Pinterest Adds a Shopping Cart and Visual Search to Challenge Amazon

Shopping while pinning just got easier

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Shopping is getting easier on Pinterest Pinterest

Pinterest has long positioned itself as the go-to platform for social shopping, and today it announced a number of new features that will make buying from the site easier and will also separate itself from competitors Facebook and Twitter.

Now people can add items to a shopping cart on Pinterest's website and mobile apps. Consumers can then buy multiple products from different merchants at once, similar to how Amazon's checkout page works. While Google also has a shopping cart, Twitter and Facebook notably do not.

In addition, Pinterest is also rolling out a feature that uses visual search to let people search for similar items shown within a post. For example, someone looking for a pair of shoes featured within a pin will be able to search for similar items on Pinterest by clicking on a button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Pinterest is also building new technology for phones—not unlike Amazon's Firefly visual search technology—that will help users find online products by snapping a photo of something in the real world. Pinterest initially launched visual search in November.

The site's also expanding Buyable Pins—Pinterest's version of a buy button—to the web. For the past year, Buyable Pins have only worked within Pinterest's mobile apps. The site claims that 2 million products are on sale every day (although it didn't say how many items are sold each day). Thirty percent of people who shop on Pinterest find items from search, and another 50 percent of people find products through either related pins or from the site's homepage.

In the initial tests with Buyable Pins on the web and the new shopping bag, Pinterest claims that one-third of purchases were first found on mobile.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.