Pinterest's Visual Search Tool Changes the Game
Have you ever wondered whether it could be possible to look for something based on a picture as opposed to a description?
Maybe you’ve been frustrated for a lack of a term of what something is and searching has been a massive headache. Maybe you cannot articulate exactly what it is you want. But that fantasy has now entered into a new reality. There is a new technology available on Pinterest that is making this kind of searching a possibility, changing online marketing completely.
Pinterest announced recently the creation and launch of its visual search tool that allows people to search within an image for items.
Users can select an object within a picture, say a lamp, zoom in on it, and find out what it is and where they can buy it. Pinterest does this by looking through its own database and finding pins that match the item.
Pictures are not just being blindly pinned on Pinterest anymore; people now can know where they originated as well as every detail about the picture possible. This new search engine opens up a new avenue to discover pictures and put them in a context applicable to their personal needs.
The $11 billion company has embraced its marketing potential within the last few months. In addition to the new search tool, Pinterest introduced recently the click-to-buy feature on its apps on Apple.
Users can now browse through pictures, find an item they were looking for, and, if its available, can purchase the item right then as opposed to needing to look for where it can be purchased later. The new visual search tool gives immediacy to purchases and closes the deal a lot faster.
This also means that brands will get new shoppers that they wouldn’t have had access to before, since Pinterest users base their searches on a specific object and not based on brand. This means that shoppers also do not have to go to a direct online site to make a purchase, but can conveniently do it through Pinterest.
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Pinterest is now the third-most used social media network, behind Facebook and Twitter, meaning it has millions of users all around the world that online stores now could have access to gaining as customers.
Users for Pinterest usually use the site for one of two reasons: to get an idea for something or to look for a specific item.
The visual search tool is changing the scope of Pinterest as well.
Users have in the past searched for something based on a typed description and then had to scroll through all of the options that came up with keywords that matched the description. If nothing appropriate came up, users then had to rethink their search parameters and try again. AS the technology of the Internet is based on written descriptions instead of pixels, image descriptions cannot commonly appear in a search result. It would be rare that a search engine could determine what ottoman is in a picture, let alone where someone could purchase it.
In the past, images were really limited to what someone had named that picture.
Example: Imagine a baby in a highchair eating food. The picture in the pas may have said something like “messy baby” and as a result that would be the only keywords that could access that picture. With the visual search engine, people can now see what brand the highchair is, where they can purchase the baby’s plates and utensils, or even know what kind of food the bay is eating.
Pictures are no longer limited to their set tags. Pinterest’s visual search tool tech is skipping the need for the user to come up with the correct keywords to find what they were looking for.
The visual search tool technology will allow brands to get to customers directly in a way that was never possible before. And for their part, Pinterest users looking for inspiration can now find the image they were after as well as know more about what is within the image itself. Just as someone would not purchase a product in a store without having looked at it, being about to have more information on a product prior to purchase will make people more likely to actually buy it.
Studies have shown that when images are searchable, there are higher click-through rates, which means the customers are more interested in what they are looking at. Being able to have even further detail on an image has increase click through rates as much as 110 percent.
Images appeal to consumers in an entirely different way than next. As humans are more visually inspired normally, people will be able to look through products faster than ever. While there may be some learning curve with the users of the visual search engine, since we have relied on the old way so long, it won’t take long for customers to get on board.