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Oscar de la Renta reinvents social commerce via brand-controlled product sharingBy Rachel Lamb
Oscar de la Renta is revamping its Facebook commerce strategy through the introduction of a new platform that allows consumers to share products with their friends, but the U.S. label controls exactly what they say.
Using the new Graphite platform, consumers can share products from the Oscar de la Renta Web site by choosing words such as “need,” “want” and “wore.” This kind of integration will hopefully jump-start the formerly-failing Facebook commerce sector by allowing consumers to share products in a way that the brand can control.
“Facebook commerce did not have a lot of revenue, and a lot of brands haven’t been seeing anything from just offering products,” said Wade Gerten, founder/CEO of 8thBridge, Minneapolis.
“This is probably because products need to be shared by consumers, not pushed by the brand,” he said. “Also, many consumers are not going onto a brand’s Facebook page to see the products, so they do not even know that they can buy anything on there.
“Products are now going to be shared across many channels with the ability to buy on the Oscar de la Renta page.”
8thBridge developed the Graphite platform, which launched earlier this week.
Launch partners include Oscar de la Renta, Hallmark, Toms and Guitar Center.
The keys to social commerce success are multichannel-interaction, ease, integration with existing systems, brand consistency and easy IT impact, per Mr. Gerten.
Oscar de la Renta’s former social commerce strategy included a monthly product that was available exclusively on Facebook.
Former Facebook commerce platform
Some products included a perfume ring and bangles with quotes from Mr. de la Renta.
However, the brand is integrating its Web site into its new Facebook commerce strategy.
Consumers who are on the brand Web site can check out individual products that have the words “want,” “need” and “wore.”
Clicking on one of the options puts the brand product on the users’ Facebook page for their friends to see.
“A lot of luxury brands are hesitant to get into social media because the last thing that they want is someone sharing something on the brand Facebook page with the message, ‘This product stinks,’” Mr. Gerten said.
“Luxury brands want the brand control and integration of social sharing features to their additional Web site, which will lead to more buzz, transactions and interaction,” he said.
Another aspect that brands appreciate is that there is not a huge “like” button in the middle of their Web site, claims Mr. Gerten. These social sharing options make for a cleaner message in a brand-consistent manner.
Facebook commerce, though much-buzzed, did not pick up steam in the industry as much as some would have hoped.
Brands are selling to consumers instead of friends sharing products that they enjoyed, per Mr. Gerten.
However, 90 percent of Facebook shopping is friend-to-friend, according to data from 8thBridge.
That said, the fact that Oscar de la Renta consumers can share products with one another could help entice purchase.
Another aspect of the new platform is that consumers do not have to leave the Facebook page to see a product.
Instead, the link opens up a small shopping section on the users’ wall that allows consumers to look at the product and then takes them back to the Oscar de la Renta Web site to buy.
Luxury consumers could benefit from Facebook commerce since the luxury industry is one that consumers are proud to be part of, per Mr. Gerten.
“The reason people share things on Facebook is because it says something about who you are to your friends and expressing that you want to be loved and to belong,” Mr. Gerten said. “It is the same reason a lot of people aspire to own an Oscar de la Renta gown and by sharing the fact that you are wearing a gown says something about who you are to your friends.
“Also, consumers want to talk at about and be associated with luxury brands on Facebook,” he said. “Brands used to have a hard time adapting to social media because it means that they give up control.
“Brands now have the opportunity to control what consumers are saying when they talk about them.”
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York
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