Retail Media

Coming soon to Pinterest feeds: Amazon ads

A new partnership is ushering in third-party advertising on Pinterest as the platform seeks to become more shoppable.

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Pinterest. (Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash)

Pinterest will soon feature ads from outside networks. On Thursday, the company announced that the first partner on this initiative is a recognizable name in commerce: Amazon.

“We believe Amazon is the right first partner as we bring third-party demand onto Pinterest because they offer a breadth of relevant shoppable ad content paired with a seamless consumer buying experience,” Pinterest CEO Bill Ready said on the company’s Thursday earnings call. “Their broad coverage of brands and products will help accelerate our efforts to take users from inspiration to action, satisfying more of the commercial intent that users have on our platform.”

Through the partnership, brands that advertise through Amazon’s ad platform will now also have a pathway to promote their products on Pinterest. Ready said the appearance of Amazon ads will roll out over multiple quarters, meaning that revenue impact may not begin to take hold until 2024.

The move comes as Pinterest is seeking to boost shopping on the platform. The visual platform has long been a place to discover new items. Now executives see an opportunity to make it a place where people buy products, moving from "idea to action," as the company puts it. Ready, who previously led commerce at Google, has set a long-term goal to “make every Pin shoppable,” and the platform is also seeking to boost commerce-focused advertising as a means to bring in more products to browse buying capabilties.

“I think we are a platform that is still under-monetized relative to the amount of intent on the platform,” Ready said. “…As we bring more relevant ads onto the platform, that is not only aiding our revenue growth, aiding advertiser value, it’s good for users.”

Ads from third parties can provide scale to these efforts. Ready called the third-party demand "an important lever for us to increase the comprehensiveness of our ads, thereby leading to greater relevance and shoppability for users," as well as improved monetization.

In particular, Amazon offers both a large ad network that will boost inventory, and an easy path to checkout through its own highly-tuned shopping experience. Users who click on Pinterest ads will be able to complete purchases on Amazon, where many likely already have Prime accounts.

“Amazon Ads is delighted to partner with Pinterest and make it even easier for customers to discover and buy relevant products through shoppable content, while also providing differentiated value for brands,” said Amazon SVP Paul Kotas, in a statement.

With the deal, Pinterest will tap into an ad network that is continuing to grow rapidly. In its own first quarter earnings on Thursday, Amazon reported that advertising revenue was up 23% year-over-year. CEO Andy Jassy shared the following perspective on Amazon’s advertising growth, even at a time when there is more caution in spending among both brands and consumers:

On the advertising side, we’re continuing to buck wider advertising trends and deliver robust growth. I think there are a few reasons for it. First, even in difficult economies, most people still shop. And with the largest ecommerce shopping venue, we have a lot of customers that companies seek to reach. That, coupled with our very substantial investment in machine learning to make sure customers see relevant ads when they’re looking for various items, have meant that these advertisements have performed unusually well for brands, which makes them want to advertise on Amazon.

The new Pinterest agreement shows how brands that advertise on Amazon will also be able to potentially leverage the network to reach shoppers on other platforms, as well. In the end, the tentacles of Amazon are stretching deeper into the web.

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