Pinterest launches a small business shop ahead of the holidays

RT: Pinterest Ben Silbermann IPO 190418
Pinterest led by Chairman, Co-Founder, President and CEO Ben Silbermann and Co-Founder, Chief Design and Creative Officer, Evan Sharp ring the opening bell celebrating the IPO of Pinterest at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, April 18, 2019. Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Pinterest is launching a new feature ahead of the holiday season that will let users shop from a curated list of small businesses, the company announced Monday. The company has been leaning into shopping as it seeks profitability.

The Pinterest Shop, as the new feature is called, will feature hundreds of “Product Pins.” Users can shop from 17 small businesses in time for Small Business Saturday following Thanksgiving. Products include grapefruit cardamom body oil from Etta + Billie in San Francisco, leather goods from Cleveland-based Fount and hair products from CurlMix in Chicago.

Pinterest’s stock sank on a revenue and full year outlook miss last quarter but the company still grew faster than online ad competitors Google and Facebook with 47% sales growth compared to the same period last year. Pinterest expects a 2019 adjusted loss of between $10 million and $30 million, according to its last quarterly report, narrower than its previous range of $25 million to $50 million.

Facebook-owned Instagram also lets users shop from the platform, allowing them to tap on items to reveal details and a purchase link. A Piper Jaffray survey found Instagram is the best way for brands to reach teens, but Pinterest often reaches a different audience. In its filing to go public, Pinterest said that “eight of 10 moms” are on its platform and cited a Comscore study that found 80% of its total audience in the U.S. is made up of women ages 18-64 with children.

Pinterest says it already hosts hundreds of millions of Product Pins that users can tap to shop from their home fee and recommendation lists. These listings show items in-stock at their current prices at larger brands like Target, Walmart and Home Depot. Pinterest recently launched a new feature that lets brands promote a collection of items and has improved its visual search feature so that it can now recognize over 2.5 billion objects in home and fashion, according to the company.

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