November 23, 2010, 1:57 PM

HauteLook launches Facebook flash sales

The first sales will mirror those on the retailer's web site.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

The flash-sale site will present a 48-hour sale to consumers who Like either the retailer or the brand on offer.

HauteLook has launched HauteLook Events on Facebook. The flash-sale site will present a 48-hour sale to consumers who Like either HauteLook or the brand on offer.

“Shoppers are spending their time on Facebook,” says David Sobie, HauteLook vice president of business development. “This enables us to bring commerce to them where they’re already looking.”

The retailer initially plans to test the offering with a single brand’s products that are offered one per week for a two-day window. However, if those efforts prove successful—by garnering increased consumers who Like HauteLook or the featured brand, generating sales or leading a “significant” number of consumers to share the offer—the retailer may ramp up its offerings to several brands at a time, says Sobie.

 

 

“This allows us to test the waters and make sure that the user experience is where we want it to be,” he says.

HauteLook Events on Facebook’s first offer will feature products from skin care retailer Carol’s Daughter, which will mirror the offer on its web site. Working with technology vendor Alvenda, Hautelook plans to push the offer to fans of both HauteLook and Carol’s Daughter, which the e-retailer says means it will be seen by more than 535,000 consumers who Like either brand.

The retailer’s second offering, which will feature apparel from designer Diane von Furstenberg, will be a Facebook exclusive, which HauteLook plans to heavily promote, says Sobie. The third offer, merchandise from BCBG, will mirror a sale on its web site.

“We hope that after three sales we’ll have a sense for how our members and the brands we’re featuring feel about it,” he says.

Unlike the retailer’s web site, consumers will not have to use their HauteLook log-in to view the sale. However, they will have to register before completing a purchase. By skipping the log-in, HauteLook aims to make it easier for consumers to view the sales, and to forward them to friends, Sobie says.

While many retailers have added a Facebook storefront featuring products that consumers can purchase, sometimes without leaving the social network, most of those efforts have had limited success. However, many of the retailers that have had success selling on the social network are those that have featured a flash sale with a specific call to action. For instance, the Limited last winter offered a top-selling scarf for 30% off with free shipping on its Facebook page. The scarf sold out in a matter of days.

HauteLook is No. 191 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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