NEW YORK — LoopIt.com, a new social site, was launched to fulfill the promise of the convergence of social media and shopping that has so far fallen short of its potential.
Many of today’s social media giants have yet to figure out how to most effectively use social media to interact with customers and increase brand recognition, build loyalty and fuel sales, according to experts. Several studies have shown that social media plays a very small role in e-commerce. For example, an IBM survey found that shoppers who visited e-commerce sites referred through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube during Black Friday 2012, generated 0.34 percent of total online sales, down more than 35 percent from the previous year.
Geraldine Laybourne, cofounder of LoopIt — and the media veteran behind Nickelodeon, as well as founder and former ceo of Oxygen Media — said shopping is “part game, part social and part practical for women. [LoopIt] is the emotional piece that women are missing when shopping online. It’s more playful and more fun. That’s why we named it LoopIt. Originally, we called it Never Shop Alone.” LoopIt leverages personalized word of mouth, which the company said is 10 times more effective than an advertising impression, furthering product discovery and accelerating purchases.
The site works two ways. Visitors to LoopIt.com type in the name of a product they’re looking for or a URL. The Web site aggregates products with that description. When a user clicks on a product, the site asks for the context of the search, such as whom the item is for and whether it’s a gift. It then “loops in” the user’s network of trusted friends and experts to the shopping decision. Alternately, consumers can visit the Web site of a LoopIt retailer partner and go from there. Rent the Runway is the first one.
“We’re getting inquiries from retailers of all sizes,” said Joe Chung, cofounder of Redstar Ventures, the venture foundry behind LoopIt’s creation and ramp-up. On Rent the Runway, there’s a “get advice” button next to every dress. Click that and the “ask” button leads shoppers through the steps to create a mini network of friends who can vote on or comment on the dress. “It’s like eavesdropping in a dressing room,” said Chung. “What’s clear is that this is a conversation shoppers have all the time, but not so much online.”
Asked how LoopIt will make money, Chung said, “We’re pretty confident that if we can provide some real consumer value in the purchase flow, there’s ways of monetizing that. Google has taught the world to shop by key word. We [have to] shift some percentage of that behavior to consulting your network of peers and the social intelligence of people around you. There’s a possibility down the road to charge retailers directly for the service, if we can prove it’s of enough value to them. We’re now offering it as a free service. There’s also some potentially interesting marketing relationships we might create. Because we’re able to capture people’s intent and what they’re thinking about, we can better match consumers with new products.”
“I think we’re hitting retailers at the right time,” said Laybourne. “Unless they hook into social networks and get endorsements from third parties…the days of sending [direct mail and e-mails] to consumers are numbered.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye