Macala Wright Lee is the publisher of FashionablyMarketing.Me. Wright Lee is a retail consultant who specializes in marketing consulting for fashion, luxury and beauty brands. You can follower her on Twitter at @FashMarketing.
Facebook commerce is the topic at the front of every brand marketer’s mind, and retailers are starting to explore how they convert “Likes” into actual purchases. Here’s a look at five ways retailers have had success with Facebook commerce.
1. Pop-Up Shops and Insider Shopping Events
In August, Rachel Roy launched a pop-up store on Facebook. The insider shopping event gave the brand’s Facebook fans early access to Roy’s new jewelry line — a collaboration with British R&B artist Estelle. The pop-up store, which lasted three days, boosted Rachel Roy’s fan base by 25% in the first day and 100% by the end of the campaign. The Facebook Page was acquiring 1 fan every 1.5 seconds. The collection featured an exclusive, limited edition piece that sold out in only six hours.
The Rachel Roy pop-up shop was built on a software-as-a-service solution created by Fluid Social Fan Shop. Peter Goldie, the vice president of marketing at Fluid Agency, an ecommerce firm whose clients include Diane von Furstenberg, Nine West, Theory, Vans and Coach, believes that retailers need to create engaging social merchandising experiences that increase a brand’s fan base while driving transactions.
“Marketers are always looking for ways to drive customer purchases,” Goldie said. “Having limited edition, time sensitive sales helps retailers drive sales without having to discount.” Goldie added that pop-up shops are a great way for brand manufacturers to test the ecommerce waters without going into full-scale website development.
“Few retailers are delivering premium Facebook shopping that not only rewards fans but pulls them into a deeper relationship with the brand,” Goldie said. “Slapping a store on Facebook doesn’t deliver. Fan Shop enabled Rachel Roy and Coach to create immersive brand experiences that fully integrate shopping as well as the shopper’s wider social network.”
2. Private, Fan-Only Sales
In August 2010, Philadelphia-based Kembrel launched a private shopping community for students that sells clothing, books and computer gadgets at 40-75% off — and they did it entirely via Facebook. Kembrel’s summer beta period successfully attracted more than 20,0000 registered student members. This initial growth was mostly organic through word of mouth, with little reliance on traditional marketing.
“The total market is 17 million students and every year, they spend over $300 billion. Now two-thirds of that $300 billion dollars [goes toward] school, housing, food and essentials; there’s $100 billion dollars spent on apparel, shoes and accessories and that’s the market we’re going after,” said Cherif Habib, Kembrel’s CEO.
What makes Kembrel’s private sale model unique is that the marketing strategy completely relies on the social behavior of participating college students to drive consumption. The product assortment is tightly curated by young buyers who understand the student market. The day-to-day student activities are also student-run. To date, there are also more than 250 brands that have signed up to reach students through the Kembrel platform.
“College students spend two to there hours a day on Facebook. By bringing our store to where our customers spend the most time online, our goal is to provide them with the most convenient and relevant shopping experience,” Habib said. Kembrel is taking student relevance a step further by launching an internship matching service for fashion students who sign up for the site, connecting the shopping experience to the community.
3. Wish List Features: Bulgari