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Interesting post by Leo Chen over at TechCrunch making three predictions about how the Rakuten-backed Pinterest will profit from social commerce.

  1. Branded pages for brands, stores and boutiques (competing directly with Facebook Pages)
  2. Integrated/Universal checkout (see it on Pinterest, buy it on Pinterest (drop shopping solution))
  3. Shopping channel on Pinterest (shop.pinterest.com) – product focused, stripped of all the puppies

It’s an interesting and viable vision (read a business model not based on advertising revenue), although we’re not sure the future of Pinterest is an Amazon-style marketplace.

Instead we’d envisage the social commerce future of Pinterest as a hub for themed flash sales and deals – of both the local (a la Amazon Local) and national (a la Gilt/One Kings Lane) variety.

Think a visual version of Yipit/MyNines done right (EveryLodge for fashion/home).

  1. Flash Sales: Online and national retailers post up their deals onto special Pinterest themed pinboards e.g. sales.pinterest/home – users filter/get feeds based on preferences
  2. Local Deals: Local retailers post up their deals onto city pinboards that can be filtered by category and brand e.g. local.pinterest/home

We think this kind of event-based social commerce represents a more viable future for Pinterest than an Amazon-style marketplace solution because events are inherently more talkable – i.e. shareable, allowing Pinterest to monetize the virality of the platform.

It’d also make Pinterest attractive as a target for Amazon – to consolidate its position in the local deals market, and turbocharge the e-commerce giant in the flash sales arena?

So, which would you rather see, Pinterest with ads or Pinterest with shopping?

And if it’s shopping – what flavour of shopping – Amazon-style marketplace or a flash sale events?