The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Web sales increased year over year 81% to around $130 million.
Online clothes shoppers apparently have an affinity for sporting the latest styles in urban fashion. Just ask online street apparel retailer Karmaloop Inc., which is reporting robust growth in web sales of 81% to $130 million in 2011 from $72 million in 2011.
"Karmaloop is more than just a retailer; it is a community of style,” says Greg Selkoe, founder and CEO of Karmaloop, No. 180 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “With all the content on Karmaloop TV, our men's and women's blogs, our exclusives and contests, and many other initiatives we go the extra mile to connect and it continues to pay off."
Karmaloop credits Karmaloop TV, which launched in 2008, as a key reason for growth last year, says Selkoe. Karmaloop TV is a broadband entertainment channel with e-commerce connectivity that attracts more technically savvy and digitally inclined young shoppers, Selkoe says.
Karmaloop TV also specifically targets consumers from what it calls the “Verge Culture,” or shoppers and viewers age 18 to 34 that are active users of the Internet, smartphones, and social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. “We remain as connected as ever to our audience through multiple channels and platforms, especially via social media,” Selkoe says. “This close relationship allows us to be responsive to, as well as greatly influenced by, our customers."
Its web TV content and other forms of social media also were big reasons e-commerce sales and videos viewed by shoppers on KarmaloopTV.com also boomed over the holidays, the retailer says. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, sales increased about 129% to $1.5 million from about $656,191. “It was the biggest revenue day in the company’s history,” Selkoe says.
Karmaloop also projects web sales to increase to increase about 60% to $208 million in 2012.