- Albertsons will work with Pinterest to let customers add ingredients for recipes they find on the image-sharing site directly to their cart on the grocer's app as part of a multi-year agreement, the companies announced on Thursday.
- The supermarket chain will also use technology from Pinterest to recommend meal options to shoppers based on their searches, saved items and purchase history.
- Albertsons' tie-up with Pinterest continues a string of efforts by the grocer to bolster its e-commerce operations as it looks to maintain momentum online.
The agreement with Pinterest is another component of Albertsons' strategy to interact more with shoppers through their phones and computers.
In addition to encouraging shoppers looking on Pinterest for meal-planning ideas to buy products from Albertsons' banners, the partnership is designed to showcase the grocer's associates as online influencers in the food space. The grocer has designated 20 employees, including a patisserie specialist, a master meat griller and a certified sommelier, as "Pinterest Creators," a role that will enable them to describe products in Albertsons' assortment on Pinterest.
Pinterest and Albertsons will also use artificial intelligence to develop shoppable "tablescapes" to demonstrate how people can use individual ingredients to prepare a variety of recipes or meet dietary requirements, according to the announcement.
"Solving the age-old question of 'what's for dinner?' is something that we’ve been determined to simplify for our customers,” Chris Rupp, Albertsons' chief customer and digital officer, said in a statement. "We want to meet them where they are while making the experience easy and enjoyable, and our partnership with Pinterest is just one more way Albertsons is creatively looking to continue our connections with customers as a food authority."
The agreement builds on an existing relationship between Albertsons and Pinterest that also includes a program to let in-store shoppers use their smartphones to find recipes on Albertsons' Pinterest page.
Albertsons is expanding its relationship with Pinterest even as the social media platform contends with declining interest from users following the end of the pandemic-driven lockdowns that drove engagement during the pandemic.
"For the past year, we've highlighted how people came to Pinterest for inspiration to reinvent their lives during such a difficult time. Now as the world opens up, we're seeing the similar effect in the opposite direction," Pinterest President and CEO Benjamin Silbermann said during the company's second-quarter earnings call in July. "That impacted our growth, particularly because some of the core use cases we see on our platform are less common in 2021 than they were a year ago."
The announcement about Albertsons' agreement with Pinterest comes a day after the grocer said it will add shoppable videos to its websites in partnership with Firework, a tech startup that enables businesses to host short-form multimedia content, including livestreams, on their own platforms. Under that arrangement, Firework will develop food-related videos for Albertsons and provide technology to help the grocer produce its own content featuring the grocer's employees.
The shoppable images and videos follow other recent measures by Albertsons to engage people online. Earlier this week, Albertsons started testing a service with DoorDash that allows shoppers to bundle an order from a local restaurant, convenience store or Albertsons' Deli Marketplace banner with a purchase from the grocer. In March, Albertsons struck a deal with Google to use services run by the tech company, including Google Search and Google Maps, to reach online shoppers.