. Also, it is important that platforms, that are usually far removed from shopping, recognize different ways in which they can integrate it. In fact, we have one such example to showcase.

Deliciously Entertaining - live show innovation

Deliciously Entertaining is a new cooking show that looks to integrate entertainment and shopping into a seamless experience. The idea is that, during their show, the viewers will have the option to scan a QR code and view a Pinterest board with all the relevant pins. That way, they will be able to easily recreate what they are viewing at home. They will get recipes, tutorials, and inspirational Pins that are in line with the current episode.

We've already written how effective QR codes can be in everyday use.

This is a terrific way of relating online shopping with real-life experiences. While it may seem simple, it is a large step forward in integrating our online shopping with our everyday lives.

Final thoughts

While it is safe to say that Pinterest is revolutionizing the way we shop, it is still difficult to predict what online shopping will be like in the future. By all accounts, it is safe to assume that the line between online and in-person shopping will only become more blurred. And that, if the technology allows, we will be able to make shopping decisions and request hands-free, on a moment's notice. So, if you are running an online store, don't shy away from doing further research and getting ahead of your competition.

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