West Elm, a furnishings retail brand, has introduced the West Elm Pinterest Style Finder, a new online tool utilizing artificial intelligence to help customers transition style inspiration into products they can buy at West Elm stores and online. The new tool is an extension of Style + Service, the brand’s design consultation program offering customers design, installation and registry services at each of its 100 stores across the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K. West Elm is one of the first home brands to utilize image recognition technology to analyze Pinterest Boards to determine a user’s personal style at home.
“This is yet another example of our e-commerce expertise driving innovative change for our customers,” said Luke Chatelain, Vice President of Innovation at West Elm. “Our free design consultations often start with customers sharing their Pinterest board to best illustrate their vision in terms of colors and style. Pinterest boards are an efficient tool to quickly get us on the same page, and understand what inspires our customers visually.”
“Our goal was to automate the process and provide our customers with a seamless experience when seeking design guidance, as well as to streamline the process of searching for home products that best express their personal style,” Chatelain continued. “It’s a great resource for us to take direct input from our customers and be able to deliver the personalized products and styles our customers are most interested in.”
The West Elm Pinterest Style Finder is powered by Clarifai’s image and video recognition AI Technology. Clarifai uses visual recognition, and its image and video recognition technology is built on the most advanced machine learning systems.
“Our objective for retail and ecommerce is to empower every brand with robust AI tools to enhance their product with innovative offerings,” said Matt Zeiler, founder and CEO of Clarifai. “The West Elm Style Finder is not a typical recommendation engine, as it does not rely on a user’s buying or browsing history. In order to take into account that personal style can change over time, the tool recognizes some categorization of a customer’s preference and can start learning a style from a single photograph. It can develop a real sense of a customer’s style in a matter of seconds.”
The Style Finder tool utilizes images from a Pinterest board, either a user’s own board or someone else’s, to recognize a user’s style and color preferences from the collected array of images. The style finder then filters products from West Elm’s online catalog of nearly 5,000 products, suggesting three options from each product category, including furniture, rugs, curtains, mirrors, decorative accessories and more, that are surfaced in order to offer customers choice and variety.
The West Elm Pinterest Style Finder is unique to West Elm, and is representative of how West Elm and the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands are experimenting with new technology to enhance our customer’s experience across all channels.