social commerce

Decoded Fashion Meetup in London, January 2015

On Wednesday’s evening, fashion and retail’s social-media savviest flocked to Twitter’s UK HQ for Decoded Fashion’s first London Meetup of the year. The topic of discussion was one surely to be at the forefront of many brand’s minds going into 2015: how can new technologies help brands turn content into cash? Well positioned to answer that question were the evening’s four speakers, who each offered their own insights as to how we can move beyond mere hashtags when it comes to making a return on digital investment (although, of course, there had to be a hashtag – check out #DFMeetUp for running commentary from our network). For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s our highlights from the discussion: from #TwitterFashion, to deeplinking ads, to taggable video and shoppable Instagram.

Kira O’Connor – Twitter Fashion

“Information, insight, and a little bit of personality once in a while.” That’s the magic formula if you want to get a follow from fashionable Whole Foods fangirl, Kira O’Connor. Head of Twitter’s Media Partnerships, O’Connor caught our attention with some seriously impressive stats with regards Twitter’s potential reach for fashion brands. With 47% of users having bought from a brand as a result of following them on Twitter, there’s no excuse for brands to be getting their content strategy wrong on the micro-blogging site. With vines and images likely to gain 2-5 times more engagement, one way to show Twitter nous is to use the multiple photo upload function: O’Connor used the example of Vogue’s red carpet snaps during the Met Gala.

Tarika Soni – TapCommerce

Next up, Tarika Soni of Tap Commerce had some tips for app developers and advertisers looking to hear more about the field of app retargeting in the e-commerce industry. TapCommerce, which was acquired by Twitter last summer, is a mobile advertising tech company that specialises in app retargeting. Aiming to retain user’s attention through in-app targeted advertisements, the technology aims to tap audiences just at the right moment. As Soni assured us, they’re not “those stalker guys on Facebook” – rather, through deep-linking and real-time segmentation, they can offer reminders to users in-app. So, next time that pair of shoes is floundering in your basket, there’ll be plenty of relevant calls to action to complete the checkout.

Steve Callanan – Wirewax

The Wirewax presentation was one of the best received of the evening, with CEO Steve Callanan waxing lyrical about “the most powerful interactive video platform in the universe” (his words, not ours). Wirewax is the taggable video platform that has been most enthusiastically taken up by the fashion and retail industries, allowing users to add moving ‘tags’ to any person or object within video content. Those tags can then link to extra content or opportunities to buy (directly or externally). Clients creating shoppable video experiences include Coach, Pepe Jeans and NY cashmere brand Ivory Row – in a neat twist, the latter allowed you to buy directly from the video, without having to click-through externally. Allowing viewers to act on impulse, the platform has seen amazing results – on one Southern Living video (a niche client, as Callanan admitted), the content saw a 90% click-through rate with 90% of people then buying the product.

Dave Murray – LIKEtoKNOW.it

Last but not least, Executive VP of International Operations at rewardStyle Dave Murray gave the audience insights into the company’s new LIKEtoKNOW.it tool. The tool allows digital publishers such as high-profile bloggers and luxury mags to make their Instagram shoppable. Like most good ideas, it’s pretty simple: after users register their Instagram handle online, each post they like by an affiliated blogger will generate an email with the links to products to purchase. Impressively, 95% of users have opted to receive their email content immediately when they ‘like’ a post – demonstrating the fact that users want product information as soon as possible, without interrupting the flow of their daily browse.

Check out Decoded Fashion’s Twitter and #DFMeetUp for more insights from the night.

Reported by: Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Cosign
Image source: cosign.co

While 2014 saw every social network going integrate advertising into their design – notably, even Instagram and Snapchat users saw promoted content introduced into their daily browse – it seemed that the worlds of e-commerce and social networks still hadn’t fully hit it off. The year to come might just change all that, in 2015 the key for retailers will be striking the right balance between all channels- whilst engaging their audience, and hitting the right KPIs. Brands take heed, in this brave new world of social commerce, #hashtags just aren’t going to cut it.

