With fall shopping for back-to-school winding up, fall clothing and décor shopping about to start and holiday shopping season just around the corner, small retailers are looking for ways to determine the hottest products to stock their stores.
Did you ever think to use Pinterest for this purpose?
I recently wrote here about Pinterest’s new Buyable Pins, but selling directly from Pinterest isn’t the only way this social media site can boost your retail store’s sales. Pinterest can also help you decide what to stock, promote and feature in your brick-and-mortar store.
That’s because, unlike most social media websites, Pinterest functions as a visual “wish list” for consumers planning to make, build, decorate or buy something.
According to the recently released 2015 Pinterest Media Consumption Study, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of Pinterest users have looked at their Pins on their smartphones while shopping in a store. Crafts, fashion/clothing, home decor, food and drink, design, hair and beauty, and gardening products are among the top categories consumers refer to most often in-store.
With 73 percent of Pinterest users having purchased a product they saw on the site, clearly Pinterest is more than just an inspiration board. As consumers pin products they want on their Pinterest boards, popular Pins can serve as indicators of what trends will be hot for the coming seasons.
Here are some ways to use Pinterest to drive sales in your store:
Check out products that are pinned in your industry or niche, such as women’s fashion. Stock up on the types of products that everyone’s pinning, whether that’s boyfriend jeans or sweater coats. If you own a salon and everyone looking at “hairstyles” is pinning elaborate braids, stock up on pretty hairpins and hair products to help create those styles.
Interpret general trends for your audience. If your target customer is plus-size teens, that doesn’t mean you need to only search for plus-size fashion pins. Look at what the general audience is pinning and interpret it for your customer. If average teens are pinning fringed ponchos and leggings, your plus-sized audience will want their own version of those items.
Track High-End Products
Likewise, look at high-end products that customers are pinning to guide your stock decisions. If your customers are pinning designer handbags beyond your shop’s price range, are there more affordable versions you could sell in similar shapes or colors?
Listen and Learn
Learn what your customers like. Create your own business Pinterest boards and see what items your customers like or Pin most often. If one type of product gets a lot of response and interest, stock more of that product.
Create an “As Seen On” Section
Try merchandising your store by featuring items “As seen on Pinterest.” Create a display spotlighting products that are popular on Pinterest in general or items from your boards. Or hold a promotion with a discount on those products for people who follow you on Pinterest. If you sell food, beverages or crafts, create displays with all the elements needed to recreate a Pinterest recipe or make a Pinterest craft.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Use Pinterest to get feedback. Ask customers to post pictures of things they’d like you to sell on your Pinterest boards, or share their own Pins. Of course, you don’t need to stock something if just one person pins it, but this can give you an idea of your customers’ tastes.
Pinterest gives you a fascinating look into your customers’ hopes, dreams and wishes for their purchases. Take advantage of it!