Ross-Simons Uses Pinterest to Spark Valentine’s Day Sales

Ross-Simons is evaluating the value of Pinterest. To celebrate V-Day, the Providence, R.I.–based chain has launched the “Ultimate Valentine’s Day Pinterest Sweepstakes” from Jan. 6 through Feb. 12. Consumers are asked to fill in email addresses, follow Ross-Simons on Pinterest, and pin or repin five or more styles from or the “Ultimate Valentine’s Day Board.” Consumers will be entered for a chance to win three $200 Ross-Simons shopping sprees and, within a week of the sweepstakes’ close, winners will be selected at random. “Be Sociable, Share!” the campaign urges.

“Pinning is such a great way to share gift ideas and fashion tips,” says Jeanne Cox, the jeweler’s social media manager. “This sweepstakes gives our fans the opportunity to share Ross-Simons jewelry and gifts they’d love to receive with their friends and family. Valentine’s Day is the ultimate romantic holiday and jewelry is the perfect way to celebrate.”

The company may be playing up the sociable aspect of pinning, but pinning does also translate into sales. Much has been reported about the meteoric rise of Pinterest and its power as a traffic-driver for retailers. A March 2012 Experian Study estimates that Pinterest has received a total of 104 million visits, ranking it third in popularity behind Facebook and Twitter. Online sharing service Shareaholic claims that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Google, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. Daily Pinterest users shot up 145 percent in just over a month’s time—between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14 of  2012—according to Mashable. Pinterest referrals spend 70 percent more on purchases than visitors from non-social channels, says home goods purveyor Wayfair. And the site’s visitor-to-conversion rates are 15 percent compared with 9 percent at Google.

Page after page of Ross-Simons rings, earrings, and gift pins pop up on Pinterest, no doubt helped along by the company’s previous Pinterest campaign. Last August, the jeweler hosted a “Pin Your Style Sweepstakes” promoting jewel-toned gemstones, diamonds by the slice, stacked cuffs, gold in varied finishes, pearl jewelry, and vintage-inspired pieces.

For the Valentine’s campaign, shades of purple and pink set the tone for spring, specifically berry-colored gemstones such as amethyst, rhodolite, pink tourmaline, and pink topaz. The retailer is also emphasizing heart-inspired jewelry—diamond drop earrings, diamond heart pendants, multi-gemstone heart earring sets, and silver-bangle bracelets with heart charms. All merchandise has been marked down 75 percent off regular prices, upping the value component for consumers.

“Our customers love pinning jewelry and fashion ideas to their boards,” Cox added. “With the Ultimate Valentine’s Pinterest Sweepstakes, we are looking to increase customer engagement and sales. Pinterest is one of the social platforms we are testing to accomplish this.”

JCK Magazine Editor