One recent development that may prove a challenge to brands is Facebook’s policy change with regards brand visibility. The days when having a large following on your brand’s page was enough are long gone – instead, Facebook is encouraging brands to use its paid social ads, meaning that organic posts won’t be able to reach fans in the same way. In a tentative e-commerce push, Facebook and Twitter even began testing “buy” buttons this year (Decoded Fashion reported); Burberry was one of the first big-name brands to sign up to Twitter’s service, allowing users to buy products without leaving the Twitter platform at all.

The ones to watch may be image-based social media platforms such as Pinterest – combining scale and niche at the same time, the highly engaged, predominantly female audience should be where fashion brands look to bring their social spending. On Jan 1st, Pinterest announced that it would open its Promoted Pins advertising to all marketers. Brands such as Gap, and Target have already been experimenting with promoted pins. Through the ‘do-it-yourself’ advertising service, brands can bid to appear alongside search results and – key to the ‘pin-board’ aesthetic – within feeds dedicated to specific niche categories.

As Twitter and Pinterest’s advertising potential shows, harnessing user’s online beyond a mere ‘Like’ will be key to ROI in 2015. Indeed, some brands are creating their own micro platforms that, incorporating aspects of platforms such as Instagram, are spearheading social commerce on their own terms. The ASOS As Seen On Me gallery, for example, allows users to share photos on their usual social sites wearing ASOS products and tag them #asseenonme. ASOS’s stand-alone site then displays the user-generated images in a Pinterest-styled gallery, linking out to the relevant products for an ultra-quick sales conversion. You can also directly ‘shop the look’ on Topshop’s #topshopstyle platform- whether such a model works as well for luxury fashion brands is harder to tell.

Another way to incentivize social sharing that might gain a foothold in the luxury fashion world is to financially reward consumers for featuring and tagging products in social media posts. Companies such as CoSign (currently in Beta) and Stylebored allow users to accrue points for views and likes, which they can then cash in for gift cards, prizes or even a percentage of commission for sending a consumer directly to a retailer through their social network. Monetizing users’ social influence in this way might sound slightly terrifying – we’ve all got that ‘personally branded’ friend who has 3000+ Facebook friends, right? – But it could work well for mid-range designer fashion. Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Swarovski have signed up to CoSign, while Donna Karan and Belstaff are betting on StyleBored. In what is looking more and more like a ‘pay-to-play’ social world, neat innovations such as these- are getting closer to the user’s organic posting practices than ever –suggest that this could play a huge part in social commerce success in 2015.

For more on social ROI, join us at Twitter’s London HQ for our first #DFMeetup of 2015.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“CoSign is hoping to eliminate the comment ‘Where did you get that?’ on social media. The application, currently in beta, claims to be the first to establish a straight path to purchase from social media.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - CoSign
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“Burberry followers can tweet requests for advice under the #BurberryGifts hashtag, which will be monitored by the fashion brand’s customer service staff 24 hours a day. They will then reply to individual users with personalised suggestions. It isn’t clear whether Burberry will respond publicly or via a direct message.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Burberrygifts
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“Tumblr — the site that has apparently overtaken Instagram as the fastest-growing social media property — has today announced a test of a new feature that will give it more interactivity, and more of a social commerce spin. Users that post links from a selection of sites — Etsy, Artsy, Kickstarter and Do Something — will now automatically see action buttons appear in the top right corner of the posts for people to ‘buy’, ‘browse’, ‘pledge’, or ‘do something.'”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Tumblr
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“The Hunt, a shopping site for items found on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, is now available on Android.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - The Hunt
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“Michael Kors, which just launched #Instakors. Users register their email addresses and Instagram user name at the special landing page; like with other programs of its ilk (LiketoKnow:It, for one), Michael Kors shoots a linked email when the customer ‘likes’ a shoppable photo.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instakors
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“It’s the first retailer to develop a shoppable Instagram experience in-house.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Marc Jacobs
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“Olapic, the social media aggregation and curation service for brands and stores, has launched a new service to turn images shared on platforms like Facebook or Instagram into store portals on Pinterest.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Olapic
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“In its first iteration, the year-old startup — which raised a $400,000 seed round of funding earlier this year — was a shopping app geared toward men. This week, it relaunched as a more ambitious platform and social network for both sexes that — guess what? — makes Instagram photos shoppable. But instead of working directly with brands, Dash Hudson works within the parameters of Instagram’s copyright policy to “feature” the photo app’s images in its own app.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Dash Hudson