February 10, 2012, 10:29 AM

Scentiments.com goes social to perk up sales

Combining social media with a loyalty program blossoms for the e-retailer.

Lead Photo

Consumers can use social media networks to earn points in the loyalty program.

When Scentiments.com rolled out a new loyalty program, the Scentury Club, it wanted to take a new approach that would help keep its brand in front among club members and their friends. “We created the club to engage consumers and have them keep us top of mind,” CEO Howard Wyner says.

The retailer is doing that in an unconventional way for a loyalty program. Instead of issuing loyalty points just for spending a certain amount on its e-commerce site, the retailer rewards Scentury Club members for doing things like sharing their interests in Scentiments’ products via tweets to friends through Twitter or Liking their favorite fragrances on Facebook.  “We’re using the power of the customer and the people they know to spread the word about our products,” Wyner says.

Customers, for example, might earn 50 loyalty points for referring a friend through social media to Scentiments.com, or 10 points for sharing information about the retailer’s fragrances with friends via Twitter or Facebook. Amassing 750 points earns $10 off a purchase of $60; 5,000 points earns a $100 gift certificate; 10,000 points leads to VIP customer status, which may offer perks like free product samples and free shipping upgrades.

Club members have shown their increased loyalty through increased purchases, Wyner says. Since launching the socially driven loyalty program last fall, the retailer has seen average order values rise by 15% among Scentury Club members, compared to customers who don’t engage in the program.

Scentiments, No. 446 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has integrated into its in-house e-commerce platform an Internet-hosted system from 500friends Inc. that tracks the social media activity of loyalty club members. 500friends provides Scentiments with an online dashboard that shows information such as how often club members have tweeted about or Liked its products, plus purchase frequency and average order values.

Scentiments can use such data to tweak its point thresholds to get better financial results. Club members, meanwhile, have shown a willingness to step up their social media activity, Wyner says. “A consumer becomes more engaged with us to figure, ‘I’m only 30 points away from that reward, so I’ll tweet a few more times,’” he says.

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