A modern day (domestic) Goldilocks and the three bears, HGTV series House Hunters follows consumers through three different houses matching their price, design and location criteria. After exploring the three homes and weighing the pros and cons, the consumer chooses the one “that’s just right.”
Although it may not be as creatively televised, a variation of this purchase path can be seen across most industries: Consumers narrowing down their choices and then making the final decision based on different factors. Sticking close to the home theme, we decided to apply HGTV’s genius to social networks and home retail: What if a consumer could choose where to shop based solely on a Pinterest profile?
In this “episode,” we will look at three different brand Pinterest profiles within the home décor industry with consumer interests and usability in mind. After analyzing several aspects on each profile – pictures, descriptions, boards and pins – we will then choose the best brand profile for consumer shopping on the network. We dive into the profile tours of Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm below, after identifying our consumer criteria:
“Mary and her husband recently moved into a house with more space for their growing family. Now they’re looking for the best home décor retailer to furnish and decorate their large home. Mary turned to the internet – specifically, Pinterest – to research which store best fits their needs and style. They don’t have a preference on following size; she just wants optimized product images and an organized layout for shopping.”
Crate & Barrel’s Pinterest profile picture is easily identifiable – their black and white logo box – and the main description is simplistic as well: “What’s making us happy right now.” They have over 3,400 pins on 52 boards. While some of the boards are cleverly named, like “To Dine For,” they’re all still easy to navigate in terms of categories and organization. One excellent addition to their Pinterest profile is the board “Most pinned from crateandbarrel.com.” It allows users to browse their most popular products on one page and cultivates a sense of a shopping community.
#2 Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn declares that their Pinterest board depicts: “What we’re seeing & loving right now at Pottery Barn. Follow us to see what’s next.” Pottery Barn’s profile picture is a well-decorated office, with a hard to read text logo. Yet they have a large number of boards – 72 – and nearly 3,000 pins. Each of their board names is followed by their name, for instance: “Dining Rooms by Pottery Barn.” Although this may be successful in aiding SEO efforts, it can be overly repetitive for users browsing their profile. They definitely have every possible home décor topic covered, however, from seasons and holidays to events and style.
#3 West Elm
Aligned with their logo image, “West Elm designs clean, simple products for modern living.” By far the most active pinner, West Elm has over 5,300 pins divided among 53 boards. They also stay consistent with their profile description when it comes to board names – they are short and sweet. For instance, their boards include: “Pantry + Kitchen,” “Stripes,” “Coral,” and “Chalkboard.” They seem to be a little more design than product focused (some users may prefer this less sales-y approach).
Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm all have verified profiles and high-quality, optimized images. Yet they’re not all equally set up for consumers to use as secondary online shopping platforms. Just as the potential home buyers begin their purchase decision by first eliminating the one that’s not right for them, we have eliminated #3 – West Elm – first for the lack of usability in differentiating their products from others.
That leaves the consumer with Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn for their online home décor needs. Although Pottery Barn has a well-organized profile with many product options, Crate & Barrel’s mix of creativity and clarity gives them the win!