Pinterest on Tuesday announced new features to help consumers find and buy goods via search, Pinterest boards, Pinterest pins and curated style guides, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
Consumers can use a new 'shop' tab to look for in-stock items via Pinterest's search function or through a similar tab on users' boards, which will offer up products from or inspired by the pins on their board, per the company's press release. The platform has also integrated visual search and shopping options on users' pins and launched browsable style guides for home ideas.
Searches for "home office setup" were up by 70% over the past two weeks, and searches for gifts have also increased on the platform, Pinterest said. Users' searches for "employee gifts" have quadrupled over the past two weeks, and searches for "care package ideas" have doubled, while searches for "help small businesses" are up three times, according to its press release.
In its statement, Pinterest hints at how the COVID-19 outbreak has changed consumer behavior, from the type of products they're searching for to the types of companies they want to buy from. The statement also notes that the company has more than doubled traffic referrals to retailers since last year, and the number of users shopping on Pinterest has gone up 44% year-over-year.
"With so many looking for ways to shop online, we're making Pinterest more shoppable, particularly when it comes to home and fashion," the company said.
The rollout of these new features is the latest effort Pinterest has made to improve its shopping experience. In February, the platform debuted its verified merchant program to help consumers find and buy from trustworthy brands. In late March, the social platform introduced its Today tab, highlighting trending posts and curated topics to inspire users. And in November, the site unveiled a curated marketplace to highlight smaller merchants ahead of Small Business Saturday.
Pinterest isn't the only platform looking to give small businesses a boost. Last month, Facebook announced $100 million in grants for small businesses to help with costs like marketing, rent and other operational expenses. And earlier this month, eBay dedicated $100 million through its accelerator program, and offered up some site features for free, to help small businesses move online during the coronavirus pandemic.