- Pinterest has rolled out a "Lens Your Look" feature that lets users take photos of an item in their closet and get outfit recommendations styled around that item and based on their individual wardrobes, according to a blog post by the company.
- The platform also unveiled Pincodes, a tool similar to QR codes, that bring users to branded Pinterest boards when they point their smartphone camera at the code icon. The codes will be featured on Kraft Heinz products, in Nordstrom and Home Depot stores, at Kia's exhibit in the LA Auto Show and in the December issue of Real Simple magazine, per the blog post.
- Meanwhile, the company updated its visual search feature to let users more seamlessly find and buy products online that they see in real life through a partnership with retailer ShopStyle. When a user does a visual search using a photo of a friend, he or she can instantly discover details of the friend's clothing items and buy them directly in the app.
Pinterest already has a strong relationship with bricks-and-mortar retailers who leverage the platform to provide inspirational content to users. Now, retailers and others active on the platform can reach mobile users when they are going about their day to help them easily access this content.
Nordstrom will feature Pincodes in select stores enabling shoppers to unlock content like its Gifts under $100 board.
The news points to the reemergence this year of QR codes as an important strategy for bridging digital and in-store experiences.
Pinterest's new features show how the company is continuing to build out a focus on visual discovery and inspiration but also point to an overall trend where marketers and digital platforms are more often using smartphone camera technology to tie their online businesses with brick-and-mortar shopping. QR code-like tools such as Pincodes might help brands better track and measure ROI in a concrete way that other digital metrics can't tangibly provide.
Pincodes also bridge the gap between mobile apps and the real world by potentially driving more foot traffic to partner retailers' stores. Big-name brands like Nordstrom and Home Depot being early adopters suggest the feature could see some serious traction. Pinterest also recently teamed up with Target to deepen its visual search business.
With the new developments, Pinterest might be able to better capture intent-level behavior. This strategy has previously been adopted by other social media apps, including Snapchat, whose Snapcodes have started to appear more frequently on packaged goods to link to exclusive content like video and mobile games online.
Lens Your Look, for its part, aims to help users with outfit recommendations that are personalized based on their closet. This, combined with the "shop the look" partnership with ShopStyle, could make for a potent combination given Pinterest's reputation as a destination for style inspiration. Just as Pincodes echo Snapcodes, Lens Your Look reflects similar services Amazon has started to offer, especially through an Echo Show device rolled out in April that seeks to turn digital assistant Alexa into a personal stylist.
Pinterest might also be feeling greater pressure to innovate after Facebook began testing a new feature called "Sets" in October that reflects its core boards service.