NEW YORK: Target, the retailer, is exploring the potential of visual search to enhance the shopper experience through a tie-up with Pinterest, the social media platform.

Rick Gomez, Target’s EVP/Chief Marketing Officer, discussed this subject during a session held at Advertising Week 2017 in New York.

And he outlined how Target plans to leverage Pinterest’s ‘Lens’, a tool letting people photograph an object – say, an item of furniture – with their smartphone in order to receive more information about this item or near equivalents, plus details of complementary goods.

“When you listen to our guests, and you listen to what they’re looking for when it comes to shopping, what we hear time and time again is the importance of ease and convenience,” Gomez said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Target taps power of visual search with Pinterest partnership.)

“And that pertains to whether we’re talking about everyday essentials and grocery items, or it’s style categories, like apparel, home [and] beauty. Consumers are looking for ease and convenience … I think it really will unlock what our guest is looking for.”

Expanding on the reasons for its interest in Lens, Target reported that image and speech inquiries – using technologies like Pinterest Lens, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Echo – could comprise 50% of search activity by 2020.

And the company has further quantitative support for its moves into the visual-search arena. “I love the statistic that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text,” Gomez said.

“So [as] you think about ease and convenience – and that’s what our guests are looking for – visual search is a huge unlock, and we see a ton of applications in a lot of different ways.”

A starting point comes with integrating Pinterest Lens into Target’s registry services, where users who are celebrating an occasion – be it getting married, moving home, having a baby, going to college, etc. – build gift lists.

Target’s ambitions for this visually-driven solution, however, are much broader, with plans to integrate Lens into its branded app.

“[It’s] so very simple: snap a picture of something that inspires you and then you get a curated list of all the items on that you can buy that match that item,” Gomez said.

Sourced from WARC