ShopStyle on Saturday will reprise Social House, its New York Fashion Week networking, brand participation and social photo op-generating event at Manhattan’s Glass House on West 25th Street.
With 18 million visitors to the site and app per month, ShopStyle drives more than $1 billion to retailers annually. Bloggers account for a healthy portion of that figure, with a handful of bloggers and influencers driving more than $500,000 in sales during a recent three-week period. Ultimately, ShopStyle is hoping Social House boosts sales for bloggers — there are 16,000 on the site — and retail partners such as Neiman Marcus.
ShopStyle is planning Social Houses during the upcoming London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week with Neiman’s as one of its retail partners.
Other retail partners include Bauble Bar, Le Metier de Beaute, Luisaviaroma, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Sole Society, Yumi Kim, and Vestiaire Collective.
In addition to facilitating conversations between bloggers, designers, brands and retailers, ShopStyle will use Social House to test new technology such as Emoticode, an app that acts as a URL shortener and enables brands, retailers and bloggers to create emoji-style links that are instantly shoppable.
Paola Alberdi, who describes herself as “a bon vivant, travel addict, stylist and fashion influencer” on her Blank Itinerary blog, said, “Emoticode is so innovative. So many people are sending you Snapchat messages and literally they delete after you read the message. ShopStyle is going to change the market for Snapchat. It’s an incredible way for your audience to shop what you’re wearing directly.”
ShopStyle shares consumer data with bloggers to help them keep track of their sales and other metrics. The search engine is “looking at the data from Emoticde and using it to develop a better ShopStyle experience. It will eventually be a personal shopping experience. We’re in the early stages,” said Melissa Davis, executive vice president and general manager of ShopStyle. “Now we ask consumers for their favorite brands and show content based off that. Emoticode is trying to get to the social aspect.”
ShopStyle revealed that it will start syndicating blogger content for it site and for parent PopSugar. “One our of big projects is syndication of blogger content,” Davis said. “How do we leverage all the content bloggers are creating for their sites and for ShopStyle? This is a great opportunity. We’re also looking to create our own content. Eventually, if you go to a look or an item such as a skirt, you’ll be able to see where the skirt is available and how various bloggers wore it.”
About 250 of ShopStyle’s top bloggers and influencers are expected to attend Social House, where they’ll be able to borrow up to three fashion items from Neiman’s to wear while attending shows. There will be hair and makeup stations, manicures and refreshments, and with Nineties chokers a rising trend, there will be a choker bar.
With consumers increasingly getting fashion inspiration from blogs and social media, retailers such as Neiman’s are partnering with digital brands that can connect with customers in unique ways.
“We hope to introduce the Neiman Marcus brand to a new group of customers,” said Natalie Bowman, vice president of media and advertising. “We’ve seen our customers really enjoy using ShopStyle to discover new brands. We’ve been doing more influencer programs with ShopStyle. The center of the relationship is Social House. [ShopStyle] tends to skew younger than the Neiman Marcus customer, who’s not in the 18- to 34-year-old range. That’s a little on the young side; our consumer is 25 and up.”
Bowman said ShopStyle drives the business for Neiman’s “across the board. Fine apparel brands do well and we have higher end shoes and handbags brands that participate. They drive the business for us in all parts of our business, even diamond jewelry.”
“Social House was so successful for us during New York Fashion Week in February, we’re also doing it in Paris and London,” Bowman said. Last season, ShopStyle created an ad for Neiman Marcus that ran on Snapchat.
“Last season, I worked with Neiman Marcus at Social House,” Alberdi said. “They lent me fur coats and other amazing items. Neiman Marcus is one of the few department stores that’s tapped into this market. They constantly do collaborations with ShopStyle.”