Daily Insights

Is Pinterest the New Mall?

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Jan 29, 2021

Pinterest is already a hotspot for beauty, hair, and makeup inspiration. Now, it’s taking it a step further.

Where once augmented reality was a marketer’s party trick, something to catch the attention of browsers and buyers, it’s fast becoming a real e-commerce tool. Similarly, where once Pinterest was a vision board, it’s now transforming into a digital mall, thanks in part to augmented reality. While retailers like Wayfair, IKEA, and Warby Parker rolled out 3D augmented reality versions of their products years ago, Pinterest’s movement into the technique is still notable, as it marks what could be a new era of shopping for several brands, all at once. 

To kick off its augmented reality adventure, the platform is offering virtual makeup try-ons for everything from lipstick to eyeshadow. It’s not the brand’s first foray into high technology, however. Pinterest has been developing e-commerce tools that compete with apps like Snapchat and Instagram. In the same vein, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and even Amazon have also been in the business of curating AR tools for marketers. Though some beauty products may not be as easy as a pair of glasses for consumers to visualize via AR, marketers in the industry have quickly expanded their virtual consultations and AR tools by 17% according to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty US. However, very few have iterated on these services to provide stronger personalization, reflecting the challenge that integrating makeup and augmented reality presents.

As the pandemic drags on and going to a store to swatch lipsticks or match foundation shades becomes more and more impossible, tools like Pinterest’s new application of AR could provide a convenient and perhaps most importantly, sanitary way to enjoy makeup shopping once again. Now the only question is: Will consumers want to buy lipstick (or any makeup) if they’re constantly in a mask?