August 22, 2013, 12:34 PM

Mercent launches a web-hosted tool for managing product content on Pinterest

American Eagle Outfitters says it puts up-to-date information behind pinned products.

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As a retailer of apparel to many young consumers active in social media, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. puts a lot of effort into engaging customers through Pinterest and other social media outlets. “Our goal is always to be where our customers are,” says Ethan Holland, senior director of marketing.

Pinterest, he adds, has become an important channel for connecting with customers, who use the social media site to “share their favorite styles, inspirations and looks in creative ways” that helps to drive up traffic and sales on the retailer’s e-commerce site, AE.com.

But while customers’ “pinning” product images from AE.com on Pinterest helps to drive traffic to the retailer’s site, American Eagle Outfitters has also faced the challenge of ensuring that visitors to Pinterest see updated product details, including descriptions, pricing and inventory availability, when they click to view a pinned item. Otherwise, pinned products can link to outdated URLs that no longer show accurate product information, such as pricing or availability.

To manage the products pinned on Pinterest, American Eagle is using content management technology from Mercent Corp., a company that helps retailers connect with consumers through third-party e-marketplaces.

American Eagle has been using Mercent’s data feed technology for years to load product information onto third-party shopping sites, Holland says. He adds that the retailer is also using a new tool Mercent is announcing today, Mercent Retail for Pinterest, that is designed to help retailers manage how their product information appears with products that consumers pin on Pinterest.com.

Mercent has built a data connection between the Mercent Retail for Pinterest application and Pinterest, which integrates with a retailer’s e-commerce site and online product catalog, says Mercent chairman and CEO Eric Best. In addition to updating product data for products pinned on Pinterest, the Mercent Retail tool also enables a retailer to have more control over which product details appear when someone clicks a pinned product, he adds.

If a tent from an outdoor gear retailer is pinned on Pinterest, for example, the retailer can use the Mercent tool to ensure that information on Pinterest includes, for example, information on how the tent is rated for repelling rain and handling cold temperatures.

At American Eagle, No. 67 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide, Holland says the Mercent tool helps the retailer to “demonstrate our commitment to innovations which supplement our product assortment and empower our fans to share and celebrate our latest fashions and their favorite AEO products.”  

Mercent charges subscription fees to its web-hosted software that starts at about $1,000 per month, plus a revenue share of about 2% of sales, Best says. 

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