Pinterest for Retailers: New Tools and Successful Strategies

Pinterest for RetailersIt’s easier than ever for retailers and other businesses to use Pinterest to promote their products. Pinterest recently introduced a new analytics tool for business users that allows companies to gain valuable insight on how their content is being viewed, pinned and shared. According to TechCrunch, this tool can tell companies the number of impressions and views their content received, as well as any trends that may emerge.

The tool can also keep track of which specific pins users commented on, liked, shared or viewed, as well as whether the content was a “Rich Pin” (a pin with additional information like real-time pricing or a map) or a “Promoted Pin” (a pay-per-click paid-placement model). Information like this makes it much easier for companies to monitor and adjust their Pinterest content strategy.

Pinterest has always been compatible with retail, since it’s a fundamentally visual platform that is intertwined with the interests and desires of users. Your average pinner keeps boards featuring clothing, recipes, cars, vacation destinations, home décor, wedding gowns—things that they might be interested in buying. So retailers, with even more data at your fingertips with the new Pinterest analytics tool, it may be a good time to re-assess and ramp up the content you pin.

One of the most important things to remember is to create content that is valuable or interesting to the user and to pair it with a clear, attention-grabbing, high-quality visual so your pins can stand out amid a multitude of other images.

The blog Website Magazine posted an article lauding five retailers that are Pinterest role models. These model citizens range from Gap, which posts DIY projects on turning old t-shirts into sandals or tote bags, to Sephora, which offers video tutorials on how to achieve on-trend makeup looks.

Below are a few more retailers who have a solid Pinterest accounts with user-centric content that may lead to purchases:


In addition to posting boards with attractive images of their products, this clothing and lifestyle company maintains a board called “Your Anthropologie Favorites.” Pinners can request an invitation to the board, add their favorite looks/items and tag them with #anthrofave. This practice provides Anthropologie with valuable feedback about what real customers like and allows pinners to feel engaged.


A huge number of pinners keep recipe collections, and Williams-Sonoma has tapped into this market by featuring boards on a variety of popular topics like “Comfort Food,” “Coffee Break,” “Turkey 101.” Another thing Williams-Sonoma does well is to disperse their actual products with recipes, entertaining tips and food facts so that the content is still user-centric. The boards that do feature only products, such as the “Registry Wish List” board, are well-curated, so they don’t appear too aggressively retail-focused. Remember, most users like a lifestyle-based, discovery-centric experience, so you want to focus on showing how your products can integrate with and enhance someone’s life.


Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.09.48 AMA popular outfitter for camping, hiking, biking and outdoors enthusiasts, REI has done an outstanding job of creating a sense of community on its Pinterest boards. Pins include Expert Advice Videos on topics like snowboarding, how to fit your bike and choosing rock climbing shoes; backpacking tips and tricks; gift ideas for people who camp, bike or practice yoga; travel photos; outdoor hacks and even “camping fails” (such as a boombox strapped to a backpack). By providing a wealth of relevant, useful and even humorous information for followers, the company celebrates shared interests and suggests innovative ways to use their products.

Whether your retail company sells shoes, paint, messenger bags or olive oil, Pinterest provides a great visual tool for you to demonstrate how your product might improve someone’s life. So get pinning!

Read more about optimizing Pinterest for business.

Sally Boman – Writer/Editor

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