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Pin that in your basket – time to shop with Pinterest, by Bianca Matley

From hacks to recipes to outfit ideas, Pinterest has become a virtual scrapbook of handy, whimsical ideas curated with beautiful imagery. But with its foray into direct purchasing and newest ‘visual discovery’ features, what impact do we see this having for our home and lifestyle sectors?

As Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp puts it, “we’ve developed new experimental technology that, for the first time ever, is capable of seeing the world the way you do. Now there’s a way to discover ideas without having to find the right words to describe them first.”

From Instant Ideas to Shop the Look and most excitingly Lens (currently in beta), you can begin to look for items in real-time. If you’re familiar with ShopStyle and, the process is very similar – finding things you like, having similar items or THE items suggested to you and then being able to shop them directly from Pinterest. They also help tailor your home feed, bringing back even more personalised and relevant recommendations to suit your tastes.

Biting at the heels of Google, Lens is possibly the most revolutionary of its kind for consumers. Scanning a quick moment, magazine or any visual could conjure up whole hosts of options and more avenues for consumers to discover. Currently, this technology claims to recognise over one billion objects – positive news for brands as well as small, boutique businesses. However, the deal is currently only with CB2, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Target, Wayfair and some others, which is down to Pinterest’s new partnerships with Curalate, Olapic, Project September, Refinery29 and ShopStyle – though this is sure to increase rapidly if the feature succeeds, to reduce the potential threat on e-commerce sites.

With more than five million home décor pins pinned to the site every day, these new updates can lend itself to becoming an essential tool for home and lifestyle businesses. The average Pinterest user searches three months before they buy, which could offer great insight for home and décor sectors, especially when their higher price point goods are more considered purchases.

The Instant Ideas and Shop the Look tools help products come to life in your feed – whether it’s recipe ideas for a certain product, how to style an item in both clothing and home, all the way to a customer’s basket – this is window shopping at its best, especially when 70% of Pinterest’s subscribers are female. The features develop the site into more than just a visual aid and with around 55% of US online shoppers picking Pinterest as their favourite social media platform, it opens the avenues to more shopping opportunities, a ‘personal shopper’ for all areas of a consumer’s every day.

In AdWeek, Pinterest President Tim Kendall, revealed that when it comes to consumer packed goods, decision makers on these items are women aged 25-54, of which Pinterest reaches 80% of what Facebook reaches and more than that on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. With the strongest purchasing habits, this target market is key to the projected success of these tools, turning inspiration into reality for subscribers and developing the home and lifestyle markets.