Five Social Curation Sites for Luxury Brands
- Macala Wright
- On 04/09/2012
Curation, more accurately, social product discovery and photo culitvation (as we like to call it), is most likely going to be named the social media trend of the year. With Pinterest‘s overnight celebrity and PPR’s backing of The Fancy, it looks like the race of relevance, based on niche audiences in the social content and product curation space, has begun.
With that, it’s clear that luxury brands are looking beyond wildly popular sites with large numbers of users but lower intentions to purchase items that they add to their
boards. Luxury brands are wanting to make meaningful connections that lead to the consumption of more luxury goods. Here are five sites that are aiming to take them there.
Profiled by TechCrunch as the social product discovery site that’s figured out social commerce, the PPR-backed platform Fancy (which is only called “Fancy” not “The Fancy”) boasts over 350,000 registered users registered who press the “fancy” button over 200,000 times per day, said a representative for the website, creating over 1.5 million items “fancied” per week. Fancy users are predominately male (60 percent), prefer luxury and premium brands and have a higher intent to purchase goods on the website than competitors.
TheFancy.com has a database of more than 150 million things and more than 1.5 billion associated data points. “We’re really focused on the commerce angle, and I think different sites may be focused on self-expression,” Fancy CEO Joe Einhorn told TechCrunch. “We’ve constrained our growth to be laser-focused on commerce, and that’s working for us in terms of the quality that’s on the site.” With commerce at the core of it’s model, Fancy clearly is focused on revenue, and all engagement and social activities that surround their marketing are focused on driving sales conversions, something that any luxury brand or retailer knows.
Features for users: Connected to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter APIs in order to share items Fancy’d on social networks. Users can also create product lists and receive incentive badges. Fancy is cross platform, available via web browser, iPhone, iPad, Android and Android tablet.
Features for retailers: Merchants and brands are able to use a self-serve commerce platform to upload their own images, enter a post on the website and offer users products. Retailers can offer shoppers discounts and deals based on products/services they want. If a users “Fancy’d” an item a brand featured, the brand can the email them an incentive to shop. “The site currently boasts 550 brand partners who offer loyalty deals to the community, users have unlocked these deals over 300,000 times,” said founder Joseph Einhorn in an interview with FMM.
Have you ever wanted to be discovered? I know I have. Perhaps my favorite of all social discovery sites is Discoveredd. The site was founded by London resident and entrepreneur Oliver Walsh, who happens to be the genius behind Wednesday, a digital creative agency specializing in the fashion and luxury retail sector with a client list that includes Balenciaga, Mr. Porter, Tory Burch and Arma.
Discoveredd encourages its users to make “discoveries,” something we do every day on the web, and it has one of the best interfaces and user experiences I’ve found in a site such as this. Images are laid out horizontally in a linear form, which I find refreshing as many social product site feature Tumblr/Pinterest inspired photo cascades.
Features for users: Customize-able background, clean product discovery layouts and an iPhone application. Users can click through to photos of products they love and purchase them directly from the retailer’s site. They can also share them to Twitter and Facebook.
Features for brands: The same as users. Beautiful ways to create a simple, effective brand presence.
Website founder Allison Beal has been creating stylebooks from tear sheets since she was thirteen years old. Pulling images from magazines, media and anything that inspired her, Allison decided it was time to take the concept of style and look books and make them not only digital, but social. StyleSaint encourages users to create, curate and collect the things they worship as “editors-in-chief” of their own books. After all, “You have a story to tell, say it in style.”
Backed by General Catalyst Partners, the site is a bit more complex than Discoveredd, offering those of users that need a little more umph in their social experience with high-contrast images and photo rollovers.
Features for users and brands: Create visually impactful style books, follow other members, tear pages form others’ books, comment/like/share images from others’ books.
I know what you’re thinking when you see this site. Ummm, really Macala? Luxury? Actually yes, Spark Rebel is the younger, hipper sister to all the sites listed above! Founded the creators of Plum Willow, the site is home to fashion lovers who are too hip for Pinterest and find Polyvore a little too web 2.0. Brand such as Kate Spade, Coach, Marc Jacobs and Trink Turk are already community favorites, especially their apparel or accessories are spotted on this week’s “IT” celeb or turned into a DIY project by their favorite create-it-at-home guru.
When Plum Willow saw their community members start to couple their e-commerce interest and with curation, they created Spark Rebel. “We pride ourselves in being fashion inspiration focused,” shared Lindsay Anvik, director of marketing. “Having a dedicated focus on fashion and beauty has allowed our users to deep dive into these niches. They love how the content is only focused on those two areas and is not too general.” By marrying curation with commerce in a way that’s familiar to members, they are able to maintain more engaging relationships with them.
Features for users: When members and brands add sparks or respark an item, they post to topic-specific channels. Channels cover everything from beauty and accessories to DIY and fashion disasters. When you visit a channel, you’ll see a stream of sparks based on the channel topic. It’s called a stream because it’s like a river of fashion photos and products. Users can set up brand alerts for the brands they follow as well.
Features for brands: Spark Rebel is brand friendly. Brands are a top menu item, it’s easy for users to find and follow them. Brands have dedicated brand pages they can manage and the shop pages allow users to drill down and find products specific to their tastes that they’re looking for. The site is very careful to share and disclose affiliate links and revenue.
For business brand executives or those who blog as a hobby who don’t have time to cultivate a yet another cult following on a social discovery platform, may we suggest taking part in Common Bloggers? COMMONBLOGGERS.COM, hailed as INSPIRATION FOR THE ELITE, is all about sharing what inspires you from the world of fashion, design, art, tech, pop culture and marketing.
It’s community of users who follow the latest and greatest trends in clothes, designs and more and share their links. They envision their site like a big cafe where creative people, trendsetters and fashion lovers can meet each other and share their inspirations. For affluent online consumers, we know time is money, so this may be the perfect alternative. There are already over 1,500 items added to this hybrid social curation/blog site.
Cool features: Items added to Common Bloggers can be added to The Fancy, as well as Google+, Twitter and Facebook. The site also feature a job board–Common Jobs–that is free; and one of the best curation of kids items–Common Kids–we’ve seen to date. We’re definitely jonesing on this site.
So what are your favorite product discovery sites? Do you see curation site geared towards specific audiences taking hold? If so, who are you betting on winning?