Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram Turn Social Sites Into Shopping Bliss

Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram are transforming their social sharing sites into shopping platforms to drive holiday sales. Particularly for millennials, social buying will have the greatest impact on purchase decisions this holiday season.

For merchants, social buying is now part of the omnichannel strategy designed to fully connect with customers and offer new ways to buy across all devices.

Pinterest Introduces Buyable Pins

In June, Pinterest launched its first e-commerce feature with buyable Pins in a new shop, “The Pinterest Shop.”

Pinterest Shop

Just in time for the holiday season, Pinterest added Buyable Pins to Android devices, joining iOS. Users can shop, browse, and purchase items without leaving the site. The Pinterest Shop is a curated collection of Buyable Pins and products. The company described it as “a destination where you’ll find on-trend collections of Buyable Pins and retailer shops, handpicked by us.”

Retailers such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Wayfair, DVF, and more have rolled out Buyable Pins on Pinterest. According to the Pinterest blog, they’ve doubled the number of Buyable Pins with more than 6 million available on Pinterest.

Pinterest’s platform partners include Demandware, IBM Commerce, and Big Commerce which help thousands of new merchants get in front of customers fast. The company is currently working on more integrations.

Buyable Pins are a new way to acquire customers according to Pinterest. Buyable Pins drove 7% of all sales for Madesmith, a shop for handmade goods, and 100% of sales came from new customers.   

So how are Pinterest’s Buyable Pins different from the Buy button on Twitter?

Twitter Expands the Buy Button

There’s no difference. Twitter expanded its buy button to work with digital payment company Stripe to power mobile commerce for brands such a Warby Parker and Saks Fifth Avenue. Twitter has partnered with ecommerce platforms such as Demandware to power shopping buttons for retailers.

According to the company’s blog, “the goal for all our commerce initiatives on Twitter is simple: make it as easy as possible for businesses to connect directly with, and sell to, customers on Twitter.”



To drive holiday sales, social users will see many more shopping enabled tweets from retailers. Shoppers can browse or shop collections of products and complete a transaction without ever leaving Twitter.

Instagram Excites with Shop Now

Instagram has also embraced e-commerce in marketing campaigns to transform visitors into shoppers with a single click. Instagram’s Shop Now button allows retailers to link Instagram ads to product pages. With the ability to post sponsored ads, brands can now make them buyable. Banana Republic was among the first to launch their ad campaign. Unlike Twitter, Shop Now buttons link outside the app allowing users to make a purchase on the retailer’s site.

We counted 475 ad campaigns running on Instagram with top brands including Disney, Electronic Arts, The Gap, Ben & Jerry, and Michael Kors.

“It’s an ideal platform to shop on as it’s so visual and fashion oriented,” said Old Navy media director Michele Schuh in an email to Adweek. “We’re thrilled that Instagram is now offering users the ability to click directly through to a product, creating instant gratification without any cumbersome steps.”

Instagram is starting to excite brands and attract consumers. With 300 million monthly users globally, the photo and video-sharing app are estimated to have more than 100 million users in the U.S. alone by 2018. Instagram has the potential to be the top social shopping channel to drive product purchases and app downloads.

Which social shopping platform do you think your customers will buy from this holiday season?

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