Pinners Get Exclusive Sneak Peek Of J.Crew’s Fall Fashion

August 23, 2013

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.08.42 AMIt’s the time of year every mail carrier dreads. When the arrival of the mail is accompanied by bated breath and squeals of joy. A time when print ads are anticipated just as much as editorial content, and cost more than any other issue. That’s right, it’s time for the September fashion magazines.

Advertisers and magazine companies spend significant amounts of time and money to get the new fall fashions into the hands of eager consumers — myself included. Only this year, the mail was short a glossy. Where, oh where was my J.Crew catalogue?

While many brands spent the big bucks to make a splash in print, J.Crew made a move more likely to make a splash in the store. On Monday the retailer released a sneak peek of its fall collection on the haven of social fashion, design and DIY inspiration, Pinterest.

While most would rip out style inspiration in each glossy (guilty!), Pinterest allows the fashionista to post her inspiration, share with friends and link directly to the retailer’s site. I don’t know about you, but my magazine tear outs rarely make it past my inspiration board and into my closet. That’s not the case on Pinterest. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, Pinterest can be a significant driver for in-store sales. More than 20 percent of people surveyed had purchased an item in-store after engaging with the content (pinning, repining, or liking a pin). The percentage was even greater for those who were under 35. To top it off, purchases were made within three weeks or less of the user pinning the item and snapping it up in-store, which is ideal timing for fall fashion and back-to-school shopping.

Camo jacketJ.Crew’s sneak peek was complemented with the opportunity to pre-order items via email or phone before they hit stores or were available online. Seems like a win for the consumer, right? I get my beautiful leather pants before they hit stores and before I have to worry about sellouts or back orders. If I’m lucky, they’ll be nestled in my closet before fall is officially here. But it’s really a win for the retailer. They’ve extended the shelf life of their product, created demand, and lead the consumer to the source. All of this is will only cost a fraction of the budget needed to advertise in the fall glossies. Add some smart influencer relations and, voilà, you have a killer word-of-mouth, social media fueled campaign that generates a tangible ROI, without the killer ad spend.

I’m curious to see if J.Crew’s will share learnings from the campaign and the company’s ROI, whether in sales, social media followers gained, store traffic, etc. I have a feeling other retailers, especially those with significant Pinterest followings and a knack for styling the hottest looks, will take note.