Getting the Most out of Life

Mobile Commerce for Entrepreneurs: How to Make More Sales on Pinterest and Instagram

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How many times have you been browsing a social media site and wished you could purchase one of the products featured, only to realize that you’d have to spend a lot of time searching for it online? You’ll be thrilled to know that mobile commerce is rapidly evolving for the better. This is especially good news if you run a goods-based small business.

In early June, Pinterest and Instagram announced new “buy” buttons that allow users to quickly purchase items they see while scrolling on mobile devices. What does this mean for small businesses that rely heavily on visually representing their goods on social media?

Make More Sales on Pinterest

Pinterest’s new feature is called Buyable Pins, which allows users to instantly purchase items from pins via their mobile device. This could mean increased sales if you leverage Pinterest for your brand. How? It removes the extra step for consumers who want to purchase an item but don’t have the time to search for the seller’s site or move to a desktop computer.

So, how do you gain access to Buyable Pins? If you’re a big retailer, such as Macy’s, you’re already in luck. If you’re a small business retailer, however, you must use an e-commerce platform, such as Shopify or Demandware, and be based in the U.S. Once you’ve met both conditions, sign up for access via the waiting list.

Increase Revenue Through Instagram

Unlike Pinterest, anyone can use Instagram’s Shop Now button as long as the posts are sponsored and you have an advertiser account. If you market your goods on Instagram using a personal account, you won’t be able to use this feature.

As Instagram experiments with marketing efforts, it’s focusing on action-oriented formats while making it easier for all businesses (no matter the size) to buy ads. It’s currently testing different text copy for customers to either make a purchase, shop for more, or sign up. This will allow small businesses to increase their customer base, make more sales, promote awareness, educate consumers, or accomplish all the above, depending on their current marketing campaigns.

Changes for Mobile Commerce

If you’re a small business owner, you can take advantage of these visual social media platforms to reach more customers via mobile commerce. Although these features are still new and all the bugs haven’t been worked out quite yet, this idea will make it infinitely easier to meet your on-the-go customers exactly where they are. And this, in turn, means more revenue for your bottom line.

Carrie Smith is the financial writer and the owner of, a site that helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship. She's been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Yahoo! Finance and many other business websites. Find her on Twitter at @carefulcents.