Zappos’ new service, PinPointing, isn’t officially affiliated with Pinterest in any way, but its whole point is to make it easier to shop the product-focused go-to social network. As it stands, unless pins came directly from a retailer’s Web site, they’re merely images of items that viewers would have to track down themselves in order to purchase. They can be linked from anywhere. PinPointing, with its related, recommended products from Zappos, seeks to circumvent that hassle.
The tool is new, though, and not without its kinks. You can plug in any pinner’s username on PinPointing to find “matching” products from their boards, or search the service’s recommended users (this includes Nina Garcia, The New York Times, and WWD, among others). In searching ourselves, a colorful Mara Hoffman bathing suit we’d pinned yielded Zappos recommendations that were of the same brand, but mostly featured printed shirts. Close, but no cigar.
That said, the feature is new, and Zappos Labs is apparently still tooling with its functionality. It’s definitely the first retail companion tool for Pinterest, and with Zappos’ myriad inventory, it could turn out to be pretty useful. Besides checking back to see how it develops, we’ll be on the lookout for copycat apps from other retailers to debut.