Tags: Digital Media

By: Ed Dunn

Pinterest Unveils New AI-Powered Visual Search

In a traditional image search system, like that used by Pinterest, a user is shown products similar to the item they’re viewing. For example, a black cocktail dress pin will display suggestions of other dresses similar in color (black or dark gray) and style (calf-length, form-fitting) to the pin the user is viewing. But in its latest endeavor to employ Artificial Intelligence to craft a better user experience, Pinterest has built “Complete the Look” to provide “taste-based recommendations.”

Prove Virtual reality at work

What Is It?

Complete the Look goes beyond the traditional image search system and leverages context such as a season, body type, indoors vs. outdoors, decorating style, and overall aesthetics to suggest visually compatible products, especially in the fashion and home decor space. For example, a pin of a woman in a summer dress outside by the ocean may offer suggestions to “complete the look” with sandals, a beach tote, and sunglasses that fit the style and scene.

How Did They Do It?

Pinterest teaches “the model to learn compatibility of scene and product strictly independent from visual similarity.” The model is programmed to focus on fine details within a scene to help inform its decision for recommended products. Scene and product matching are weighted in a way that encourages the model to focus more or less on certain parts of the scene, depending on whether it’s a fashion or home decor item, to get the desired results.

What Does This Mean For Pinterest?

This latest AI endeavor by Pinterest signals its continued growth as an ecommerce leader, and an effective channel for brands to have their products discovered. According to eMarketer, Pinterest outperforms other social platforms in terms of product discovery, with 47% of users turning to Pinterest to find new products, versus 15% of Facebook users and 11% of Instagram users.

What Does This Mean For SMBs?

Ecommerce brands stand to gain from the new Pinterest feature, which enables product discovery by users who may not have even known they needed your product. Think of someone shopping for a dress and discovering a great pair of shoes that would compliment the outfit.

Brands need to be on Pinterest, have a solid Pinterest strategy and get discovered if they're not already a huge established brand. If you are an up and coming brand, especially in consumer products like fashion and home decor, you should already be using Pinterest to get in front of new users. With “Complete the Look,” Pinterest will further establish itself as a leading platform for ecommerce products.

We have yet to see if there are specific requirements or actions brands need to take for their content to be best optimized for this new feature. We suggest that brands ensure they have high quality product photography featuring products in real-life scenarios, as well as solid product images.

AI: Why You Should Care

AI is increasingly at the forefront in the ad tech space, connecting brands with consumers. AI can sound scary and unknown, provoking images of "big brother." But when utilized correctly, it’s an opportunity for brands to grow, evolve, and improve.

  • This is an example of a platform using AI to enhance their product and produce a better experience for the user.
  • We expect to see channels continue on this path and use AI to deliver better experiences for users, and more opportunities for brands.
  • With "Complete the Look," Pinterest is at the forefront of product recommendations, using AI and visual search to deliver further customization and personalization.


AI is here to stay and doesn't have to be intimidating or inaccessible for SMBs. In fact, AI is making life easier for brands to market their products by providing a more customizable and targeted user experience, and helping brands connect with their desired audience, driving conversions and revenue.