Pinterest continues to evolve its tools and systems in line with rising usage trends, and in alignment with their mission to become a key hub for eCommerce. This week, marking the second anniversary of visual search on the platform, Pinterest has announced a new set of search and discovery options, providing additional ways for users to search pins – and for businesses to make better use of their pin presence.
Here’s what’s been announced.
Lens Your look
Now Pinterest’s looking to the next evolution of Lens, with a new option which enables you to add context to your Lens search by also including accompanying text cues, further refining your results.
As explained by Pinterest:
“So if you’re looking for new ways to wear your favorite fall staple - say a jean jacket - you can add a photo of your exact jacket to your search to find Autumn outfit ideas that go right with your denim.”
As you can see in the above example, you can search for any text-based query as normal, then add in a relevant photo by tapping the camera icon, and Pinterest will show you relevant results.
Pinterest says this makes Lens like ‘your own personal stylist’, adding a more conversational element to the process. That might be a stretch, but it’s an interesting addition to the Lens process, and adds an extra level of complexity to Pinterest Lens searches.
QR codes seem like a somewhat dated option, but they keep coming back, especially via social platforms. Almost every social network is experimenting with QR codes in some way, likely because they provide a simple way to link online content and offline behavior, an essential link in the social media marketing chain.
Pinterest’s new take on QR codes are called ‘Pincodes’, and they enable users to scan in relevant Pincodes in store to access curated product listings and offers, via a businesses’ Pinterest boards.
The process of using a Pincode is simple:
“When you come across a Pincode, all you have to do is:
- Open the Pinterest app on your iPhone or Android phone
- Tap your Pinterest camera (up next to the Search bar).
- Point your phone at the Pincode to instantly access Pins, boards and other ideas on Pinterest. (No need to take a picture)”
Pinterest's working with a range of companies – including Nordstrom, Home Depot and Kia – to launch Pincodes, but users can create their own codes straight away. Head to your Pinterest profile and tap on your profile picture to see your own Pincode which you can share.
For profile Pincodes, you’ll see your profile image, as above, but board Pincodes will be able to use any Pin from that board as the central image.
The addition of Pincodes makes sense – last year, a Pinterest-commissioned study found that 45% of active Pinners use Pinterest to look for inspiration while shopping, while more than 64% of Pinners look at items they've Pinned while they're in a brick and mortar store. Pincodes taps into this usage trend, giving people an easier way to look up relevant items, and offers in-store, while also helping businesses better track the effectiveness of their Pinterest efforts.
Shop the Look Expansion
Earlier this year, Pinterest introduced ‘Shop the Look’ pins which enable users to click on individual items within a Pin in order to move through to purchase.
Now Pinterest is expanding on this, via a new partnership with ShopStyle, which will see millions of new shoppable products - across 25 thousand brands – added to Shop the Look pins. Pinterest also says that more Shop the Look pins are being added every day.
“Starting today you can shop the freshest looks from ShopStyle Collective’s 14 thousand style influencers (like Color Me Courtney, New Darlings, Mint Arrow and Memorandum), then get the look for yourself by clicking the dots that appear on shoppable products within Pins.”
Shop the look pins are similar to Instagram’s ‘Shopping Tags’ which also look set to get a wider rollout in 2018 – both options utilize the same process of adding tappable markers within images that link through to a purchase point.
Instagram recently announced a similar expansion of Shopping Tags via a partnership with Shopify, signaling the next battleground of social commerce - which will likely see both options get increased focus.
In addition, Pinterest’s also adding a new ‘Responsive Visual Search’ option, which will enable users to conduct visual searches based on image content:
“Just pinch to zoom in on any object you see within a Pin to automatically start a visual search and instantly discover similar Pins.”
Pinterest’s also adding a new visual search extension to Firefox, enabling those using Firefox browsers to utilize Pinterest’s search for any image on any website.
There’s a lot to take in – as always, Pinterest continues to push the evolution of their visual tools in order to drive improved product discovery. Each of these elements can have numerous brand benefits – for those businesses that are using, or looking to use, Pinterest, these new updates add a range of new considerations, further adding to the platform’s potential and appeal.
As noted, visual search on Pinterest is rising, as is overall usage. It may not be as high a consideration as, say, Facebook in the eyes of most marketers, but there’s significant value in Pinterest marketing, especially for B2C brands looking to connect with evolving consumer trends.