“Social Commerce is about reshaping shopping around people. Itʼs much more than opening a store on Facebook or adding a Facebook Like button to a website.” -SCIQ Social commerce is on a rapid upward climb, yet many businesses have not yet dedicated the resources, people, budgets or time to understand precisely what this opportunity means for their brand. For starters, while there is a tremendous amount of buzz around Facebook Commerce, (or f-commerce), social commerce encompasses a variety of social platforms, as well as how social communities generate and facilitate sales. Social Commerce company 8th Bridge (chosen partner to Oscar de la Renta, DVF, and 7 for All Mankind) recently published their 2nd Social Commerce report and rankings, of which I was asked to provide commentary. Let’s start with the top brands by amount of fans on Facebook. In the fashion vertical, the winner goes to Converse with over 20 million fans, followed by Adidas (11.2 million), and Zara (10.2 million). So why are all of these people connecting with brands? 53% of them report the reason as a desire to stay informed of new offers. Only 21% claim they connect with fashion brands to actually interact with the brand. When asked what type of information people share with their friends on Facebook, between purchases, trends, advice and hot deals, the latter got the most votes, with 13% (versus only 7% that share purchases). Compared to general retailers, fashion brands have a shopping engagement rate that is 25% higher. Of the categories most shopped are shoes and accessories. Dr. Paul Marsden, a social psychologist consulted states “Fashion accessories sell best with social media – these fast-moving, low-risk and low-cost purchases fit the real-time mindset of social media.” Engagement rates are typically calculated on Facebook to provide a clear picture not just of the number of fans your brand might have, but the frequency at which they are interacting with the brand. To calculate “shopping engagement”, the study looked specifically at fan interaction with product-related, coupon and promotional content. The brands with the highest shopping engagement rates? Clarks, Bulova and Dior (Movado, CHANEL, Tacori also made it in the top 10). Another measurement centered on conversation is “talking about”, which shows the amount of conversations happening about your brand. Louis Vuitton currently holds the title with 259,091 users talking about the brand. Another interesting numerical point is that, for the status update Barney’s published over a one month period, over 10,000 likes on Facebook were generated (averaging nearly 120 likes per each status update). As the holiday shopping season is upon us, brands are currently faced with the tactical roll out of campaigns and promotions. Thinking of making an offer exclusive to Facebook? Or pre-launching it on Facebook before debuting it on other platforms as an added incentive to your fans? Think again. Research finds that these are much lower motivators of purchase compared with the promotion simply being an attractive deal. And so it would seem an approach that combines an attractive deal with a pre-launch exclusive to Facebook, for example, would garner the best results. Interested in the top brands on Twitter based on followings? You may be surprised to know that Threadless and Toms lead the category, followed by YSL, Burberry and H&M. It’s true that the sheer numbers make a solid case for brands to develop social commerce strategies, but equally interesting is the emotional and behavioral tendencies specific to fashion purchases. As mentioned in the report, “Social Commerce brings tremendous promise to the fashion industry because it allows people to more easily express our identity to our friends by associating with meaningful brands via social media.” So what’s the secret to success? “The secret to social smarts in fashion is to aid ‘social discovery’; helping consumers discover what’s on-trend and what’s on sale. Collecting Facebook likes is a simple matter of offering shareable news about new offers with fashion-advice on latest trends.” Dr. Paul Marsden Click here to access the full report.