If I had to pick one positive spin on the lockdown, we have seen over the past few months, it’s the growth and surge in online sales. Those who didn’t have seamless e-commerce to their brands, have taken this opportunity to up the game, and jump into the e-comm pool. Given that Pinterest is a platform that’s always celebrated design, fashion, collectibles, and products, it’s only a natural progression that they add this aspect to their offerings.

Giving ‘point and shoot’ a different meaning, the camera on Pinterest actually helps you shop for products that are similar to what you have captured through its Lens camera if they are available for sale. To give it a try, I took a picture on my Bose speakers and sure enough, recommendations of where I can buy the same speaker, as well as similar looking products – which included a tube-ish bag – popped up from the app.

The Shoppable Pins

I’m not sure what the revenue model for this new shop-tab will be for Pinterest, but it completely makes sense to monetize the platform using the buyable aspect of the products that inspire us. What I liked the most, is that Pinterest is actually asking me questions like, if the site they are leading me to buy the product, is useful enough.

I guess this will help weed out the spam sites and even help them streamline the kind of products that pop-up as recommendations. Surely, I didn’t need a tube-ish bag when I’m searching for Bose Speakers. The experience from click-a-picture to recommendations to shopping is a seamless one, that doesn’t require you to leave the platform as such.

Searching Real Inspiration

In the beginning, the intention of the camera was to help you find similar products that caught your fancy. Stuff that you saw in stores and matching them back to the options on Pinterest. However, the refinement to the process is such, that I can be sitting in my living room, take a picture of my lampshade, and find something similar or new for that matter.

The tech allows you to use photos in your Camera Roll, other blogs, and even screenshots. Since virtual search is on the rise, and it’s grown up to three times using the Pinterest camera, since 2019, indicating that people are using the Pinterest camera to search and shop. Refining their approach in this direction, we see that Pinterest has increased the number of attributes (almost double) focused on women’s fashion. Taking on Google, Facebook, and Instagram Shopping service amongst others, The Shop tab looks to be promising.

Conclusion: The feature of in-app shopping may not be new, but the experience with Pinterest is radically different from Instagram. We are used to a particular format with the latter, but I don’t see shoppers having trouble adapting to this new way to buy!


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