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Saks Beefs Up Social Commerce With the Shoppable Selfie

  |  September 4, 2014   |  Comments

The department store launched #SaksStyle, a shoppable hub curated by customers who contribute their pictures from social media sites.

Saks Fifth Avenue has launched the newest addition to its social profile: #SaksStyle, a Fanreel hub that aggregates pictures that fans have shared via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. And all of those pictures will be linked to product pages, making it easy for people to buy the pictured looks.

Saks refers to this platform as "the shoppable selfie" and says it is the first of its kind.

"We are creating a community where our most style-savvy customers can engage, shop styles within the photos on saks.com and be inspired by the fashion point of view of others," writes Qianna Smith, social media director of Saks, in a blog post.

The shoppable selfie is certainly an innovative move, according to some market participants. Jeremy Epstein, vice president of marketing at Sprinklr, thinks #SaksStyle could help people feel more connected to the retailer, giving it a Harley-Davidson-like following. A motorcycle manufacturer isn't what one would typically compare to a Fifth Avenue department store, notes Epstein, but they're both brands with a strong identities that engender a lot of passionate loyalty from their customers

"Saks is turning its consumers into style icons and it can use that to inspire," Epstein says. "The retail brand is not just a place to go and get clothes. It's a representation of New York, luxury and style, and the shoppable selfie allows you to become part of that, on this virtual runway."

#SaksStyle was created by Curalate, the visual marketing and analytics platform behind Instagram's new Like2Buy feature.

How do the two platforms compare? They don't, in Epstein's opinion. He thinks the customer-curated aspect of #SaksStyle gives it a storytelling element that's unique to the world of social commerce.

"Saks realizes [they] can spend a lot of money to get people's attention or [they can] get people who are already passionate about fashion and luxury, and give them a mechanism to share that passion with their networks," he says. "They're enabling you to go live that image of yourself and share that with your friends in a genuine way."

Though #SaksStyle has launched to coincide with New York Fashion Week, the retailer plans to keep the user-generated content on its site for the foreseeable future. The success of the social commerce effort will be measured on how much revenue it generates.

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Mike O'Brien

Before joining the ClickZ team, Mike O'Brien was a reporter for newspapers in Brooklyn and Eugene, Oregon, where he earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Having also worked in newspaper sales, Mike enjoys writing about marketing and advertising much more than selling it.

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