Commerce Comes to Pintrest — Through the Back Door

Pinterest has yet to try and monetize its user base, but two startups have launched their own plans to turn the explosively popular photo-blogging site into a profit center. enables sellers to turn Pinterest boards into online storefronts.  The service allows users simply to select their board, decide prices and shipping charges, chose a payment method, and then leave the rest of the back-end work to Shopinterest.

The new company just won backing from 500 Startups, which will provide funding and expertise to help it ramp up for the upcoming holiday season.

Meanwhile, buyer-driven e-commerce site Ubokia has introduced a “Want It” button especially for Pinterest.  The browser-bar button opens a pop-up window that allows users to create a Ubokia request for whatever item they’re viewing on Pinterest without leaving the site.

Ubokia bills itself as a “want-centered” marketplace, where users can create a request expressing a “want” for a particular item and sellers respond with offers.

Ubokia’s Matt Pine explained the potential synergy to Venture Beat’s John Koetsier:

“We’re providing one of the missing pieces between Pinterest and commerce.  Pinterest is an amazing site, but there’s a huge gap between discovering something great and purchasing it. Pinterest is a discovery engine. Ubokia is a want engine … and they can be very cool together.”

Pinterest gets 29 million visitors a month and the site’s predominantly female user base has made it a popular venue for virtual window shopping.  A survey of Pinteratti from earlier this year found that 21% of users purchased something they discovered though the site.

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