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Retailers Get Creative with Pinterest To Draw Customers
Retailers Get Creative with Pinterest To Draw Customers

By Mae Anderson
April 28, 2014 9:40AM

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A new interest in Pinterest is being seen as retailers increasingly realize the power of social media sites to steer business their way. They've found while smartphone-toting Americans are spending time opining and posting photos online, they also can be encouraged to spend money. Pinterest is unique as a marketing tool for retailers.
 



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Sarah Page, 22, says she has shopped on store sites as a result of finding them on Pinterest, including lulu.com and weddingdressbee.com, where she recently bought a dress. "It definitely generates more shopping," says the business analyst from Arlington, Va. "You don't go to different stores' web sites every day, but you check your Pinterest home page every day."

Regine Labossiere, 32, also shops via Pinterest links. After she started using Pinterest two years ago to plan her wedding, the publicist in Brooklyn, N.Y., got hooked on the site's "shoppable" feel. She most recently bought an $18.99 watering can on Casa.com, after searching for the item on Pinterest. "It has that shopping vibe," she says.

Retailers have noticed shoppers' affinity for Pinterest. Caribou Coffee, which has about 3,500 Pinterest followers, last year asked fans to share what inspires them with the hashtag #caribouinspires. Then, it created a blend of coffee based on the submissions called "Real Inspiration." Home-improvement chain Lowe's, which has 3.5 million followers, users Pinterest to post project ideas using products from Lowe's on a Pinterest board called "The Finishing Touch."

And Nordstrom, which has 4.4 million followers, used data about top pinned items to create in-store displays. Executives have noticed certain items tend to go viral on the site, such as mason jars and a crochet swimsuit by Robin Piccone, which "seems to have a never ending shelf life" on Pinterest, says Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom's social media manager.

"The unique thing about Pinterest from a retailer's perspective is it's really about the products," he says.

For its part, Target, which has 152,000 Pinterest followers, launched a beta web site in December called Target Awesome Shop that highlights the most popular Target items pinned on Pinterest. The site now offers 1,100 items, ranging from an inflatable movie screen to a tufted loveseat. Target doesn't disclose revenue but Rick Gomez, senior vice president of marketing, says Pinterest is a "strong social driver of traffic to Target.com."

Target also is partnering with six Pinterest users with the most followers on a new line of party products. The first collection, with designer Joy Cho, launched March 16 and includes colorful hats, plates, napkins and other items. Cho, who joined in Pinterest in 2010 and has 13.6 million followers, says she is often inspired by Pinterest. "It's the equivalent to tearing out magazine pages and making a scrapbook," she says. (continued...)

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© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

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