Zappos launches Pinterest-based recommendation service

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Zappos launches Pinterest-based recommendation service
Zappos launches Pinterest-based recommendation service

Zappos.com launched a new service on August 29 that draws on users' Pinterest posts to suggest other products. Dubbed “PinPointing,” the new offering from Amazon-owned Zappos aims to incorporate social sharing into its e-commerce platform.

The service tailors product offerings such as shoes, handbags, and clothing based on keywords pulled from the pin descriptions and product names pinned by individuals to their virtual boards. It will also list recently pinned Zappos products.

Users who visit pinpointing.apps.zappos.com and enter their Pinterest username are able to see what Zappos products might relate to their previous pins. They can also enter the usernames of friends or celebrities to see what Zappos would recommend for them.

PinPointing was created by Zappos Labs, a team that develops and experiments with online projects to enhance the company's offerings.

“The exploration-friendly design allows people to discover not only products they might like, but also [products] for any of their Pinterest account-holding friends,” says Alice Han, PinPointing's product lead and designer. “Anyone can look up a friend's Pinterest username and see sets of products that may serve as a gift recommender reflecting their unique style.”

PinPointing can also help expose users to the full range of Zappos' offerings, introducing them to product categories they may not have been aware of, Han says. She notes that the company plans on showcasing products from its lesser-known departments, such as beauty, housewares, and couture. For example, Han points to the popularity of wedding pins on Pinterest, which PinPointing would link to recommendations for products from the Zappos Wedding Shop.

In addition to increasing customer awareness of the breadth of products Zappos carries, PinPointing provides “a fun, explorative, and personalized experience,” Han says.

While Pinterest gave permission to Zappos to launch the new service, the two companies aren't formally partnering on the service. Zappos already allows users to share the products they buy through Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Pinterest. Since launching in 2010 Pinterest has grown rapidly to 11.7 million visitors as of January. Zappos' decision to tap its offerings reflects the growing interest in the site.

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