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Marketing

Partnering with Pinterest

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Will seeing a small red “P” on a pair of shoes or a handbag make shoppers more like to select and buy them? Nordstrom executives seem to think so. The retailer is testing the idea of labeling the most popular items on Pinterest available in various departments throughout the store, marking them with a Pinterest logo.

The test, currently in place at 13 Nordstrom locations, bridges the online and in-store shopping channels, letting shoppers know that a product is receiving a lot of attention on the company’s social sharing site. And when one considers that Nordstrom’s Pinterest account has more than four million followers, integrating feedback from the Pinterest community into the store setting seems like a perfect fit.

Bryan Galipeau, social media manager at Nordstrom, told Business Insider it “makes sense” for the retailer to incorporate social feedback into the shopping experience. “What we’re doing here is taking the lead from the customer. We’ve seen really rapid growth on Pinterest, so what’s relevant to our Pinterest followers could be interesting to other shoppers as well.” Shoes, dresses and handbags are among the most pinned items.

Right now the program is designed to take into account the top item on a regional basis; thus the products being promoted in one store might be different from another. Nordstrom also created an in-store app for sales associates that links popular Pinterest items with current inventory on a store-by-store basis.

Could Pinterest aficionados ultimately affect merchandising decisions in a physical store? Galipeau won’t rule it out. He believes the test could have important implications for how the retail industry uses social media. “We’re really viewing this as an interesting opportunity to understand if this way of promoting products can help drive results,” he said. “We can see how retail can leverage this data category.”

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