Retail: Pinterest Coming Soon to a Nordstrom Store Near You

Department store chain Nordstrom is bringing Pinterest into its locations with a trial program in order to better engage with its customers both online and in the physical space. The retailer has a significant presence on the social networking site, more than its closest competitors combined. Nordstrom is integrating its products posted on Pinterest with the same products at its retail locations. It is also using Pinterest for its inventory management system.

Last March, Nordstrom began marking its most “pinned” products from its Pinterest page with “P” logos at two locations near Seattle. It is now expanding its trial to 13 out of 248 stores. The department store has 4.5 million followers on the social network.

“We had such a large and engaged Pinterest community already,” explains Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson. Executives adopted Pinterest as a tool, he adds, “to find out what’s exciting for our customers — and what’s inspiring them.”

Nordstrom is using Pinterest not just to generate sales, but to assist in the management of their inventory. The company developed an app that its retail staff can use to access a “dashboard” that cross-references the most-pinned handbags, shoes and other products with inventory in stock at that location.

“If we’re not deep in stock in something,” Johnson says, saving an image on Pinterest is “not going to help the customer.”

A slight downside of Nordstrom’s use of Pinterest may be that “most-pinned” items may be popular or high selling in one store, but not in another. Johnson suggests that the Pinterest strategy may be more about “engagement” rather than driving sales.

“Nordstrom certainly seems to have staked out its territory on the social network,” reports Businessweek, which offers the following list to illustrate how Nordstrom’s 4.5 million Pinterest followers compare to the competition:

  • Macy’s — 47,000
  • Barneys — 44,000
  • Kohl’s — 20,500
  • JCPenney — 13,200
  • Dillard’s — 4,000