ShopInterest, the 500 Startups-backed e-commerce site that lets you sell from your Pinterest boards, is announcing plans to extend its beta period by six more months while it gets its SMB-focused selling solution off the ground. In addition, the company has launched an affiliate marketing program called the “ShopInterest Sales Network,” which allows sellers’ items to be sold through third-parties.
For background, ShopInterest evolved out of previous efforts with Pintics, an early Pinterest analytics service, no longer operational. During Pintics’ run, however, the user base had expressed interest in using Pinterest for selling products – saying that there was a lot of duplicate work between selling on eBay and Etsy and then posting to Pinterest. So the company created ShopInterest to basically turn sellers’ Pinterest boards into online stores – a “Shopify for Pinterest,” if you will.
The company just wrapped up participation in the 500 Startups program, and now has over 25,000 items listed for sale. Today, ShopInterest is announcing a continuation of its free beta period. And when the beta period ends, says co-founder Francisco Guerrero, the plan is to keep sales fees low, in an effort to attract the SMB-sized seller base. “While ebay and Amazon have been moving ‘upward’, they are less focused on the needs of SMB sellers, so we want to be their champion,” Guerrero explains, referring in particular to the recent fee hikes at Amazon, and changes at eBay.
ShopInterest has been taking $1 per successful transaction during the beta, and post-beta it will be between 1 and 3.5 percent, based on amount.
Also new today is the ShopInterest Sales Network, an affiliate network that allows anyone to re-sell the items from the ShopInterest stores. Sellers can set their own commissions per item, and ShopInterest will handle all the tracking and payments. “Products such as handmade jewelry and boutique goods have been a challenge to sell via affiliates” Guerrero notes, adding also that Etsy doesn’t offer an affiliate network.
To be clear, the affiliate sales happen outside of Pinterest, as the service itself frowns on posting items with affiliate links in sellers’ pins. More details on the Sales Network are here, and ShopInterest sign-up is here.