It’s making shopping super social – but it’s also informing Net-A-Porter’s buy. Sarah Watson – Net-A-Porter VP of Social Commerce – reveals how the app has impacted the luxury giant
On paper, when you consider Net-A-Porter has a social audience of over 4.5m across other channels and a rapidly growing mobile audience, building our own social network seemed like a no brainer.
And the fact that social media powerhouses are one-by-one dipping their toes into e-commerce by rolling out “buy” buttons helps prove our concept. But The Net Set is much more than just a social network and here is why…
It predicts the future
Just over a week after its launch The Net Set was flooded with images of a particular red shoe that users were uploading and loving from NY to Sydney to Hong Kong, and everywhere in between. The shoe was the Aquazzura Wild Thing 105 in Poppy Red. The Net Set team were able to feed this information to the Net-A-Porter buyers, who immediately placed a re-order. Needless to say the shoes are sold out again. This real-time insight into an explosive micro-trend just wouldn’t be possible with traditional retail tools. Not only did we propel one brand’s sales, but we were able to tap into the must-have desire that fashion addicts live for.
This sort of information is becoming widely available to people who have the time to analyse social conversations and filter through the 1001 other topics of conversation. However, The Net Set is entirely dedicated to fashion and style so the messages are loud and clear. This sort of data is invaluable to our internal buying and merchandising team and The Net Set is now a significant differentiator when it comes to trend forecasting.
It helps us get to know our customers
It gives us amazing insights into our customers that we can then use to tailor experiences across our site, email and other apps. Not only do we get to know which designers people admire, but we get a clearer picture of each user’s style. This is almost impossible to piece together from the comparatively limited or non-existent sales data users create, as what you admire and aspire to can be different to your actual purchases. Perhaps you might have made a different decision on an outfit if you’d seen designs tailored to your taste while you were browsing.
For instance the woman who shops for Saint Laurent and is a member of our Rock Chic Tribe is going to have quite different taste to the person who shops for the same brand but is part of Killing it in The Board Room. Having a deeper understanding about our customers’ “Style Tribes” helps us tailor and target messaging specifically to them. And this isn’t just from a brand perspective, but from an editorial perspective too. It’s empowering us in the same way that a shop assistant can offer a personal experience when they develop relationships with their clientele. In today’s hyper-connected world, we increasingly expect a customised experience, and this is what The Net Set delivers.
It makes the world a more stylish place
Social proof is a scientifically well documented behaviour. Humans are social creatures and they naturally emulate those around them, specifically the people whose style they admire. Even the trendsetters of today have been influenced by the icons of their past. Look at Gwen Stefani with her bright red lip inspired by her love of Marilyn Monroe or our founder Natalie Massenet, who identifies Audrey Hepburn as her Style Icon; the similarities are uncanny.
Connecting fashion-loving people from around the world widens their sphere of influence and in turn can help to amplify micro-trends, that historically form locally, to now spread globally by the power of social sharing. Gone are the days of people being told what to wear by a limited number of fashion publications and public figures. Now people can decide themselves and use The Net Set to uncover and proudly share their own personal style. That’s why we created #youCANsitwithus; we want to give everyone a voice in shaping the next killer trend, to discover new brands and looks and open up their fashion world for all to see.
The Net Set is now open to everyone and is available from the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Download it here.
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