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Don’t Count on Getting Access to Pinterest Buy Buttons

Some small sellers who looked to Shopify as a way to gain access to Pinterest Buy Buttons have had their hopes dashed. When Pinterest announced Buyable Pins in June, it said merchants who used Shopify could have access to the new feature. But for some sellers, that has not been the case.

Shopify had told its merchants, “If you have an online store with Shopify, you can start selling your products on Pinterest by adding the Pinterest sales channel. Once you’re approved by Pinterest, any product that’s ever been Pinned from your online store will automatically become a Buyable Pin and include a “Buy it” button.”

That prompted some sellers who weren’t using Shopify to sign up for a paid account. But a few EcommerceBytes readers are reporting that after setting up a Shopify store in order to get access to buyable pins on Pinterest, they are not being allowed into the program.

One seller told EcommerceBytes the Pinterest gateway was a deciding factor for her in choosing a host for her store. “I told the support people at Shopify flat out that the way this feature is being marketed by both Shopify and Pinterest is deceptive and underhanded.”

The attraction of the “buyable pins” – what other social media and advertising sites call Buy Buttons – was the promise of a boost in conversion rates, since shoppers could make a purchase more easily, in some cases without leaving the site.

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In a FAQ on Pinterest’s site under, “How do I get started?” the company explains, “Today, we’re working with a few major brands and 2 commerce platforms. If your business uses Shopify, log into your account and simply add the Pinterest channel. You can enable Buyable Pins in just a few clicks!”

We reached out to Pinterest, and a spokesperson pointed to its policy, stating: “We review every business that applies for Buyable Pins to ensure we’re adding high quality merchants that will contribute to a great Pinner experience. There are more than 30 million Buyable Pins on Pinterest, and we continue to review applications and add new merchants everyday. Merchants that do not meet our guidelines will not be able to take advantage of Buyable Pins.”

We also reached out to Shopify. Its company spokesperson also pointed to Pinterest’s policy and stated, “Shopify merchants add the Pinterest sales channel in their admin and then they are submitted into the review process with Pinterest. We provide Pinterest with information to review a merchant against their policies.”

A seller we spoke with pointed to a thread on Etsy, writing, “Here is a thread with several sellers posting that they were rejected by Pinterest for reasons that seem arbitrary and not listed in Pinterests “guide” to buyable pins.”

One seller writing in the thread said, “I got rejected at Shopify for my Pin option due to “not having an appropriate order history”. I contacted them and showed them my Etsy history and then they allowed me to participate. But that said… The pinning is still a work in progress. My night lights don’t qualify due to the variation being “style” and not color or size.”


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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to