social commerce

“The new ad units, called ‘sponsored video posts,’ arrive just a week after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced during the company’s third-quarter earnings presentation that Tumblr is projected to generate $100 million in 2015.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Tumblr Video Ads

“Facebook Inc is ending a service that lets friends send digital gift cards to each other, as the social-networking service revamps how users can buy goods and services.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Facebook

Considering how much time we all spend on social media, it’s quite surprising that it’s our least favourite online channel to shop on. This might be to do with the fact that these channels are not fully optimised for in-site shopping -at least not yet. However, recently there’s been a flurry of news stories cropping up about imminent monetisation efforts of large social media channels – could this be the beginning of a social shopping era?

Google Plus found a remedy to this issue by offering shoppable Google Hangouts. This allowed Topman to make their January AW14 catwalk show shoppable (263 people watched), and ASOS to host a shoppable Nike Airmax hangout back in March (376 people watched). Yet the participation numbers are still relatively low, especially considering how large the customer base is for both Topman and ASOS.

Unlike Google Plus, Facebook do not offer a way of directly selling items via their platform – but we can expect this to change soon. Last week they announced that they will start offering merchants the option of adding a ‘buy’ button to their promotional newsfeed and page posts, meaning users can stay on the platform to make their purchases. Though the social media giant is currently not taking commissions on this, it could be expected that they may, particularly if the button becomes available for non-promotional posting.

Twitter seems to have gone to the greatest lengths in this space. They tested out ‘buy now’ buttons with the retailer Fancy (info about this here), and they launched an analytics services to help brands and retailers track the success of their promotional campaigns. Beyond this, they acquired the tablet and mobile retargeting startup TapCommerce, and are also to acquire the online payments startup CardSpring. Looks like they mean business!

Pinterest is still lagging somewhat, with their first step into shoppable social coming in the guise of a partnership with Shopify. All Shopify merchants can now pin ‘Rich Pins’ on to Pinterest, which syncs images and info on items to availability in the vendors’ store. It consequently makes shopping via Pinterest easier, and does other nifty things such as emails the person who ‘pinned’ a Rich Pin, if that item has been reduced in price.

Are social media channels finally cooking up a viable remedy to their monetisation issues, or are these acquisitions and partnerships merely a recipe for disaster? Only time will tell, once these technologies have been fully onboarded – but it sure looks like the process is on its way to being streamlined.

Reported by Anna Abrell


“A new “Buy now” button appeared on multiple tweets Monday, all of which included products that link back to a shopping site called Fancy.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Twitter Buy Now


Despite the challenges that online apparel shopping poses, clothing and accessories make up today’s fastest-growing ecommerce segment. As reported in a recent article by Thomas Rankin, the founder of the mobile menswear app Dash Hudson, this is led by innovative fashion technology solutions that allow brands and e-tailers to tailor both product and content to each shoppers’ specific needs. Not only does this engage consumers and allow them to shop more conveniently than ever before, but it has also revolutionised shopping for a commonly overlooked, yet highly important and loyal customer segment: men.

Mens’ shopping needs have often come second to womens’ in the world of offline retail. The growth of online apparel sales has enabled a multitude of e-tailers and online brands to step up and address this issue by creating sites specifically tailored to men’s needs. And, consequently, “the Internet has changed an experience men hate” as a recent Business Insider article accurately put it, and reduced “the barrier between men and style.” It therefore comes as no surprise that a recent Rakuten Linkshare study found that the vast majority of men (83%) prefer online to brick-and-mortar shopping. Some e-tailers that target both men and women, such as Gilt, have even found that men are ‘outshopping’ women.

A plethora of online shopping possibilities exist besides the usual online stores of existing offline brands and retailers. These cater to more specific needs in innovative ways:

Pure e-tailers who offer latest fashion trends at different price ranges (eg Bonobos, Jack Threads and Mr. Porter).

Curated subscription services such as The Chapar, handpick items and send them to customers on a prescription basis, and then only charge for items that the customers decide not to return (more about this here). Other examples of this include Frank & Oak, Bombfell and Trunk Club.

Social commerce brands who allow men to curate and draw inspiration from others (eg Fab and Svpply), though this type of shopping has been found to be more popular amongst women than men.

Virtual fit tools are also making online sizing choices easier, with custom ecommerce tailoring becoming highly competitive amongst menswear startups (more about this in our FTDaily-featured article here). And the blogosphere has also given birth to men’s fashion blogs such as The Dandy Project, The Simplistic Man, The Hobbyists and This Fellow.

Ultimately, it is a question of offering a service that is tailored appropriately to a certain customer need. Erik Lautier, EVP and Chief Digital Officer at bebe summarises this well in Rankin’s article: “the question you have to ask yourself as a brand is ‘am I creating content people will be passionate enough about to share with others?’ That question is no different from what it was 20 or 50 or 100 years ago – it’s just that now, sharing is easier and faster.”

Curation and greater niche specificity in men’s brands, many of whom are online-only, have made it easier for men to find exactly what they’re looking for, either because it is being served up to them or because the discovery process has been streamlined.”- Erik Lautier, EVP & Chief Digital Officer at bebe in Rankin’s article.

Reported By Anna Abrell