Pinterest today announced updates to increase the discoverability of beauty products and tutorials personalized to individual skin tones, styles, and preferences on its platform. The network made its search filter for skin tone ranges available in countries beyond the U.S. including the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Pinterest also refreshed the filter’s design to surface options from search results, and it introduced new shades to its virtual lipstick Try on experience, which lets users preview lipstick shades via augmented reality.
The pandemic motivated a massive surge in online shopping activity, with ecommerce sales jumping 39% in April according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index. Reflecting this, Pinterest reports that in 2020, daily video views grew 150% year-over-year as searches for “natural curly hair cuts” rose 6 times; “black men beard styles” rose 3.9 times; “long hairstyles for men” rose 25 times; and “creative makeup looks” rose 7 times.
Pinterest’s Try on feature launched in January with buy-in from brands like Estée Lauder, Sephora, bareMinerals, Neutrogena, NYX Professional Makeup, YSL Beauté, Lancôme, and Urban Decay from L’Oréal. And as of today, the network says Try on covers over 10,000 shoppable shades discoverable across 48 million beauty Pins (i.e., posts), with new products from brands including NARS, Cle de Peau, and Thrive Causemetics arriving ahead of a U.K. launch in the coming months.
As before, users can access Try on by launching Pinterest’s computer vision-powered Lens feature while in Search and clicking the “Try it” button to explore available lipsticks. Alternatively, lipstick-related terms ( e.g., “plum lipstick” or “red lips”) in Pinterest’s search engine pull up Try on, and a swipe upward reveals shoppable products.
According to Pinterest, the number of beauty and fashion Pins where a skin tone can be identified has quadrupled in size. The network’s skin tone signal is now 3 times more likely to detect multiple tones in top results compared with when Pinterest first introduced the feature in 2018.
Pinterest isn’t the only network leveraging AI to attract customers during the pandemic. Startups like ModiFace, Vue.ai, Edited, Syte, and Adverity enable customers to try on shades of lipstick virtually, see model images in every size, and spot trends and sales over time. McKinsey estimates that Amazon, which recently deployed AI to handle incoming shopper inquiries, generates 35% of all sales from its product recommendation engine. And ecommerce businesses like Facebook Marketplace lean on AI to automate a host of behind-the-scenes tasks, from learning preferences and body types to understanding the factors that might influence purchase decisions.
However, Pinterest — which has 416 million users as of June 30 — has benefited more than most from the shift online. During its most recent earnings report, the company reported 50% year-over-year growth in July and a 35% revenue growth forecast for the third quarter, with revenue rising 4% to $272 million.
Pinterest claims that on an average, users tap Try on to preview six different lipsticks and are 5 times more likely to show purchase intent compared with standard Pins. The company continues to monetize the feature through advertising and provides participating brands insights on conversion and engagement in an aggregated, anonymous fashion. Users can opt out of personalization on their end.