Chances are if you browse on Pinterest you have come across businesses whose profiles bear a recognizable blue checkmark next to their name. This mark is a sign that the merchant has been accepted into Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program, and has been verified by Pinterest.
But what exactly is this program, and is it a fit for your business? This article will break down exactly what the requirements are for Pinterest Verified Merchant Program and the benefits it can offer to merchants like you.
What is Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program?
The Pinterest Verified Merchant Program (VMP) is Pinterest’s way of creating a system for customers to find and purchase goods from brands Pinterest has already vetted and given approval to.
It is free for merchants to join, and is a direct way to connect customers with the products you have available to sell. It is a win for customers who know they are buying from reputable businesses, as well as a win for merchants who gain new ways to connect to potential buyers.
What are the benefits of Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program?
For merchants, there are a tremendous amount of benefits for participating in the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program. By being an active member of the program, you gain:
- Opportunities for your products to be distributed across the shopping locations available to users. This means your products will appear in searches that Pinterest users may browse, as well as in the designated shopping tabs located on the site. This tells customers immediately that they can purchase the exact items featured in your Pins.
- A recognizable blue checkmark that tells potential customers that your company has been vetted by Pinterest. By having the recognizable checkmark, even customers who are unfamiliar with your brand gain extra confidence that they are purchasing quality goods from a reputable company when they shop your site.
- Ability to add merchant details to your page. This is an excellent space to let customers know, for example, if you are eco-friendly, minority-owned, or share your proceeds with a charitable organization. These extra details can go a long way towards convincing customers that your brand is one worth supporting.
- Access to Checkout. Checkout gives Pinterest users the ability to shop directly for your products without leaving the Pinterest app. This gives customers a convenient way to purchase products immediately when they see them, instead of requiring them to navigate to your site to buy.
- Ability to add your prices and item availability information to any products you share via Pins. This cuts out a lot of extra steps, giving customers the ability to decide instantly which products they want to purchase.
- Your own shop tab is added to your profile, which will allow potential customers to see the products you have available for sale. If customers find one product of yours that they like and visit your profile page, having a custom shop tab will easily connect them to other products you sell – increasing the likelihood of multiple item purchases.
How can you become a verified merchant on Pinterest?
To become a verified merchant, Pinterest requires to meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that customers are getting the best experience when they shop for your products and that you as the merchant get the best experience from participating in the program. Specifically, Pinterest requires you to:
- Meet their merchant guidelines. These guidelines can include things such as having accurate and up-to-date pricing and availability information for products, having accurate representations of your products; and having easy to locate and understand return and shipping policies; among a variety of other requirements.
- Have a connected product catalog. In order to participate in the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program, Pinterest must have the ability to connect your catalog to the site. This will enable customers to have the most up-to-date information on product pricing and availability. At least 50% of your available products must be included in your catalog.
- Install the Pinterest Tag. This tag tracks the impact Pinterest is having on your business, as well as key conversion events and other valuable data for your business.
If at any point you do not meet one of Pinterest’s requirements, you will be notified in the Verified Merchant Program application.
Why can you be suspended from the Verified Merchant Program?
In general, if you follow Pinterest’s guidelines your account will not be suspended from the Verified Merchant Program. However, this can occur in a couple of instances, including:
- Your catalog did not upload correctly. A properly working and integrated catalog is a crucial element to being able to become a verified merchant on Pinterest, and to sell your products on the site. Without a properly uploaded catalog, customers will not be able to see your products and Pinterest will suspend your account.
- Your tags are malfunctioning. Pinterest requires tags to be working at all times so that data can be constantly gathered about your products.
Pinterest will alert you about any issues with your account that could result in suspension. You will then have 30 days to fix your catalog or tag. After the 30 days have passed, any unresolved issues will result in your suspension from the program. You can be re-enrolled once you fix the issues.
Overall Availability of the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program
At this time, enrollment in the program is only available to merchants in select countries, including:
- The United States
- United Kingdom
Pinterest plans to continue expanding the program to additional countries, however. So if your country is not yet listed – be sure to check back regularly for updates.
Final Thoughts on the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program
Taking the time to join the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program is a smart move for brands who wish to directly connect with customers on Pinterest.
Be sure to check out all of the requirements listed above, to ensure that your business is able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.