7

Nov

2011

Social Media

Flash Sales: The Social Media of Shopping

Any company wanting to delve deeper into their relationship with their customer must find a way to engage them. Higher engagement indicates a future with the potential of a more profitable business. Currently, social media is the most effective means to relate. In retail, companies have exclusively relied on virtual space because they know their customer can be more easily reached through the Internet. And it has been proven that consumers who are engaged through social media, spend more.

In the e-commerce industry, the means by which “e-brands” relate to their customers is solely virtual, meaning there is no way the customer relationship can become tangible prior to a purchase. While companies such as iDeeli, Hautelook and MyHabit use Facebook and Twitter to help engage their audience, these social mediums only refer back to their product page, which is a community of shoppers, combating for that latest piece of Prada. These flash sale spaces that hold limited numbers of items to sell to their community of shoppers is a means of social interaction via the Internet. Hence, their fight for a discounted Fendi handbag is actually a form of social media.

Being able to interact with the companies, as well as their competitors (i.e. other shoppers) allows customers to feel like they belong to a shopping community that connects their interests in a comfortable space. Whether you are interested in luxury goods and feel connected to Gilt Group, or you are an avid men’s streetwear shopper and check up on JackThreads on a daily basis, all of these companies have adopted similar tactics that have allowed their customers to be engaged, and therefore, spend more money.

Constant E-mail Reminders:

By 10am CT I know at least two emails that will be in my inbox: one from RueLaLa and one from Hautelook. And an hour later, at 11am CT, Gilt Group will also be sending me a message. These messages are alerting me that their next 48-hour sale has started. I personally am very appreciative of these messages, because without them, I feel as though I will be missing out on a sale that could benefit my wardrobe and my wallet at the same time. Not only do they send you daily reminders, but you are able to customize the messages you want to be sent to you. That way, communication is up to the consumer to decide how much attention they want to receive from the brand. Initially, customers are most likely unaware of the customization option, allowing the company a few days to hook their new audience.

Use of Social Media

When you like their page, they like you. They like you because you are giving them the “stamp of approval” to your personal social media network. You are a personalized ad for their company. More so, by liking them, they have concrete evidence that you really are engaged. Receiving tweets about sales, looking at pictures of their upcoming sale products, and, responding to their stylist’s questions and contests is a good indication that their use of social media is actually valuable.

“Exclusivity”

Unlike brick and mortar stores like T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, you cannot just “walk” into a flash sale site. You must be a member. Whether you simply sign up, or a friend invites you, by using the word ‘member,’ customers feel they are part of an elite luxury-shopping site. Just by inviting friends to these “exclusive clubs,” members can receive dollars to be spent on their sites. The added rewards increase the feeling of being a valued and appreciated customer. This exclusivity gives members the idea that it is a privilege to a part of their brand. Even better, they have your billing information. Check out is quick, easy, and they know you! When a brand knows your address and credit card number, there is no doubt you are you are on your way to a very intimate relationship.

 

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