Pinterest deepens retail integrations with new visual search tech

Dive Brief:

  • Pinterest is upgrading the visual search options it offers users with a new technology called Pinterest Lens, currently in beta, as well as two new features called Instant Ideas and Shop the Look, according to a company blog post.
  • Shop the Look allows users to find and purchase products they see in fashion and home décor Pins by tapping on circles appearing on items such as a shirt, pants or shoes. Brands including CB2, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Target and Wayfair offer shoppable looks through Pinterest's new partnerships with Curalate, Olapic, Project September, Refinery29 and ShopStyle.
  • The Pinterest Lens visual search tech also allows users to point their smartphone cameras at items to get search results with related styles or ideas on how to use or pair the product, simplifying how users discover new products and ideas on the platform. 

Dive Insight:

Pinterest's focus on consumer lifestyles and aesthetics has long made social commerce a natural fit for the platform, and the latest offerings — Shop the Look, especially — allow for easier product search and less friction on the path to purchase. Brands have often struggled to measure and prove ROI for their social marketing efforts but deeper retail integrations from Pinterest could bolster these strategies, and the site has strong early partners like Target and Wayfair coming on board. 

The Pinterest upgrades also echo Instagram's "shoppable photos" feature, first tested in November. More direct purchasing options on these platforms should not only prove a boon for big brand pages but also for smaller social influencers. In the past, influencer reach has often been measured around relatively arbitrary metrics like likes and shares, but offerings such as Shop the Look can more directly track whether or not a sponsored posts actually translate to a sale.     

Pinterest has a robust influencer market and has made active efforts at better matching influencers with brands through a "creative ecosystem" called Pin Collective, which launched in October. The platform, on the whole, has been ramping up its tools for marketers, notably by expanding audience and measurements partnerships via its Marketing Developers Program.

Filed Under: Marketing E-commerce
Top image credit: Pinterest