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Social means so much more than a Facebook page or a Tweet these days. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest — to name a few — are making their mark on the retail marketplace. But are they short-term trends or do they have the staying power to become long-term solutions? What are the best approaches for retailers? What does the future hold? These and other key questions are asked and answered in this section.

Parachute UGC Boosts Click-Through Rate 35%, Lowers Cost-Per-Click 60%

Parachute, a digitally born bedding, bath and home retailer, is an old hand at posting user-generated content (UGC) — the company even promotes its own “Instagram Shop” within its e-Commerce site, powered by the #MyParachuteHome hashtag. But this spring, the retailer discovered that its user content is marketing gold: UGC actually performed better than Parachute’s own editorial content in driving its retargeting campaigns. Through an A/B test, the Parachute team learned that UGC generated both a 35%higher click-through rate (CTR) and a 60%lower cost-per-click (CPC) compared to the editorial content. To deploy UGC across social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, Parachute partnered with Curalate, a platform that aggregates images and videos and turns them into shoppable advertisements for the products.

Bump Boxes Drives 49% Purchase Volume Increase Via Facebook, Instagram Campaigns

Bump Boxes, which offers pregnancy and baby products to expectant mothers via subscription boxes, has leveraged AI to drive its Facebook and Instagram campaigns, improve audience targeting and build out creative campaigns suited to its shoppers. In June and July 2019, using a solution from AI-driven digital ad software company Pattern89, Bump Boxes saw: Purchase volume increase 49%; Cost per acquisition (CPA) decrease 30%; and Alerts cut some ad costs as much as 50%.

Kohl’s Partners With Facebook To Curate New Merchandise Selection

  • Published in News Briefs
Kohl’s is turning to Facebook to further blend modern shopping into its department store model. Starting in mid-October 2019 in 50 Kohl’s stores and Kohls.com, “Curated by Kohl’s” will feature the retailer’s first selection of items from brands with popular social media followings. Brands appearing in the first iteration ahead…
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Influencer Marketing Delivers $3B Of Earned Media Value For $172 Million Investment

Influencer marketing has proven to be tailor-made for the highly visual, trend-oriented fashion and beauty industries. In fact, 30% of all influencer marketing occurs in these verticals — and several well-established retailers are dominating the conversation, according to data from InfluencerDB. The company analyzed more than 5.5 million posts to establish the best performing brands in terms of influencer marketing in 2018. The research determined that the top 20 retailers spent $172 million in the channel, but they received $3 billion in total earned media value (EMV). EMV is defined as the amount of money companies would need to spend on Instagram advertisements in order to have the same number of people seeing and engaging with their brand as they achieved through influencer posts.

Depop Raises $62 Million To Fight Counterfeiting, Expand Globally

Depop, a UK-based peer-to-peer social shopping app, has raised $62 million in Series C funding. The most recent financing round was led by General Atlantic, with investments from Balderton Capital, Creandum, Octopus Ventures, TempoCap and Sebastian Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Klarna, the Swedish payments company. Targeted at Millennials and members of Generation Z, the mobile fashion marketplace intends to use the funding to grow its London-based engineering and data teams and implement more recommendation and image detection algorithms, specifically to speed up the rate of removing counterfeit or illicit items. Additionally, Depop will allocate this funding to expand internationally, specifically in the U.S. CEO Maria Raga said the U.S. is becoming the eight-year-old startup’s largest market, with five million current users and a projected 15 million in three years. Despite the rise of peer-to-peer selling platforms like Poshmark and Vinted and social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest increasing their e-Commerce presence over the past few years, Depop has seen 100% year-over-year revenue growth and brought in gross merchandise value (GMV) of more than $500 million since its launch. Depop takes in 10% cut of the GMV sold, working out to total revenues being about $50 million for the period.…

Tammy & Benjamin Drives 230% Sales Lift From Facebook Ads, 90% Boost From Google

Prior to the 2018 holiday season, Tammy & Benjamin, a luxury leather brand, sought to drive more global sales for its handbags and expand further into major markets such as the U.S. and UK. But with only 34 stores, the company needed more effective outreach to promote both its online and physical businesses. The France-based retailer partnered with digital advertising platform MakeMeReach to drive awareness, and ultimately sales, through an ad campaign that encompassed Facebook, Instagram and Google. As a result, the retailer saw a 230% lift in sales attributed to Facebook and Instagram ads, and a 90% increase in sales through Google brand search campaigns in the lead-up to Black Friday 2018.

