Though social is now recognised as an integral part of the marketing mix, many still question its place in commerce.

That's why it was so fascinating to catch up with Hannah Pilpel, social project manager at MADE.COM, to find out what value the brand finds in social.

Hannah revealed some stats as to the monetary value of a social shopper, as well as sharing the brand's channel insight.

Does social engagement correlate with customer value?

Yes. Here at MADE.COM our customer is a savvy online shopper. They buy big ticket furniture items online.

Social is a way for us to build confidence in the brand by showcasing our personality. Engage with them, inspire them and answer their questions quickly.

And it shows; people who came to MADE.COM from organic social had an average order value 4% higher than the site average in Q1 2016. 

Is paid social a big part of your media mix?

Paid social is really important to us here at MADE.COM. We love to innovate and have been the first to test new paid social betas with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

MADE.COM has rolled out promoted pins.

made on pinterest 

What metrics do you use to track the success of Unboxed?

MADE Unboxed is all about building customer loyalty and brand advocacy.

We measure success by the dwell time on site and average order value of people who visit Unboxed during their time on MADE.COM.

We have seen that dwell times on the site are over 3x higher for those visitors. And the average order value was up 16% on the site average in Q1.

What's the MADE take on influencers? Does your community mean you don't need them?

From day one we have worked hard to attract those influential early adopters and they continue to be incredibly important to us.

Back when we began six years ago, we had a very innovative business model and it was the influencers who gave us a go that really got the business off the ground.

Getting people to buy a sofa online from a brand they’d never heard of was tricky.

By building a brand and attracting those influencers early on means they have always been part of our community. 

How important is the MADE brand? 

Building the brand has always been important to us. As we grow and mature, we’re careful not to lose sight of how important it is to evolve and continue to be innovative.

It’s only by staying ahead of the curve that we manage to keep a brand that both existing and new members of the community want to affiliate with.

Product photography seems to work well for MADE, so how do you adapt to video?

Video is extremely important to us. It’s a tool we’ve used on the ecommerce site to showcase products in more detail.

Collections with videos have sold 4 to 9 times more pieces than those without.

And with social platforms putting more and more focus on visual content (the rise of Instagram and also Twitter integration with visual content) it is a format we want to do more with in 2016.

Part of a MADE.COM product video.

made.com video

How have your physical stores changed your social strategy, if at all?

We use social to promote the fact that we have showrooms as we now have three in the UK alone.

People still think of us as a purely online brand and whilst that’s our main base, we hope the showrooms bridge that gap for people who want to touch and feel the products.

It is also important to engage with people who share their showroom visits on social.

These people are already invested in the brand, they’ve made an effort to come and see us. We use social to nurture this relationship.

What new developments in social media are you excited about?

We’ve been eagerly awaiting Promoted Pins on Pinterest and are thrilled to be one of Pinterest partners for its UK launch.

We also work closely with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and know they have some exciting developments in paid social coming to the UK market soon. 

The way social and ecommerce are integrating is fascinating.

Pinterest’s link-back approach mean it has done social commerce from the get go and apps like Depop, as well as developments such as Facebook Canvas, show that there is an appetite to better integrate the buying cycle into social.

These developments will surely change the social media landscape, and showcase the power of a community. 

Ben Davis

Published 25 April, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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