There’s no denying the power of Pinterest when it comes to capturing the attention of consumers. We’ve seen dozens of success stories from brands across industries, and tools like Rich Pins make the platform especially valuable for retailers. Online retailers have been pinning like crazy, utilizing Pinterest as a means of displaying and selling their products.

But success on Pinterest isn’t limited to the e-commerce crowd. In fact, hundreds of businesses with physical locations have leveraged Pins into new customers and increased sales and web traffic. A referral is the best lead generator out there, and having one of your customers pin or repin your products is invaluable.

Here are some of the different ways local businesses are excelling on Pinterest.

Nordstrom

Follow Nordstrom’s board Top Pins: Nordstrom.com on Pinterest.

As an early adopter, Nordstrom began using Pinterest as a way to inspire customers and tell a visual story. The brand added a Pin It button to its website so customers could easily collect their favorite items. And more recently, it began testing popular Pins in-store to see how customers would respond.

“Every day, our customers are actively pinning, saving and sharing the products they find most relevant in their lives,” explained Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s social media manager. “We believe our customers are telling us, through their pins, which items are the most relevant and exciting.”

In January 2013, Nordstrom developed an internal iPad app that let salespeople view the most popular Pins and match those items with inventory levels by store and department. Hangtags, cards, and clips with the Pinterest logo were attached to dresses, handbags, and shoes that received the most engagement on Pinterest.

The initial feedback was so positive that Nordstrom rolled it out to more stores. Now, all 117 Nordstrom stores feature Top Pinned signs on merchandise in women’s shoes and handbags — two of the most pinned categories from Nordstrom.com.

Sephora

Follow Sephora’s board It Lists on Pinterest.
Like many brands, Sephora noticed that consumers were regularly saving their favorite beauty products and inspirations onto Pinterest boards. To help improve its discoverability, the brand added the Pin It button to tens of thousands of product pages on its website.

Additionally, by tracking which content gets the most pins and repins, Sephora can predict which content will resonate best among consumers. One particularly successful strategy is the use of boards to store “It Lists,” which are curated by Sephora staff and highlight their favorite products as well as tips and tricks.

Through “It Lists,” which is now one of the brand’s most popular boards, Sephora helps beauty enthusiasts remember which products they’re interested in, and makes it easier for them to find when they’re ready to shop. Not only that, but the average Pinterest follower spends 15 times more money at Sephora because of it.

The Container Store

Follow The Container Store’s board #OrganizedDorm on Pinterest.


Before The Container Store had even created a profile, Pinterest was the leading social media source of referral traffic to its website. One look at the numbers and the brand knew that Pinterest couldn’t be ignored any longer.

“We view Pinterest as a success for us given the high engagement with our boards, ever increasing followers and repins and the traffic and sales it drives online and to our stores,” explained Kristin Steed, social media manager for The Container Store.

Its boards are organized to reach different audiences, and The Container Store relies on email to help drive engagement. Each Pinterest-focused email results in around 7,000 new followers for the retailer, which sends out targeted emails that highlight school-related Pins to teachers or tips for maximizing small spaces to college students.

One of its top repins was a product called BluApple Product Fresh Guard. The merchandise team at the store was curious about why the product was selling so well and soon discovered that it had been a popular Pin. Now, the team considers other products that could gain traction on Pinterest and works closely with the social team to feature them. Pinterest promotions and messaging is also feature in each of its catalogs and signage in stores.

The biggest takeaway for retailers (whether online or offline) is to know your audience, what they’re interested in, and how your content relates to those interests. If you’re pinning without reviewing how your pins are performing, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity to maximize exposure and turn pins into sales.

Also, consider how you can use Place Pins to your advantage. More than four million Place boards have been created by Pinners, and local businesses — especially restaurants and museums — can certainly benefit from securing inclusion. To improve your chances, make sure that your Pins are optimized for search by using location-specific keywords.