Image-Based Search Technology Gains Steam
October 10, 2016
If you need to do a bit of smartphone photos clean-up, now is a good time. More websites are integrating photo-based search technologies according to Pinterest Will Let You Snap Photos To Find Real-Life Products Online. This piece from Forbes explains camera search will be available in the coming months and will allow users to snap a photo of, for example, a purse they see someone else carrying down the street, and find similar products on Pinterest. They’re calling these products “buyable pins”. According to the article,
Users make 130 million visual searches on Pinterest per month and about 2 billion total searches. Now, more than 10 million products can be purchased without leaving Pinterest from more than 20,000 retailers, up from 2 million products when “buyable pins” launched about a year ago. When a user sees a product on Pinterest, they are two times more likely to buy it in-store. And if a merchant promotes the pin, users are five times more likely to buy the item in person, the company said. In testing “buyable pins,” Pinterest said a third of purchases made on the web were first discovered on mobile. More than 80% of users access Pinterest on mobile devices.
Some applications for this search technology, may not be well-poised to monetize this, but according to a survey cited in the article 55 percent of respondents already consider Pinterest as e-commerce. Currently, the platform sees itself as a “bridge between inspiration and making it part of your real life.” This is essentially the role of any brick-and-mortar shop amenable to window-shopping. So, while it may work, we certainly can’t say the strategy is new.