Kirkland’s ‘Pinning Parlor’ Drives Customer Engagement, Community Sharing

The latest social network craze, Pinterest, appeals to many retailers as a new customer engagement and community sharing channel, as well as a unique model that aligns well with e-Commerce.

According to a recent PriceGrabber survey, 21% of Pinterest users (or “pinners”) purchased an item they saw on the site, indicating that Pinterest could drive revenue for consumer goods retailers. The survey also revealed that the second most-pinned category was home decorating goods, following food and cooking.

Attracted by the new tool’s potential, Kirkland’s, a specialty retailer of home décor, utilized Pinterest in an effort to connect with its target customer base — home decorating enthusiasts. The retailer tapped Atlanta-based redpepper, an integrated marketing agency, to embed the pinning strategy within the MyKirklands community forum. In response, redpepper created and implemented Kirkland’s new “Pinning Parlor” campaign and a “pin it to win it” sweepstakes to motivate customer engagement.


The Pinning Parlor initiative already has yielded impressive results for Kirkland’s: As of May 10, there were more than 123,000 pins to the Pinning Parlor, and an additional 90,000 repins. Kirkland’s had garnered more than 3,800 new followers on Pinterest since the launch, and saw more than 11,000 referral visitors to its e-Commerce web site.

“We found a real engagement opportunity on Pinterest for our category,” Mark Krebs, VP of Marketing, Kirkland’s, told Retail Touchpoints. “The amount of interest and ‘pinning’ around interior design, as well as do-it-yourself [DIY] tips, aligns well with our target customer, so this initiative made a lot of sense for us. Our approach is not as much about selling products as providing a forum to help our fans and customers develop and share their own content.”

Tracking, Measuring and Encouraging ‘Pins’

Kirkland’s Pinning Parlor campaign is designed to drive Pinterest activity among the brand’s 150,000+ community members, while tracking referrals from Pinterest to the retailer’s e-Commerce site. This will allow Kirkland’s to measure its web traffic from Pinterest users, as well as track how many visits result in actual sales.

The Pinning Parlor features styled room photography, DIY projects and décor/design tips, all of which are “pinnable” and updated regularly. Its aim is to provide inspiration to consumers, and encourage them to “pin” photos of their favorite Kirkland’s products, taken from the Pinning Parlor, to their Pinterest boards.

Kirkland’s is supplementing the Pinning Parlor with a customer sweepstakes. One person per week can win a $2,000 prize pack for pinning an image from the Pinning Parlor. Each pin equals one sweepstakes entry, encouraging consumers to pin multiple items from the site. Entrants also are given in-store coupons. The sweepstakes is structured to enable easy sharing and measurable results, such as number of pins and coupon redemption rates.

Because a great deal of Pinterest content is pinned from blogs, Kirkland’s also partnered with bloggers such as, and to help spread the word about the Pinning Parlor. The retailer also is sending e-mails to existing customers, encouraging them to share socially on Pinterest.

“Normally ROI is based on coupon revenue, email addresses acquisition and e-Commerce revenue,” Krebs said. “But we’re more focused on engagement and allowing people outside of our email database to know about our e-Commerce site.”

Krebs noted that its DIY photos are among the top five most clicked. Kirkland’s is applying these insights into its MyKirkland’s community strategy to educate new customers on how to leverage the information they find on Pinterest for design tips. The insights also offer more details on how to integrate Kirkland’s merchandise into DIY projects.

“There’s magic dust in the Pinterest experience that is going to help retailers in a significant way,” said Tim McMullen, Executive Creative Director and Founder of redpepper. “When people interact with Pinterest, they don’t feel like they’re shopping, but they are. Pinterest has created a great environment to support consumers during the ‘collecting and considering’ shopping phases. Shopping is not just a transaction of the money — it’s also about how consumers will be inspired as well as deciding what they want to do with their purchases.”

A “live” case study from redpepper that highlights the real-time results of Kirkland’s Pinterest strategy is available here.

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