Instagram might be a favorite of the fashion flock, but the picture-sharing platform hasn’t made it easy for brands to monetize their followings.
Jumping in to fill that gap is RewardStyle’s Like to Know It, which is expanding its service beyond influencers and bloggers to help major retailers turn engagement into sales. The social shopping service will add 30 international brands across six major country markets today, including Neiman Marcus, ASOS, Proenza Schouler, Moda Operandi, Tibi, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges, Matchesfashion, The Outnet, Luisa via Roma and Maje.
Like to Know It had been limited to about 5,000 influencers and bloggers who have used it to drive more than $25 million in sales to date. Currently, 800,000 “socially inspired shoppers” opt in to get the service’s detailed e-mails, which show them where they can get items featured in posts they “liked.” Since last March, 40 million of these e-mails have been sent.
Amber Venz Box, cofounder and president of Like to Know It, said it is the people and brands publishing the content that make the social network.
“They are the ones who make them relevant, [and] the retailers then follow to capitalize on and invest in these proven platforms,” she said. “When we launched in 2011, it was to help content creators build a business around the content they are creating.”
The new retailers will add a total of 13 million shoppers to Like to Know It’s database.
Venz Box said Instagram is the platform of choice for content creators and shoppers alike – the engagement on Instagram is 48 times that of Facebook for the company.
Wanda Gierhart, chief marketing officer at Neiman Marcus, noted that while the beginning phases of social media were largely focused on fostering engagement, there is now a way to measure return on investment per post.
Inspiring consumers is one thing, but Gierhart wants to balance this with driving commerce.
“Instead of going through attribution modeling that says [a consumer] might have received three e-mails, browsed on the site, seen an ad in a magazine and saw two social media posts – we now have a direct tie to sales,” she said.
The retailer’s first post using Like to Know It’s shopping functionalities contains a Saint Lauren Twill shirt and an Auden necklace that sell for $790 and $978, respectively.