So, how can social media help Bluefly.com?
Social media focuses on building community and engaging users through a more personalized online experience. The reason embracing social media is essential for companies like Bluefly, is because the more engaged are the customers, the more money the customers will spend on products. Keep someone on a website for long enough and he or she will eventually make a purchase. Get them talking about your site with friends and you will virally (and cheaply) drive traffic. Embrace a feel-good mission and your community will rally around you: Mike Sabbat from Small Marvel mentions this in relation to the ‘Red Campaign’ here. Bluefly has its own blog, but that is not enough.
What an internet-based company like Bluefly needs to consider more carefully is ‘who are the most likely customers’â€œ not simply the people who will go ‘check-out’ the site after seeing a television ad, but visitors who will be compelled to make a purchase. After all, you are only a customer if you make a purchase.
In my opinion Bluefly must take better advantage of the synergies it has with celebrity fashion. Bluefly should be targeting men and women who are easily influenced by labels. I see a very strong connection between celebrities and labels. It seems logical to target advertising at web-communities focused on fashion, design and celebrities. Does Lindsay Lohan have a handbag similar to one found on Bluefly? Show us. This is a strong community.
Here is a listing of three different blogs I believe Bluefly should advertise on:
TMZ: Technorati Rank = 25 (Celebrity gossip, owned by AOL)
A Socialite’s Life: Technorati Rank = 315 (Celebrity fashion photos& news)
Valleywag: 163 (Silicon Valley Gossip)
Each of the above blogs serves a slightly different demographic, but each community is influenced by labels and luxury.
Next, Bluefly needs to capitalize on the value of ‘getting a deal.’ Who doesn’t love to tell the world about an amazing deal they got? There are already communities built around deals, such as HotDealsClub.com and DealCathcher.com. The problem is that the people who shop at Bluefly are not people who want to scour the internet for some 5% off coupon. These are customers who want a deal because the company comes to them; Bluefly needs to offer a discount that makes customers feel they are part of an exclusive communityâ€œ BrooksBrothers does this well.
Finally, Bluefly should leverage the fact that it’s a young company and has a ‘good looking’ demographic. Highlight some customers. Make people see that a certain popular celebrity shops at Bluefly. Show that a few non-over-the-top metro sexual guys, with women ogling them, simply because they were ‘smart’ enough to shop at Bluefly. Also, why not a partnership? A fun partnership. Bluefly could easily strike a mutually beneficial deal with MTV’s The Hills, US Online, or some entity that associates them with celebrity. Bluefly and its labels will sell, but only if they are perceived to be worn by the right crowd.
Note: Since I posted this series the Bluefly stock is up 30%+ I’m not suggesting anything by this statement.