ShopInterest, a platform that helps any Pinterest user create their own e-commerce site in minutes, has received an undisclosed investment from 500 Startups via their newest acquired fund Mexican.VC. This marks 500 Startups’ first investment in the nascent Pinterest ecosystem. The Mountain View-based team will continue to operate in the US, as well as receive mentorship from both 500 and Mexican.VC mentors.
The race is on to monetize Pinterest and the timing of the investment will help ShopInterest gear up for the 2012 holiday season. “The power of Pinterest will be felt across all of e-commerce. Millions of dollars will be generated via Pinterest traffic this holiday season” states CEO and Co-Founder Francisco Guerrero. “We want our users to get their share.”
From Analytics to E-Commerce
ShopInterest was brought to my attention by the company’s initial offering Pintics- an analytics suite with optimization tools for power Pinterest users. The ShopInterest team has since decided to focus their efforts on e-commerce and plans to offer their current Pintics users a transition to analytics provider Pinfluencer. The Pintics service will remain active until October 31st.
Since fashion brands and retailers incorporate pinning contests into their marketing strategies, how do companies such as Pintics and Pinfluencer help? To this Guerrero replies “Pintics and Pinfluencer help fashion brands by giving them actual ‘conversion’ data. While most of the Pinterest Analytics services out there only gather data inside of Pinterest, Pintics and Pinfluencer are tracking the entire transaction, from Pinterest to purchase on one’s own site. A big surprise is that the popularity of a pin does not always equal sales.”
The company’s newest offering ShopInterest launched last week and evolved from Pintics users (particularly of Etsy and eBay) interested in enabling e-commerce and piggybacking on Pinterest traffic. ”In just a few minutes, any user, large or small, can benefit from Pinterest’s tremendously profitable traffic by creating a store” says Co-Founder Liang Huang.
Users connect Pinterest boards, or upload items directly onto ShopInterest, and can set tax rates and shipping costs. Payment is facilitated through a PayPal account. Since Pinterest users can already add pricing and descriptions to their pins, what makes Shopinterest’s offering unique? Guerrero responds:
For ShopInterest, we expand anyone’s Pinterest account with a full ‘turn-key’ ecommerce site. Most of our current users either dont have a website or if they do, the experience outside of Pinterest is hampered by bad design or a hard-to-manage website. With us, you get a complete solution that keeps that Pinterest look and feel and extends your followers’ engagement at Pinterest with sales of your fashion products.