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Pinterest, self-styled as the world’s catalog of ideas, is coming into its own as an Ecommerce platform and shopping tool. Rather than only finding and saving recipes, life hacks, style inspiration, and other ideas to try, Pinners are increasingly becoming acquainted with brands and products as well as aware of promotions on the platform.

With 70 million monthly active users and a high-income, female-heavy audience, it is the ideal platform particularly for fashion brands hoping to expand and engage their consumer base.

To this end, Pinterest is rolling out a number of new features as well as enhancing existing ones so Pinners and shoppers can discover more of what they love and make purchases directly on the platform. Buyable Pins, which launched last year, allow Pinners to purchase directly on Pinterest and includes price, color options, a product description, and the ability to swipe through additional product images. Tapping on a button in the top right of the Pin allows the user to purchase the product with a credit card or Apple Pay. In addition, when browsing Buyable Pins other products from the same vendors will also be displayed. Building off Buyable Pins, Pinterest is adding Shopping Bag, a feature that will follow users across devices with their desired purchases.

Visual search is another feature enhancing the Ecommerce experience on Pinterest. Launched last fall, visual search enables Pinners to search all Pins on the platform by image as opposed to keywords. Currently, users make approximately 130 million visual searches per month.

One conducts a visual search by tapping the search tool in the top right corner of the image then selecting the part of the Pin that is of interest. A stream of related Pins auto populates; that can then be filtered by topic to ensure a seamless search experience.


The new enhanced visual search will not only auto-detect objects in the image (so it doesn’t have to be selected) but also empowers users to utilize the camera in their smart phone by clicking on the camera icon and shooting a picture of something they’re interested in—in real time.

From there, the app will respond by displaying dots over objects that are recognized in the picture. By tapping on those dots and thus highlighting objects, search results will populate with Pins that are similar to what’s highlighted. Finally, there are also tags for words that describe the objects detected in the image.


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