E-commerce grew 20% for Costco in fiscal 2015—20 times faster than store sales.
One Click Ventures is growing sales from social networks by 150% per year.
The Facebook page for HandbagHeaven.com features a large glamour shot of 24-year-olds Bridget Johnson and Sarah Ellis sporting stylish pink and brown clutch purses. Johnson and Ellis oversee social media for web-only retailer One Click Ventures, which operates 10 e-retail sites selling discount fashion accessories, and Johnson says the company is aiming to put a more personal face to its brands. So, it just made sense to her that the actual human faces be hers and Ellis’.
“It’s a lot easier to identify with a brand if there is a face to it, and it made sense that it be us since we are the ones posting on Facebook and tweeting all the time,” Johnson says.
One Click’s three e-commerce sites that have the most Facebook fans, HandbagHeaven.com, AffordableScarves.com and SunglassWarehouse.com, all feature Johnson and Ellis prominently in photos and videos, and the retailer encourages fans to engage with them directly by name. “We always end our posts with ^S for Sarah or ^B for Bridget,” Johnson says. The ^ symbol is used as a visual cue to lead the eye to the initial and create a break between the initial and the rest of the message. “We are hoping that our Facebook friends are friends in more of a real way than the buzzword.”
In addition to Facebook storefronts opened about two months ago, regular Facebook updates and daily contests on Twitter, Johnson and Ellis have put into place a slew of social media tools this year that allow One Click to analyze the behavior of its fans and followers, as well as hone in on and engage with its most influential supporters. And most of these tools have free trials or are designed for businesses with limited budgets. “That’s the great thing about these social media tools,” Johnson says. “So much of this is low or no-cost advertising.”
Johnson and Ellis use the Klout Score, for example, to learn how influential particular people are in One Click’s social media network. The Klout Score uses data from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare to measure how many people an individual may influence, the intensity of that influence and the potential influence of that user’s network of peers.
A One Click follower with a high Klout Score may be a fashion blogger, for instance, and have a large, trusting audience through which she could spread the word about a purse sale at HandbagHeaven.com. So Johnson and Ellis will be sure to tweet with this blogger or respond to her tweets and begin a dialogue that they hope will lead to increased traffic on the site.
The pair also use Raven Internet Marketing Tools, which provides a barometer for how engaged a shopper might be, by tracking a consumer’s number of Likes, tweets, retweets, or comments and reviews on e-commerce sites. That information enables Johnson and Ellis to target shoppers that are most likely to pass on the word about One Click products.
Another tool is SocialMention.com, which monitors social media sites and rates consumer sentiment about the tweets that Johnson and Ellis post. “They give us a score each week, and we are able to get a sense of what people are saying about us,” she says.
One Click Ventures, No. 788 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, has about 17,000 Facebook fans and 13,000 Twitter followers for its 10 e-commerce sites devoted to discount fashion accessories. It grew revenue from the social media channel 150% in 2010 and is tracking to bring in a similar increase this year, Johnson says. Purchases on the web-only retailer’s Facebook store fronts, combined with sales that originate from social network traffic currently represent about 1% to 3% of total revenue. “We expect that to grow,” Johnson says.