May 7, 2012, 9:35 AM

Social Commerce Experts Form a Program That Flips Accelerators on Their Heads

Social Commerce Accelerator is a free, innovative program that enables online retailers and brands to easily tap into this new era of social commerce.

NEW YORK – May 7, 2012 – In a world with nearly one billion Facebook users, the unshakable influence of Word-of-Mouth and the addiction to group buying -- retailers are still playing catch up with social commerce. Today, more than 94% of shoppers buy a product because a friend recommended it1 and 71% are more likely to buy a product referred to them by a social media channel2. inSparq, a social commerce marketing and technology company, today announced the formation of the Social Commerce Accelerator (SCA), the first accelerator program to help big brands optimize their social commerce strategies, with Delivery.com, C. Wonder and NimbleCommerce as the first accepted into the accelerator.

"With the exploding number of accelerator and incubator programs around the world, we see startups benefiting -- but none have addressed the needs of large, established retailers," said inSparq CEO, Veronika Sonsev. "Big brands want to win shoppers hearts and engage their minds using social channels, and they must be able to adapt, participate and converse with shoppers -- how and when they want to. SCA is designed to provide expert social commerce assistance to get brands on the right track."

SCA is a free, innovative program that enables online retailers and brands to easily tap into this new era of social commerce, and address a number of immediate challenges: Customer acquisition is increasingly competitive and costs continue to rise; It has never been easier for consumers to comparison shop with competitors; and social networking channels are now mature and retailers need to embrace these channels.

 “Social commerce is the future of retail. We are proud partners of SCA and look forward to enabling our members to learn from the cutting edge eCommerce technology industry,” said Eli Katz, founder of The Emob and the former CEO of Ashford.com.

Leveraging a pool of the latest technologies, high-profile influencers, and leading community engagement strategies, SCA will work with those companies selected to build a self-sustaining social action plan customized for their business, so that they can enjoy the same rewards as leading social commerce companies like Fab.com and Beachmint.

"Consumers have taken the fight out of the store and brought it to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Only the brands that understand social referrals, community engagement, personalization and user behavior can successfully reach and engage the social consumer," said Rebecca Madigan, Executive Director of the Performance Marketing Association. "SCA is a significant step towards enabling online retailers and other eCommerce-driven brands to get and stay ahead."

Accelerator Qualifications:

We will select up to ten (10) companies to participate in the 10-week Social Commerce Accelerator Program where experts will revamp their social referral marketing efforts. In addition to inSparq, other companies and experts will be offering their technology and expertise to companies in the accelerator. You can see participating companies and the full schedule here.

To apply, the following qualifications must be met:

  • You are an eCommerce company with at least 10,000 transactions per month;
  • You have at least $1,000,000 in annual revenue;
  • You have a desire to be innovative, test, optimize and outperform your competition.

 

Applications to participate in the Social Commerce Accelerator can be found at http://bit.ly/HYPWAm and will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 31, 2012.

About inSparq: inSparq powers social commerce marketing technology that drives over a 2X lift in social traffic through incentivized sharing, social coupons and actionable analytics. The inSparq analytics offer retailers real insight into their influencers: who they are, what they purchase and the customer life time value of their referrals. For more info, check out www.insparq.com.

1 Ask Your Target Market, 2012.

2 Hubspot, 2010.

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