For the Pin: Discovery and the Pinterest shopper

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What does Pinterest have to do with retail? “Everything,” Amy Vener says. “The roots of retail are inspiration, and Pinterest has always played into that strength.” As the Retail Vertical Strategy Lead at the social platform, Vener works with retailers of all shapes and sizes to make their products discoverable on Pinterest. And with the help of behavior data from pinners, the team also focuses on designing the best user experience for today’s consumer through the entire shopping journey. Vener joins this episode of Retail Gets Real to discuss how Pinterest does both.

For millions of people around the world, Pinterest is the first stop on their retail journey — it’s a place to discover, get inspired and personalize products. For retailers, Pinterest is an opportunity to engage with customers earlier and more often, well before a transaction takes place.

Major retailers like Target and The Home Depot are already taking advantage of the platform. The Pinterest Lens feature, integrated into the Target app, allows shoppers to take a photo of a product at a store and pull items that are similar, instead of the entire Target catalog.

Amy Vener (center) joins co-hosts Sarah Rand (left) and Kris Stewart (right).

Amy Vener (center) joins co-hosts Sarah Rand (left) and Kris Stewart (right).

Vener and her team also work with small and medium-sized retailers to integrate Pinterest’s Save button onto their websites, so they can bring products onto the popular platform to make them as easy to find as leading brands. Pinners can create custom boards that allow them to engage with and be inspired by these retailers.

When this behavior is combined with data from textual searches, visual searches and clicks, the result is “the world’s largest focus group,” Vener says. This information helps tailor the experience to each user. For example, a user can upload images of products they own on the Pinterest app to search for other items that could pair well, like a visual search for jewelry or shoes that would suit a dress.

Listen to the episode to learn more about how retailers are taking advantage of Pinner behavior patterns. Check out more stories from Vener’s industry peers from the recently concluded Shop.org conference, including how Away and KIDBOX built breakout brands.

Kristina Stewart is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.