New Pinterest & Instagram Ad Formats Support E-Commerce

On the trend of many new social ad formats launching, Pinterest and Instagram are stepping up their game to support e-commerce. This is a really smart move by both channels as Marketing Managers are looking for more ways to tie social media directly to sales. Instagram is improving ad targeting and launching new CTA buttons, ‘Shop Now’ being one option. As for Pinterest, ‘Buy it’ ads are currently being tested with a few retailers but your brand can get on the waitlist today.

Instagram New Ad CTAs & Targeting Capabilities

Instagram is rolling out new ads with call-to-action buttons that will help drive potential buyers further down the purchase funnel. Instagram will begin testing 4 CTA ads: Shop Now, Sign Up, Install Now (App download), and Learn More. No word yet on the cost, but they will be available for purchase through the new Instagram Ads API. The Ads API is going to use the same infrastructure that Facebook has implemented for ads management.

Instagram Action Buttons

In addition to new ad units, Instagram is also improving ad targeting. Later this year, they will leverage Facebook to further enhance targeting to Instagram users by demographics, interests, and other information businesses have about their customers. The improved targeting capabilities and ad types will help marketers take users from awareness to action in a more seamless experience.

Pinterest ‘Buy it’ Buttons – Coming Soon!

If you have a retail brand and your target demo is on Pinterest, buyable pins is the answer many marketers have been waiting for. This new ad unit will be appearing on over 2 million pins by the end of the month with a few select brands (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus) and two e-commerce platforms (Demandware and Shopify). These ad units are taking a mobile-first launch approach (where 80% of Pinterest activity occurs), appearing on iOS devices first. ‘Buy it’ buttons will roll out to Android devices and the web platform later this year.


The ‘Buy it’ button will be in the top right hand corner of the Pin, to the left of the ‘Pin it’ button. The price of the item will also appear in blue on the Pin. Pinterest will give users the ability to search for ‘buyable’ items and then filter those items by price. Within the Pin itself, the user will be able to switch between different color options in real-time.

Buyable Pins 2

Buyable Pins

In terms of taking the necessary precautions when it comes to handling payments, Pinterest is working with secure 3rd party payment processors and Apple Pay. Those vendors will be storing personal information for later use, not Pinterest. After clicking ‘Buy it’ users will be able to pay via credit card or Apple Pay. Pinterest says that it will not be taking a cut from the sales made through the platform, and that the brand will still be handling shipping and customer service.

For more updates on the ‘Buy it’ buttons, I would suggest getting on the waitlist and keeping a close eye on the pilot brands over the next few months. Both the Pinterest ‘Buy it’ buttons and the new Instagram CTA ads represent exciting opportunities to further prove social ROI for your brand.

Ignite Social Media