If one was good, then two should be better. Perhaps that’s the thinking behind fashion retailer Oscar de la Renta’s decision to launch its second f-commerce store to sell four bangles exclusively on Facebook. (The brand launched its first f-commerce store in November to sell its Esprit d’Oscar solid perfume ring as a Facebook exclusive.)
The enamel bangles, featured in Oscar de la Renta’s December runway show, each carry a different quote selected by the designer himself:
- White bangle – “Elegance is a discipline of life” Love, Oscar
- Black bangle – “When you rest you rust!” Love, Oscar
- Garnet bangle – “Fashion is a trend, style is within a person” Love, Oscar
- Red bangle – “I have the memory of a mosquito” Love, Oscar
As it did with the first store, the brand has once again chosen 8thBridge as its social commerce technology provider. 8thBridge enables social shopping via two means: a Facebook store that sits within its own tab and in-stream through the News Feed (see screenshots below).
“We are thrilled to launch another store on Facebook for a fashion brand that understands how to connect with its customers through social media and shares the same vision for the future of social commerce,” said Wade Gerten, CEO and Founder of 8thBridge.
According to a November 2, 2011 article at Women’s Wear Daily, the opening of the second f-commerce store is part of an overall plan to consistently introduce new products over Facebook.
“The Facebook community is obviously massive, huge and [continuously] growing, and to be able to communicate effectively and to engage the community surrounding our brand is a hugely important objective,” said Oscar de la Renta’s CEO Alex Bolen in an interview with WWD.
In fact, engagement seems to be the operative term where the brand is concerned. “Increasingly for us, it’s not so much about numbers but developing evangelists and engaging people that are real brand ambassadors…[W]e want to find fans and really make sure they are deeply engaged…Everything we do is oriented towards business, but the first thing we need to do is get people engaged.” Bolen said.
Our view at Social Commerce Today is that ‘engagement’, if by engagement we mean ‘interaction’, is a means to an end, not an end in itself. In fact, we’d say interaction/engagement is a means to two specific ends – customer retention (by increasing loyalty) and customer acquisition (via activating advocacy that draws in new customers), and our view is that social commerce will stand and fall on it’s ability to measurably boost these two indicators.
I’m not for a minute suggesting that Bolen’s ‘engagement’ approach is misguided, indeed Oscar de la Renta and 8thBridge certainly ‘get’ social commerce – offering fan-only exclusives in an experiment to “find out how best to commercialize this engagement.” However, we think Bolen will find what he’s looking for in enhanced customer retention and customer acquisition, not transactional metrics such as conversions and order value. If the 8thBridge powered solution is a success, the proportion of new customers coming to Oscar de la Renta via word of mouth will increase (vs. advertising), and the lifetime value of an Oscar de la Renta fan on Facebook will increase.