In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The web-only watch retailer has 180,000 fans, a 600% jump from last year.
Luxury watch and jewelry e-retailer Melrose Jewelers says its recent social media push is paying off. The three-year-old merchant boosted its Facebook fan base more than 600% in one year and says its social media fan base of about 180,000 has helped generate nearly $2 million in sales.
The e-retailer has focused much of its social media efforts in the last year on appealing to aspirational customers, or consumers that can just barely afford its high-end products, says president Krishan Agarwal. The average price for products on MelroseJewelers.com is about $5,000. “The average customer comes to our web site because they love the idea of a Rolex and they’ve always wanted one. They have goals and they want social status as well.”
One of the fastest ways the retailer generated new fans was to give consumers who Liked the retailer on Facebook $75 MJ Dollars that they could apply toward a purchase on MelroseJewelers.com. The e-retailer tracks social media-generated sales based on the credit redemption.
The e-retailer also ran a campaign that awarded $150 to customers who took a picture of a watch they had purchased from Melrose and posted a testimonial about it on the retailer’s Facebook page. “There were around 5,000 customers that posted all over our wall,” Agarwal says. “What happened is that when you see 5,000 people on Facebook talking about how great of a company we are, we got a lot more customers.”
The e-retailer has been integrating social marketing into most aspects of its business over the last year, Agarwal says. This includes mentioning the number of Facebook fans it has in a recent Groupon offer, adding the Like button to product pages on its e-commerce site and highlighting its social media campaigns in its e-mails to customers.
Melrose Jewelers also used Facebook to help potential customers find a watch suited to their tastes. A Which Rolex Are You Facebook app developed for the e-retailer by Wildfire Interactive Inc. asks consumers to fill out a five-question, multiple-choice questionnaire about their tastes in food, exercise routines and the first watches they owned. The app then asks for shoppers’ e-mail addresses and gives them a watch profile that best suits their responses, such as, “You are a Men’s Stainless Steel Dial Flutel Bezel Rolex Datejust. Youthful and full of energy.”
Agarwal says he launched Melrose Jewelers in 2008 as a hobby when he was in grad school. The retailer operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. In addition to luxury watches the sites also sell diamond jewelry and engagement rings.