Pymnts.com: Social Shopping Emerges As Hottest Digital 3.0 Trend
Social shopping is the latest pandemic-driven trend to catch fire. With Burberry launching a social experience at its brick-and-mortar Shenzhen store and social platforms like Facebook pushing their commerce capabilities, new startups are popping up and established brands are catching up to capture this newest area of the digital shift.
The most high-profile startup announced its presence on Tuesday (Aug. 4) with Tuli. It is a digital mall that enables shopping and shareable experiences with a dose of celebrities and influencers. Tuli is a digital mall and its own contained social network, which makes it different than other social shopping startups. Each post on Tuli includes an automatic shoppable product link, which can be posted by users or influencers. The purchase is immediately made within the network.
Tuli also has a high-profile management team. The Founder and CEO David Wilmot is an ex-Starbucks and Pressed Juicery executive. CMO Meysam Moradpour is a digital executive who spent many years at Google, Yum! Brands and Mastercard.
“We’re obsessed with building products that connect us. We built Tuli with this purpose, and our passion for community, inclusivity and human connection are embedded in our company DNA. In today’s challenging world, Tuli connects us in a different way, bringing true community to eCommerce,” said Wilmot.
Although it is built for retail eCommerce, Tuli will start with restaurants. Its initial focus has been supporting restaurants with a complementary contactless digital menu. It also includes an online ordering solution at what the company says is an industry-low 10 percent commission, including credit card fees. Soon, Tuli will offer the same service to a variety of retailers across North America.
Wilmot says marketing in the food and retail industries is inefficient, and that his company will help to reduce costs by allowing restaurants and retailers to engage directly with customers and influencers on the same app.
Macy’s is also stepping up its social shopping capabilities. According to fashion trade Glossy, the retailer has opened up its Style Crew ambassador program to applicants from outside the company.
“Applicants who are selected as online ambassadors can promote Macy’s products by either posting affiliate links on their own social channels or promoting items in shoppable videos on the Style Crew platform on Macy’s website,” says Glossy. “Paying a 5 percent commission, the program has been exclusive to Macy’s employees since it launched in May 2018.” According to Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macy’s, the program currently has 3,300 employee participants.
Payments and shopping platform Klarna has also stepped up its social game. On Tuesday (Aug. 4), it announced the launch of followable wish lists, a new feature that allows customers to create, share and shop from lists curated by brands, influencers, Klarna shopping experts and others.
“Shopping is undergoing a dramatic change as consumers are increasingly shopping online and from home, but still looking for community and validation,” said David Sandström, chief marketing officer at Klarna. “Online social connections are becoming just as important as real-life relationships, so being able to facilitate these types of interactions can be powerful and can bring even more inspiration and value to the shopping experience.”