Net-a-Porter to launch new social commerce experience

The Net-a-Porter group is preparing to launch a new social commerce experience to “tap into” the growing number of consumers interacting with the retailer via its social channels.

The luxury e-tailer has over 4 million followers across its various channels which include Instragram, Pinterest and Weibo, and at the later end of 2013 took a punt at the growing social commerce model with the launch of Netbook, an invite-only app that allowed users to create a wish list by ‘loving’ different products, follow other users and make in-app purchases.

Speaking to The Drum mobile manager at Net-a-Porter Sarah Watson, who is a judge for The Drum’s Marketing on Mobile Awards (MOMA), couldn’t be drawn on whether the new experience would be related to Netbook but revealed it is currently in “incubation”.

“I can’t give you too many details but we’re essentially incubating a social commerce experience for our customers which will be launching later in the year,” she said.

“Across our social channels we’ve got 4 million [followers], so we know that people like interacting with us in that social space. So this is really to tap into those customers who are interacting with Net-a-Porter on a regular basis and how we can speak to those people directly.”

Net-a-Porter is also keeping an eye on the developing world of wearables and the internet of things (IoT) – the retailer is set to launch the Apple Watch on its website in the spring – and Watson said that she is interested to see how the data collected from the IoT can be used in a retail setting to deliver more personalised and targeted messaging.

“What is very important is the data that it [IoT] is creating,” she said. “So the more of these different apps people are utilising the more information you’re gathering about what they’re doing and who they are. The more information you have about your customer, the more personalised you can make your service and the more targeted you can make your messaging.”

Speaking about the judging for the MOMAs, Watson said that she would like to see work from entrants which shows how brands are “being smart” about their marketing and how timely and relevant it is.

“You know a lot more about your customers [now], you know where they are and what they’re doing so there’s no excuse for the old-school blanket marketing,” she commented. “It’s really important to understand people as individuals and what will work best, so I’m really going to look for that sort of consideration and also personalisation.”

Deadline for entry to the awards is 20 February, with entries accepted from any UK based individual, agency, company or business who are producing effective mobile strategies and campaigns. Find out more here.

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