5th June 2020

POV: Pinterest Adds Shop tab to Lens Search Results


This week Pinterest announced the addition of a new 'Shop' tab within its Lens visual search results, which will make it easier for users to purchase products based on an image. The move is another signal that Pinterest is aiming to become a full eCommerce platform.

Details and Implications:

Pinterest is enabling users to shop for products they find with its Lens visual search tool, which uses image-recognition technology to identify objects with a smartphone camera.

The new ‘Shop’ tab in the Lens will show shoppable product pins for in-stock products that match or are similar to photos you take or upload.

According to Pinterest, users can: "just click the camera in the search bar, snap or upload a photo, and see a ‘Shop’ tab with a feed of shoppable Pins based on the in-stock products we've identified in that image. Every Product Pin links directly to the checkout page on the retailer's site".

Whilst the Lens camera was initially created for people to use while out and about shopping, the feature can also be used to find matches to products while at home.

According to Pinterest it has seen three times more visual searches using the Pinterest camera than this time last year and in the last few months since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic there has been considerable growth in searches for ‘at home beauty products’, ‘home office’ and ‘backyard furniture’. Also searches for ‘grocery shopping list’ have seen record highs in April – double the figure for February.

The new feature follows a slew of other additions to the platform over the last few months to make shopping on Pinterest easier. In February it introduced a verified merchant programme to help people find and buy from trustworthy brands. In April, it introduced the Shop tab to help people find in-stock items from text searches and in May Pinterest announced a Shopify partnership making it easier for small businesses to upload their product catalogues to Pinterest to reach its 350 million users and also introduced a curated shopping spotlights to feature expert recommendations from influencers and publishers.

Pinterest is one of many social media platforms to have expanded its ecommerce capabilities in recent months. Snap’s dynamic ads launched worldwide this week, allowing users to shop directly through ads and Facebook announced the launch of Facebook Shops which enables businesses to create a storefront and provides new ways for consumers to shop. For brands, these ecommerce developments increase the scope for social media in their ecommerce strategy, which is particularly important as more and more consumers are turning to ecommerce during various ‘lockdowns’ across the world.


The latest changes offering more shopping features will help Pinterest better compete with Instagram and Google, which has its own Google Lens camera and they build its ecommerce capabilities to tap into the changing ways people want to shop helping to monetise its user base.

Further Reading:

Adweek | Tech Crunch | Mobile Marketer | Pinterest

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