Small business spotlight: Creating a discovery experience, online and off

one bird chicago

You know that moment when you first walk inside a store and marvel at everything there is to see? Some things catch your eye at first, and when you look more closely, you see there’s a lot more to discover all around you.

Pinterest is a digital version of that discovery experience. When people visit Pinterest, they’re interested in discovering new possibilities and saving the things they want to explore further.

It’s a high-intent environment where millions of people go to look for things they should do or buy next, which is why it’s so appealing to businesses.

Curating and organizing your boards to match your store’s layout  is one way to connect your in-store experience to Pinterest. There’s also the reverse: using Pinterest to think about how you organize items in your store and on your website. 

We found a couple examples of how you might think about creating a discovery experience online and off.

Showcase similar items to pair things on your website

Consider doing this on your website, too. Mr Porter, an online retailer, shows matching products to complete apparel looks on their product pages.

This also works if something’s out of stock. You can suggest similar items that might be available in your inventory.  When customers browse your site,  they might stumble across something similar they love with recommendations.

Use tags in your store to highlight your most popular items

Nordstrom thinks of Pinterest as the world’s biggest wish list and started displaying popular items on Pinterest with a red tag in more than 100 stores. Target does this, too!

Create tags and add them to your most popular items, things that sell well or even things that get repinned a lot on Pinterest.  Note: If you want to create a tag specific to Pinterest, you can’t just add it to any item. Our brand guidelines state that you can add a “Popular on Pinterest” label to any Pins that are performing well according to analytics.

Organize your store to pique curiosity and movement

The Pinterest home feed’s grid design lets people bounce from different items around different interests, saving any Pins that strike them into collections.  When someone wants to dive deep, they can use guided search or category feeds. How can you create that spontaneous discovery but also let people look closer at a single collection?

MADE, a funky Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based gift shop, inspires visitors to walk around and explore their many items in an open, airy space. They’ve organized their store into collections to help people with discovery.

We hope this inspires you to try something new! Use these ideas on your website or in your store to capture the Pinterest spirit and to help more of your customers discover your stuff.

— Vivian Chow, currently saving ideas to​ Awesome Accessories