Burberry continues digital push with Pinterest partnership

Burberry is partnering with Pinterest to launch the platform’s first customized beauty board offering.

Using Pinterest’s application program interface, the luxury brand is creating boards with suggested products and makeup tips for users. The collaboration is part of an effort by Burberry to promote its new mascara line and is an extension of the company’s continued focus on digital. Users are asked to indicate their makeup preferences via a Burberry-sponsored questionnaire and then log in separately to their Pinterest account to discover their personalized board, where they can click directly on pins to make purchases on Sephora.com.

Burberry and Pinterest have also teamed with Sephora on dedicated social media posts and “Pinterest Promoted Pins” to raise awareness of the partnership. Pinterest has 38.5 million unique viewers of its hair and beauty category, and the collaboration is intended to help bolster Burberry beauty sales by reaching new audiences, said Radhika Prakash, brand and creative strategist at Pinterest.

Burberry has long established itself as an early adapter to emerging platforms in an effort to promote new products. In April, Burberry became the first luxury brand to run its own Snapchat Discover channel, sharing 24 hours of ephemeral branded content to promote its Mr. Burberry collection. It also jumped in on the early stages of Instagram videos, Apple TV, China’s WeChat and Japan’s Line, among others.

Still, Pinterest has not traditionally been the e-commerce platform of choice for many fashion brands, who opt instead for social mediums like Instagram. Though fashion and beauty are top categories on Pinterest, translating that to sales is still slow to catch on. Pinterest recently launched the Pinterest Shop, a section of the site that features brands with “buyable pins,” but its effectiveness remains to be seen.

“I don’t deny that Pinterest can be a huge force in commerce; it’s not there yet,” Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst for Forrester told Glossy in July.

Beauty was 8 percent of Burberry’s growth in the last fiscal year, in part due to increased global distribution with Sephora in 13 markets and with Shiseido in Japan, according to Burberry’s annual earnings report. Burberry cosmetics were first launched on Sephora’s website in August 2015 and featured online beauty tutorials.

Despite the beauty boost, Burberry is still experiencing slumping sales overall, with a 1 percent decline in sales to $2.8 billion at the end of the fiscal year. The company’s leadership is turning to leveraging its social followers, including in newer areas like Pinterest, to help compensate for the gap.

“With over 40 million followers on social media, we’ve got competitive advantage in terms of reach, awareness and engagement,” Burberry CCO Christopher Bailey said in a statement in March.

Get news and analysis about fashion, beauty and culture delivered to your inbox every morning.