U.S. retailer Nordstrom has upped its social game by turning its in-store displays into real-life Pinterest boards.
The retailer, which plans to open its first Canadian stores next year, started adding “Popular on Pinterest” tags in March to items at two Seattle locations, where the company is headquartered. Since then it has rolled out the program to 13 stores, tying together its ever-popular Pinterest account (4.5 million followers) and its in-store marketing.
Four experts (two social, two retail) weigh in on the initiative and how the pinning of coveted shoes and bags might help Nordstrom drive sales.
The idea of implementing Pinterest within stores could be a game changer to distinguish Nordstrom as the purveyor of digital trends. However, a luxury department store would not be the ideal retailer to execute a “What’s Hot on Pinterest” initiative since there is disconnect between those who admire the brand online, but are not necessarily in-store shoppers.
Crystal Gibson, MasterCard Stylicity fashion blogger and community manager at Sonic Boom Creative Media
As an avid female Pinterest user in her early 30s who loves style and shopping, I think it’s great. By tapping into Pinterest in-store (which has a high female user base) they are connecting where customers hang out online to where they go offline. There’s a good chance customers who notice this type of promotion will take a picture and Pin an image making it a 360 social shopping experience. I think it’s good for certain brands with mass appeal, but as a shopper I don’t want to buy that one item that everyone else has.
Casie Stewart, director of social media at Community
“Popular on Pinterest” [demonstrates] the degree to which we are becoming a society that calibrates the popularity or quality of things by the number of pins, likes and tweets it gets. We seek popular opinion whether it’s a movie, book or restaurant review, and that is amplified by the social and digital space. Nordstrom is very traditional in many ways… and yet at the same time you have this abundant awakening and embracing of digital, which is really refreshing to see.
Doug Stephens president of Retail Prophet Consulting
It’s the best use of social media at the retail level I’ve seen. It removes the element of risk the consumer faces when purchasing high-fashion items. Fashion mavens are likely unphased by the high price tag that comes with luxury trends, the average consumer isn’t always so sure. A ‘top pin’ on Pinterest tells the consumer in-store that others are coveting that item and it is a good buy.
Sarah Major, director at marketing consulting firm Sklar Wilton & Associates