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Pinterest’s head of shopping product marketing talks social commerce ambitions

The news: Activist investor Elliott Management is now the biggest investor in Pinterest with a 9% stake, per The Wall Street Journal. The news comes as the company steps up its social commerce ambitions under the leadership of new CEO Bill Ready.

The inside scoop: Rachel Hardy, Pinterest’s Head of Shopping Product Marketing spoke with us before Ready’s arrival to discuss how the company plans to evolve from a shopping inspiration platform to a full-funnel commerce app.

The following conversation, which took place at last month’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Insider Intelligence: Where does Pinterest stand today in terms of social commerce, and what are your goals and priorities for shopping on the platform?

Rachel Hardy: Pinterest is the No. 1 platform for inspiration across all forms of media. Our users come to us to be inspired and plan moments big and small in their lives. We've facilitated that really well to date. Now we're focused on bringing shopping content to life.

There are three key priority investments. The first is our shopping API. We want to make it easier for retailers to upload their catalogs and for users to get the rich information they need to make purchase decisions, like price, availability, size, and color.

The second is our recent acquisition of The Yes, which is an AI-powered, personalized shopping platform. With this acquisition, we'll be able to do things like create profiles and personalized quizzes. It’s about taking all of the information that we have about our users’ tastes through our visual search technology to deliver a truly personal experience.

Finally, we’re investing in native checkout so that we can make purchasing easier and more seamless than ever.