Social commerce spotlight: Why ModCloth should be a blueprint for social commerce
Vintage clothing and accessories brand ModCloth has announced it delivered more than $100 million in revenue in 2012, and is growing at a rate of 40% year on year. Its secret? Leveraging an active community through social.
“Shopping has always been a social experience. What’s changed is that, when online, customers are able to come together as a community and heavily influence each other and brands,” says co-founder and chief executive officer Eric Koger.
“ModCloth is different because we’ve embraced this change. We lead conversations directly with our customers to figure out what they love, and then quickly bring those products to market. In the process, we’re building strong, genuine relationships, and the passionate community that has emerged is what’s driving our growth.”
That, and a slew of interactive site features that make the shopping experience fun, engaging and reassuring:
- The ‘virtual buyer’ program, Be the Buyer, invites ModCloth’s community to vote samples into production and offer constructive comments on garment details. These engaged members buy more than twice as much as non-Be the Buyer members.
- The crowdsourced design program, Make the Cut, invites community members to submit and vote on winning designs, which are then produced and sold on the site. Since the program’s initial call for designs in early 2012, over four thousand designs have been submitted.
- Style Gallery, a social outfit-sharing feature, invites members to upload their outfit photos and browse shoppable looks. Since its launch in 2012, more than six thousand outfit photos have been shared and those photos have been ‘loved’ more than 350 thousand times.
- Community members can also interact with products in different ways across the site by clicking on ‘love’ buttons for items they covet or clicking on ‘I need it’ buttons to receive restock notifications for out-of-stock items.
- Product reviews offer another constructive avenue for community sharing. Of all products carried on ModCloth, 83 percent have customer reviews, and 55 percent of those include body measurements to help inform other customers.
And then there’s the active involvement of community managers. Over on SocialMediaToday Alyssa Adkins waxes lyrical about her genuinely delightful shopping journey when purchasing a new swimsuit. Not only did she spot great moderator feedback on another customer’s item review, but was sent a personal tweet in response to her own feedback on Twitter. According to Adkins, ModCloth is an example of a brand correctly propagating that “strut your stuff” feeling, which of course translates into brand affinity.
And brand affinity translates into sales. In ModCloth’s case, $100 million worth.