Mila Service Visual Search

What Pinterest’s AI Shopping and Visual Search Means for Service

AI is changing everything from how we write emails to chat to how we shop. Pinterest has implemented a new AI function that lets users conduct visual searches and marks items they can buy, then links out to websites to buy them. Pinterest has over 20,000 merchant partnerships in place and more than 10 million unique products users can purchase.

Often time when out and about, a person may see something another person has, and ask where they got it or wonder where to purchase it. Pinterest now has the solution to this everyday problem. It’s visual search feature called “Shopping with Pinterest” lets users look for and ultimately buy products online that they’ve spotted in person, in real life.

This Pinterest tool uses AI technology with deep learning and computer vision to work. With the added shopping bag function, Pinterest is leveraging the 130 millions visual searches that happen on the site every month. Pinterest visual search also has automatic object detection, which works in a similar way to text auto-complete, and makes searching easier. To use the feature, the Pinterest user must tap the camera icon located in the search bar, take a photo, then upload it for analysis.

So what does all of this mean for service?

Combining AI and Social Customer Service

Using social media platforms for customer service is nothing new, but AI presents an exciting new opportunity for service. AI machines can not only learn one task really well and become an expert at it, but they can also learn to think like a human being and complete many different tasks. AI gets better at doing tasks over time with experience. Thanks to social media, there are lots of different ways service businesses can connect and communicate with customers. But being able to keep track of interactions and customer history is key. This is where AI comes in. When AI is combined with human service representatives, these social media interactions can add much more value to customers.

Pinterest seized an opportunity to add value to its users by adding the new shopping function. It also uses AI to help find local pins. Throughout the web, Pinterest has buyable pins that will add items to a user’s shopping bag no matter if they pinned it using their mobile phone or on a laptop computer. Furthermore, visual search can automatically look for items within an uploaded image to help the person find similar ones or link them to a place where they can buy the product.

So let’s say a customer uploads a photo of a bedroom that has a fancy, smart home control system featured. And that smart home system is your product–or you service these kinds of smart home systems. Once the customer buys the smart home system through Pinterest, they’re going to need service–whether it’s in the form or installation or repairs. So when a human service rep pays attention to the artificial intelligence used to analyze an image, the service rep can add value to the buying process and the customer’s journey, by actually being the one there to help install it.  

AI for Serious Customers Only

Customers who use Pinterest to pin items and products have a strong intent on buying. According to a study, 93% of Pinterest users planned a future purchase on the social media platform. So businesses that ensure that their products are on Pinterest, and that these pins are search engine optimized so customers can click on a link and be taken to a page to buy the item, will see growth through sales via Pinterest. On the same end, service-based businesses that monitor pins or also sell products, can know which customers will need service on these products.

Get to Know Users Interested in Your Service

With Pinterest, you can see which users are interested in your products, and in that way see who may be also potentially interested in services related to that product. And if you ensure that all of your products are on Pinterest, users may discover other items they may want to buy.

Since people can use Twitter to log into Pinterest and create an account, let’s say the same social media user who has pinned an image has contacted you before. With an AI service platform, there’s a deep learning algorithm that can search data including customer service logs and pull up customer data and from previous service interactions. With this information, the service representatives can have individualized information to help solve the customer’s issue.

Sell Related Products and Services

Pinterest is giving business owners a novel way to get their products in front of the eyes of a targeted, engaged audience with the motivation to buy. And for a local business, Pinterest’s new algorithm has improved local search results, which means if you run a small business, interested potential customers can easily find you as an option.

Though there’s not yet a way for service to be triggered by a pin of a related product, the idea that you can market your services or products on Pinterest, and achieve leads should be enough for anyone in both the product-based and service-based to start pinning and paying attention to pins. Discovering customers who are looking to buy or have already bought a product you service, sell, install, or repair, is a great benefit thanks to AI and Pinterest.

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