Chart of the Week: Pinterest Lens, Target, and Visual Search
Earlier this week, Pinterest and Target announced a new partnership that offers a potential shake-up in e-commerce and how consumers find the products they want to buy. Target will start integrating Lens, Pinterest’s visual search tool, into its apps (and eventually its website). The new Lens integration “will allow Target shoppers to snap a photo of any product, and then find similar items available for sale at Target.” While this holds exciting promise for the future of visual search in the long term, what do the two companies have to gain from each other in the meantime?
Pinterest and Target: Do Overlapping Demographics Create an Idea Test Base?
Since the initial launch will be limited to Target’s app, Verto Analytics compared Pinterest’s overall user base (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above) with the user base for Target’s app. While the user base for Target’s app less than a tenth the size of Pinterest’s entire user base (in August 2017, the Target app had 7.1 million monthly unique users, compared to 91.5 million monthly unique users for Pinterest overall [website as well as app]), the demographic profiles of the two are actually fairly similar.
Both Target’s app and Pinterest user bases skew heavily female, although Pinterest’s recent efforts to diversify their audience appears to be having an impact: as of August 2017, Pinterest’s entire user base was 64% female, while the Target app user base was 74% female. Target’s app users also skew slightly younger: almost 75% of its users are between the ages of 25-54, while only 58% of Pinterest’s users fall within this age bracket – and almost a third (32%) of Pinterest’s users are over the age of 55.
The initial rollout to Target’s app could provide Pinterest with a solid test audience for a wider rollout with Lens as a visual search tool in an e-commerce context. The partnership marks the first time Pinterest has licensed Lens to a retailer: Target gains a robust new visual discovery tool, while Pinterest may gain access to a wealth of consumer data. The results could help both companies gain a better understanding of shopper habits and discover more synergies between their user bases.