How Pinterest is Expanding its Product Promotion and AR Capabilities



In addition to its newest AR push, Pinterest is expanding its product tagging beta with shoppable Story Pins a near-term vision for creators.


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In its recent State of Mobile report, App Annie found that global downloads of Instagram and Pinterest worldwide grew 50 percent and 20 percent YoY, respectively.

With the acceleration of e-commerce poised to continue, platforms are doubling their efforts in the space with good reason. This was further supported by Shopify’s annual “The Future of E-Commerce report covering key global trends in the space.

One key finding from Shopify’s insights: At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 years of ecommerce growth happened in just 90 days. In addition, its important marketers note that it’s not just Gen Z and millennials fueling this shift—older shoppers also moved online during this period.

Just how many people shopped online? Per a separate global survey across 11 markets hosted by Shopify, 84 percent of consumers shopped online during the pandemic and 150 million people became first-time e-commerce buyers. Looking ahead, Shopify projects e-commerce as a percentage of total global retail sales will also continue to grow over the next five years.

An opportunity to new experiences and meaningful consumer connections

What this ultimately means for brands is the opportunity to create new experiences and foster more meaningful connections with consumers. At the same time, this will also represent a headwind for digital marketers and brands as the landscape becomes more crowded and competitive. In response, platforms are leveraging emerging technologies to bring together the best of online and in-person shopping experiences and help brands in their efforts to cut through the noise. Most recently, Pinterest enhancing capability around accessing and comparing products with the expansion of its AR ‘Try On’ tools.

New AR ‘Try-On’ Tools for Eyeshadow

Last year the company rolled out lipstick Try on Pins with selected brands and now its AR overlays apply to eye makeup. Powered by Lens, users can access new, shoppable eyeshadow Pins highlighting products from brands including Lancome, YSL, Urban Decay, and NYX Cosmetics.

“Millions of people come to Pinterest every month to search for beauty ideas and inspiration. This is our latest step in bringing together the worlds of visual search and shopping as people come to Pinterest to shop early in their decision-making process, ready to discover new brands and products,” the company shared in the official announcement.

The eyeshadow try-on can be used in conjunction with the already-existing lipstick tools. In an effort to prioritize accessibility and inclusivity, the eyeshadow shades are integrated across a variety of skin tones, as is the case with the lipstick options. As users test different eyeshadow colors, the platform will identify Pins based on your preferences, helping to streamline the process of trying on an in-stock shade and making a purchase.

Developments in object detection and enhanced AR functionality into our smartphone cameras paired with catalog uploads not only creates additional engagement and interaction options, but also allows for improved product promotion, tying into another key update from Pinterest.

Expanded product tagging

In October 2020, Pinterest introduced updates to its product tagging functionality that would allow merchants to tag their own scene images with exact products. The company Is now widening this beta phase to incorporate more advertisers and, in the coming months, creators through expanded product tagging. Per Pinterest, Pinners are 70 percent more likely to show shopping intent on products tagged in scene images than on standalone Product Pins.

“The future of shopping will rely on online shopping experiences that are similar to that of in-store and complement that joy we find in browsing, seeing curated collections, and trying on products until we find what’s best for us.”

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