The announcement has come that Pinterest and ecommerce platform Shopify have joined forces to make it easier for businesses to sell through the Pinterest platform. Companies were able to link to product pages before, but this new method, called “Buyable Pins” cuts down on the checkout steps for your customers and it integrates nifty tracking elements for maintaining a well informed company.
Shopify + Pinterest = Selling to Millions
The idea behind this new plan is to help out small to medium sized businesses who want to be the first among merchants to sell to millions of Pinterest users online.
Pinterest works with every aspect of your online Shopify store, meaning that all products that are pinned from your Shopify store become buyable pins. You don’t have to make the links yourself or wonder whether or not Pinterest is having an effect on your margins.
What’s the Benefit of Selling on Pinterest?
I would highly recommend checking out this Pinterest infographic, because it explains the benefits of Pinterest for store owners, along with areas for Pinterest customer basics and how to grow your business with Pinterest.
Overall, the main reason Pinterest is worthwhile for your online store is because it’s the second leading social media source for sending traffic to online stores. This may get you wondering about the top source (Facebook,) but I would encourage you to rethink your social strategy to put most of your effort into Pinterest.
Why is this the case? Well, to start, Facebook has been known to drastically discount businesses when they post on the platform, pushing them to pay for ad space. Pinterest, on the other hand, is all about bringing together excited consumers and the businesses that provide cool products.
That’s why the average amount spent per order is higher on Pinterest than any other social media channel. In short, you may not be wasting your time with Facebook, but you’d be hard pressed to argue that a higher average over value is anything short of the best metric to base your social strategy on.
How to Start Selling Through Pinterest with Your Shopify Store
We can talk about all the benefits and tips (and there are quite a few we will discuss in this article,) but the first step is to understand how to implement the Buyable Pins functionality on your own Shopify store.
To start, get logged into your Shopify account and go to the Pinterest/Shopify introduction page. Click on the Add the Pinterest sales channel button to proceed. You can also just go straight to the Pinterest Channel, but make sure you’re logged into your Shopify account (a free trial works as well) or it won’t let you view anything.
You may be thinking that the setup process involves quite a few additional steps, but that’s it! Shopify and Pinterest have made this extremely easy, as long as you already have your Shopify store setup properly.
Every product found on your Shopify store is enabled for Buyable Pins. You don’t have to pay a dime for listing or selling your product on Pinterest.
Keep in mind that the approval by Pinterest is the only part that may slow down the process, so remember that the following steps are happening behind the scenes to ensure your Pinterest/Shopify experience is a solid one.
- You activate the Pinterest Sales Channel
- Pinterest reviews the request and approves your store when ready
- Every product on your site becomes a Buyable Pin
- Every product receives a Buy It button
- All your Pinterest customers, products and orders will be synced with the Shopify interface
Allow Customers to Checkout on Pinterest
Before this Shopify feature, customers would have to click through a Pinterest image and purchase your item through whatever link you sent them to. Now, Shopify takes a huge step out of the process by letting customers checkout without even leaving Pinterest!
Customers can use Apple Pay or a credit card without having to navigate back to your website.
This may sound a little strange at first. After all, is this taking away customers from my website? If they don’t come to my site how can I track sales, clicks, views and all that good stuff? Well, it turns out, you can measure engagement and clicks right in Shopify. Track the number of pins, repins and Pinterest orders in the Pinterest Channel Dashboard, found in the Shopify Admin.
You Still Receive all Shopify Capabilities, Just in a Different Format
We’ve seen various questions on how this may affect the overall functionality or workflow of a Shopify website. This was a primary concern of mine as well, so I looked closely to figure out exactly which features and capabilities carry over in the Pinterest selling area.
Overall, it seems like just about all of the benefits you pay for are transferred over to your Pinterest store. For example, you still receive unlimited bandwidth and products through Pinterest. You have the power to quickly integrate orders and and shipping, along with the ability to play around with the website builder and a full featured blog.
Like stated before, you can track sales and growth trends, while also accepting credit cards and Apple Pay payments. Finally, Shopify support is around to help you out with this transition, and the secure and responsive checkout experience is still as wonderful as always.
What Payments are Accepted
Many folks have been asking whether or not payment processing is going to be customizable or not. Will you be able to implement options like PayPal Pro or something similar?
Right now, you are only able to accept Apple Pay payments and credit cards, but Shopify is considering rolling out additional options in the future.
