April 7, 2010, 12:00 AM

Bluefly gets inside customers’ closets with its new social media strategy

The off-price fashion apparel retailer launched this week BlueflyClosetConfessions.com as a social media site where consumers can upload photos and videos displaying favorite items from their own closets.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Bluefly Inc., an off-price fashion apparel e-retailer, this week launched BlueflyClosetConfessions.com as a social media site where consumers can upload photographs and videos displaying favorite items from their clothes closets-and compete for a $500 Bluefly gift certificate that goes to the most popular entry.

“At Bluefly, our strategy has been to create content collaboratively-inviting the user to create and directly participate in the media they consume,” says chief marketing officer Bradford Matson. “With Closet Confessions, we’re giving them the tools and the platform to do just that.”

BlueflyClosetConnections.com, which went live on Wednesday, had attracted 14,000 page views during a beta test period, a spokeswoman says. "We are seeing a great deal of traction even at this early stage," she says.

Bluefly, No. 132 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has already had success with other social marketing efforts, such as by displaying online content on Facebook and through Twitter accounts related to such popular TV shows as “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway,” “Gossip Girl,” and the movie “Sex and the City,” Matson says.

He notes that the online content Bluefly showed last month related to a television airing of “America’s Next Top Model” resulted in Bluefly’s brand name being the second most-searched term on Google for a 12-hour period immediately following the TV program. Bluefly’s content related to that program included exclusive blogs and the ability of online visitors to interact with and modify online images.

“The success of our on-air to online extensions just confirms that our customers are hungry for the increased interactivity we’ve built into the Closet Confessions experience,” Matson says.

BlueflyClosetConfessions.com, which is a separate site linked to the Bluefly.com shopping site, lets consumers vote on one another’s apparel images and provides direct links to share content via Facebook and Twitter. BlueflyClosetConfessions.com also displays videos of celebrities, including apparel designer Christian Siriano and author Kelly Cutrone, showing and talking about their favorite clothes while standing in their own closets.

To participate in the contest to win a $500 electronic gift certificate, which is credited to the winner’s Bluefly shopping account, consumers must have a credit card on file with Bluefly.

Bluefly`s internal marketing and site design team developed the new social media site in collaboration with IntersectNYC, which oversaw web site user experience and back-end technology development, the spokeswoman says.

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