Pinterest. It’s not just for wedding planning, food memes, or fashion anymore. As you’ll find out in this post, food merchandisers such as fresh produce or grocery retailers can also use the site to improve their store’s layout, staffing, and operations.
By scouring the image-based social network, you’ll be able to find inspiration for your store displays and marketing collateral. Pinterest can also help you reinvent and reorganize your store so it looks, feels, and works better. Finally, the pins that you pick up from the site can be used for training purposes and enable you to effectively demonstrate (and remember) how to arrange shelves, position products, and more.
Ready to get started? Here is a step-by-step guide to get the ball rolling:
Step 1: Lay the groundwork First things first. Make it easy for yourself to pin images by installing the Pinterest browser extension. This will enable you to pin images from anywhere on the web with just one click.
You may also want to download the Pinterest mobile app so you can access your pins even when you’re not in front of the computer (i.e. when you’re on the store floor or when you’re shopping for new fixtures for your shop).
Next, create boards so you can organize and easily find pins later on. How you name your boards is up to you, but we suggest being clear and straightforward. For instance, if you’re collecting pins about store displays, then you can create a board and label it “Display Types.” Or, if you’re organizing pins according to department or type of product, then name your boards accordingly (i.e. “Fresh Produce” or “Dry Goods”).
Step 2: Find sources of pin-worthy images Once you’ve set up your account, named your boards, and downloaded the necessary tools, it’s time to pin relevant images and follow the right people and boards. These can be done in a number of ways:
a. Use the site’s search function - The easiest way to find pins, boards, and users is by using the site itself. Just type in a relevant keyword on the Pinterest search box found on the upper left corner of the page and the site will serve up related images, boards, and users.
For instance, typing the keyword “supermarket” will return of an array of pins, boards, and accounts pertaining to grocery stores, product arrangements, shelf positioning, and more.
To help you get started, we’ve listed a few Pinterest boards and users you may want to check out. (But be sure to conduct your own search as well.)
Supermarket by Kazutoshi Kurihara - This board has a vast collection of supermarket displays and designs from all over the world. It consists of both traditional and modern (even futuristic) images and could be a great source of inspiration if you’re looking to re-arrange your store.
Supermarket + Grocery Environment Graphics by Innograph - This board focuses on store signage and graphics. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for new ideas on store decoration, marketing collateral, etc.
Visual colors by Visual Merchandising NS - This board has a variety of images that can stir up your creative juices if you’re looking to spruce up your store.
Retail Design – Here’s a great account that regularly pins images pertaining to store design, branding and packaging, and visual merchandising.
We Are Pop Up - While this Pinterest account is geared towards pop-up shops, you’ll still be able to find interesting images that you might be able to use in your own store.
VMSD magazine - This is the official Pinterest account of VMSD magazine, and it “showcases the latest store designs, industry trends, visual presentations, merchandising strategies and more.”
b. Pin images from sites that you follow - You may already follow blogs and publications relevant to your industry. Be sure to check those sites regularly to see if there are any images you can add to your collection.
The Pin It browser extension we mentioned earlier will certainly come in handy here.
Step 3: Put those pins into good use
So you’ve collected a ton of great images and placed them in neatly organized boards. What should you do next? Here are a few suggestions:
· Inspiration - The most obvious benefit to pinning stuff is inspiration. All those great looking images can spur your imagination and give you new ideas to implement in your store.
· Training - The adage “SHOW, don’t tell” rings very true when training your staff. Instead of just giving them instructions on how to arrange products or position store racks and fixtures, make them see how its done by doing it yourself and by showing them relevant pins that they can reference to.
· Get insights on what your audience is thinking - What types of designs would appeal most to your customers? Which store layout is more attractive? Pinterest can help you answer such questions.
- By looking at the comments and checking which images are getting the most likes and re-pins, you’ll be able to get some idea on what might “click” with your target market. It’s not an exact science of course, but think of it as getting added insights that you can consider in your decision-making.
Bottom Line As you can see, Pinterest isn’t just about collecting images for your next outfit or meal. When used correctly, you’ll find that it has some practical purposes as well.
Do you use Pinterest in your business? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Francesca Nicasio is a retail blogger from Vend, a point-of-sale, inventory, and customer loyalty software that helps over 8,000 retailers manage and grow their business. Connect with Vend on Google+ and LinkedIn