Is There a Place to Go for Technical Problems?
The Shopify manual includes a Pinterest page that goes through everything from adding your Pinterest sales channel in Shopify to identifying Pinterest orders in Shopify. It’s not exactly a forum or FAQ page that answers all of your questions, but right now it’s the most detailed area to find step-by-step guides and a few tips on how to prepare your products for the Shopify to Pinterest transition.
Are There Product Detail Requirements for Pinterest to Approve You?
Yes. Pinterest may not approve your store, or you may start having technical problems, if your products aren't configured properly in your Shopify store.
If you run a fully functional Shopify store, you probably shouldn’t have any problems with this, but take a look at the list below to see if your products are ready for Pinterest.
- All products need descriptions
- Products need at least one image
- Products cannot have variant options, unless these are size or color
- Your product may not have variants that are digital items
How can you tell if your products are ready for Pinterest? It’s tough to go through every single item in your store and check whether or not they follow these rules. That’s why this Pinterest feature offers a way to check the status of your pinned products.
Go to the Account page of the Pinterest sales channel. This provides a breakdown of all the products that have been pinned in Pinterest. It basically tells you whether or not the products are eligible to be pinned in the system. If not, it shows you what needs to be changed to make this work.
You actually receive three areas for your reference:
- Publishing Status – This shows all of the products from your Shopify store and if any details need changing before they become eligible for sale on your Pinterest page. To make a change to any of these products, go to the Products page in Shopify.
- Colors – Pinterest users often search for product pins based on color. Therefore, you must specify what color your product is based on the swatches provided.
- Sizes – Pinterest users also search based on product size, making it important for you to fill in the product size, if applicable.
How to See Sales and Pin Stats on Your Shopify Dashboard
In order to see how many sales have been processed through the Pinterest store, or to understand how many people are pinning your products, go to your Shopify Admin and follow the steps below.
- Click on the Orders button
- Select the Filter Order drop down menu
- Select Sales Channel, along with Pinterest
- Click on Add Filter
- On the Orders page, select an order number you want to see. You will see that each Pinterest sales is flagged on the order’s page
How Did This All Come to Be?
The cool part of the Pinterest and Shopify integration is that it has been in the works for quite some time now. Talks between Shopify and Pinterest, regarding integrations, started with the Pinterest Rich Pins feature.
In short, the rich pins feature pushed additional product information into the product pins, ensuring that customers could see real-time pricing and stock availability. The system worked so that you didn’t have to implement your own meta code to make this happen. Instead, all products from your store automatically received the rich pins feature.
The idea was to assist merchants with click-through rates, discoverability and price notifications, and all of this served as the building block to the awesome new Pinterest sales module we have been talking about today. In fact, you still receive all of the benefits of these rich pins, except you no longer have to push the your customers through the image link to a different website. Keep them in the Pinterest interface, and even track how they interact in your store.
Some Limitations and FAQs to Consider
With all new releases you can expect some complications or limitations. That said, I’ve been checking out some of the more common questions that Shopify customers have been bringing up since this new release. Let’s have a look.
Does This Support Stores that Don’t Sell in USD?
It’s not currently possible to sell through Pinterest if you accept anything besides USD. This is a Pinterest limitation, but Shopify is going to let us all know if this changes in the future. However, you can simply switch to USD for now if you really want to sell your stuff on Pinterest.
Will Customers Be Able to Buy an Item with No Inventory?
No. Your shop’s inventory is synced directly with the Pinterst system, making it impossible for your customers to purchase an item that is completely sold out. The Buy It button will, however, remain on your products that still have inventory.
How Long Does it Take for Pinterest to Approve Your Store?
Shopify has stated that all approvals should take no longer than a month. They are in the heart of the announcement, so you may end up seeing a fast approval, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were forced to wait a few weeks.
I Have Unusual Variants Like Scents, Patterns and Flavors – Can I Sell on Pinterest?
Unfortunately, the only usable variants are size and color. If you have a product with a variant such as flavor, you have no way to use this product through Pinterest. This may change in the future, but there is currently no workaround. So, you can only pin products with color or size variants, or no variants at all. Any other type of variant is incompatible right now.
The Pinterest with Shopify feature is truly a revolutionary step for the business of social media. Since so many customers use Pinterest to find cool products, it should end up as a perfect marriage between the two.
That said, let us know in the comments section if you have any questions about how to sell on Pinterest with Shopify.