The Future Of Social Commerce Is Mobile: Instagram, Peer-To-Peer Marketplaces, Chat Lead The Way

While retailers have tried to solve the puzzle of “social commerce” for years now, it appears the missing piece has been staring them in the face all along: the social shopper is becoming increasingly mobile-exclusive. As of March 2019, there were 105.8 million “mobile only” social network users in the U.S., comprising 51.7% of all social network users, according to eMarketer. In fact, the overwhelming majority (70.5%) of social referrals to e-Commerce sites come from smartphones, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights. Organizations are quickly becoming aware of the move to mobile-centricity: 57% are planning to deploy mobile-first content within their social strategy, according to Hootsuite.

Why Google Shoppable Image Ads Are So Important

Every day, consumers go to Google and ask Google questions. I’m stating the obvious, sure, but it’s also not as simple as that. Consumers are increasingly using Google Images as a way to discover new brands and products, according to the search giant. So much so that Google has announced a new ad format, called Shoppable Image Ads.

Swiss Personal Care Brand Boosts #GlobalGarden Campaign Engagement With UGC

Weleda, a manufacturer and online seller of natural cosmetics, personal care products and alternative medicines, leveraged user-generated content (UGC) to promote “real” beauty and, more importantly, drive customer engagement during its Global Garden marketing campaign. As a beauty brand, Weleda felt it was necessary to showcase real customers to its audience — without photo editing or filtering — to build closer relationships with younger consumers. The cosmetics company leveraged the Olapic Content Engine to identify hundreds of images marked with the hashtag and campaign keywords that aligned with Weleda’s brand identity and values. From there, Weleda was able to mine images from the approved content library to inform and improve the next iteration of its brand communication. Following a successful test phase in Germany, France and the U.S., UGC campaigns are now being rolled out in other countries.

Shoptalk 2019: How Lowe’s, Tapestry, Pinterest CEOs Adapt To Retail Transformation

While Nordstrom and Macy’s led off Shoptalk 2019 sharing their views on where they need to improve their businesses going ahead, the CEOs of Lowe’s, Pinterest and Tapestry took the keynote stage to share the strategies their companies have adapted to cater to evolving customer needs. Lowe’s is no stranger to working with the consumer, but the home improvement retailer has experienced plenty of changes in recent years that require a new approach to how store associates do their job on a daily basis, according to CEO Marvin Ellison. While Lowe's generates approximately $4 billion in e-Commerce revenue, 70% of those transactions are picked up in, or fulfilled from, the store. In fact, 30% of shoppers that use buy online/pick up in-store will buy additional items upon their visit, showing that integrating both channels drives further company growth.

How Retailers Can Benefit From Social Proof

When looking for a new outfit or wanting the best local pizza in a new city, some look at what Kylie Jenner was wearing in her latest Instagram post or check the top-rated restaurant on Yelp. This is due to the psychological phenomenon known as “social proof,” which refers to consumers tending to believe the actions of others to show the best course of action. Faced with an overwhelming amount of options, shoppers often look to others’ experiences to make their purchase decisions easier and better. The concept of social proof also shows why customer reviews and endorsements are so crucial for a brand’s ongoing success. This phenomenon is frequently used on web sites, but has recently been put into practice by Amazon’s brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan, which only includes top sellers rated four stars and above and also features actual customer reviews next to products.
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