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Pinterest’s new plan to get you to buy more clothes online

September 16, 2015, 7:00 AM UTC

Online bulletin board Pinterest is a go-to site for fashion ideas. In fact, its users save more than 24 million fashion photos and dream outfits daily.

On Wednesday, Pinterest started testing a new way for its users to get more personalized fashion recommendations off of it website. Their color preferences, as established on Pinterest, can travel with them as they shop online.

Visitors to Topshop, a UK online clothing retailer, will be able to log in with their Pinterest account, if they have one. The site can then recommend clothes to them in colors based on what the user most often pins on Pinterest.

For example, if a shopper’s Pinterest palette centers around pink, Topshop will recommend clothing and accessories in that color. The obvious goal with the services, called Pinterest Palette, is to show shoppers clothes that they are more likely to buy.

The test is one more example of how Pinterest is trying to turn its popular website into a business. Until lately, it passed on trying to make money. But more recently, the company has ramped up advertising, and introduced buy buttons to the site, allowing user to buy items directly from Pinterest.

Pinterest is trying to use the huge amount of data it collects about users, such as their likes and pins, and make it useful for online retailers. For now, Pinterest is not collecting revenue from the experiment with Topshop, according to Pinterest.

The partnership will also extend to Topshop’s retail stores. Topshop will provide iPads for customers in stores to log into Pinterest and pull up their palette, print it out, and use it while they shop.

At Topshop’s flagship store in London, the retailer’s personal shopping team will serve as expert color advisors and tailor their styling recommendations to a customer’s own Pinterest color spectrum.

The color matching feature is similar in a lot of ways to fashion startup Polyvore, which Yahoo acquired in July. Polyvore lets people create a collage of clothes, handbags, and shoes and will then recommend other items based on the colors and style of the collages.

Polyvore also touts its “taste graph” and its ability to mine all data from user activity to recommend them items (ideally to purchase).

In the future, Pinterest could start pushing more partnerships that let pinners use the items they pinned on other retail sites to get more personalized recommendations of clothes to buy. The question is whether retailers, who often dislike sharing their sales information, will cooperate.

For more on how shopping is evolving, watch this video: