Pinterest AR: how brands can use in their shopping campaigns

By Cristina Ferrandez

With a year-over-year increase of 37% in monthly active users in 2020, brands can’t afford to ignore Pinterest’s audience of 459 million consumers, many of which need only a small nudge to make a purchase. Now, with Pinterest AR, that is even more the case.

More than half of visitors to Pinterest are eager to buy products that inspire them. In an interview with Vogue, Pinterest’s head of visual search Jeff Harris said, “Users come when they are actively considering a purchase, but they are undecided — they want to see a range of ideas.”

To make shopping on Pinterest easier, the platform has introduced a wide variety of shoppable features. Pinterest AR Try on is the most recent addition to the platform’s ecommerce offering and has already proven successful in converting undecided shoppers into customers. According to Pinterest, last year, users tried six lipstick shades on average with its AR feature and were six times more likely to make a purchase when compared with users that interacted with standard Pins.

Ready to make the most of Pinterest AR? Keep on reading to learn more about Pinterest AR Try on. 

Pinterest shopping and ad features

Unlike other social media sites, Pinterest has always been billed as a “visual inspiration platform”. This means that users browsing the vast swath of content on Pinterest are looking for ideas rather than social updates. 

Since the ideas that people come across on Pinterest often involve purchasable products, Pinterest shopping and ad features are much more integrated within the platform than they are on other social media networks. 

Crucially, rather than being seen as an annoying distraction or interruption, branded ads and shoppable features that allow users to shop products directly on Pinterest actually add value to the user’s experience.

Pinterest users can shop for items directly from:

1. Search results

Pinterest AR
Pinterest recently combined shoppable pins with its Lens feature (Source)

In 2020, Pinterest rolled out a feature that makes it easier for users to shop items when searching for terms like “spring fashion” or “home decor.” 

Rather than seeing a variety of outfits and home decor ideas from other users — only some of which might be shoppable — people can now view products that are available for purchase immediately by clicking on the “Shop” tab. 

Users can even filter results by price and brand. If they spot a product they like, all they have to do is click on it to be taken to the brand’s ecommerce site.

However, users don’t necessarily need to search for a specific term to find items they love. Pinterest has also integrated shoppable pins with its visual search feature known as Lens to let users buy products they’ve taken a photo of. 

Notably, 8 in 10 Pinterest users start with visual search when shopping, and about 1 in 2 say visual search helps them develop better relationships with brands.

2. Boards 

Pinterest AR
Users can now buy items from their Pinterest boards (Source)

Pinterest boards have been upgraded as well. Now, when a user goes to one of their boards — a collection of curated pins — with shoppable items, they can click on a new “Shop” tab. Doing so will allow them not only to buy products from the images and videos they pinned, but also to see and shop items inspired by these original Pins. 

3. Pins

Pinterest AR
Shopping items directly from a Pin is now a reality on Pinterest (Source)

Pinterest has also made more products shoppable within Pins (bookmarked images, videos, and products) themselves. When a user hovers over a pin they like, they can explore other (shoppable) ideas by clicking on “Shop similar.”

Seeing how 83% of Pinterest users have made a purchase based on Pins from brands, this is a powerful feature.

4. Shopping spotlights 

Pinterest’s shopping spotlight combines expert recommendations and the latest trends
Pinterest’s shopping spotlight combines expert recommendations and the latest trends (Source)

To inspire Pinterest users even further, last year, the platform introduced a feature called shopping spotlights, which displays expert recommendations. 

For example, the UK magazine for women Stylist selected local products to include in the Pinterest x Stylist Shop during the COVID-19 lockdown. This “virtual Style List” now has over 1.61 million followers. 

Besides editor’s picks, users can use shopping spotlights to explore and shop popular Pinterest trends, like terracotta home accents or tie-dye. 

Pinterest AR try-on

Pinterest AR Try-On is currently available to cosmetics brands only but will expand to other industries in the future
Pinterest AR Try-On is currently available to cosmetics brands only but will expand to other industries in the future (Source)

In 2020, Pinterest went a step further with its shoppable features by integrating an AR-powered cosmetics try-on experience. Customers who are unable to or don’t want to go to a store to test how a particular makeup product or shade looks on their skin can now do so from the comfort of their smartphones. 

Initially, the Pinterest Try on feature was limited to lipsticks. However, in January 2021, the platform launched the ability for makeup companies to create AR versions of their eyeshadow products as well. Right now, users can choose between more than 4,000 shoppable eyeshadow shades, and users can try both lipstick and eyeshadow at once. More try-on-enabled products are likely to come in the future, including jewellery. 

Powered by Pinterest’s Lens visual search, the Try on feature lets users:

  • “Swatch” the product (the feature doesn’t use any image altering effects, like skin smoothing, that would make you look less like you).
  • Save the look to their Pinterest account.
  • Take a picture of what they look like wearing the product for future reference.
  • Select “More like this look” to see other Pins with similar shades (you can filter Pins by your skin tone range).
  • Buy the product directly from a retailer’s site.

How Pinterest AR try-on works

Pinterest Try on is available through Pinterest’s app
Pinterest Try on is available through Pinterest’s app (Source)

Users can access the Try on feature via Pinterest’s app (the feature is currently only available on smartphones) by clicking on the Lens camera icon in search and selecting “Try on”. Alternatively, users can enter specific searches (such as “matte lipstick” or “red lips”) to see a “Try on” button next to products that pop up in the results.

Brands that have already tried Pinterest’s Try on feature include Lancome, YSL, Urban Decay, and NYX Cosmetics.

Start your first AR campaign 

If you think that your brand could benefit from developing AR content, Poplar Studio can help. Regardless of whether you’re looking to incorporate AR into your own site, app, or social media page, our team at Poplar Studio has years of experience creating successful AR campaigns. Take a look at our previous work by heading over to our website and drop us a line if you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

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