OSOYOU is a social shopping site that displays fashion items from retailers including Marks & Spencer, Warehouse and Dorothy Perkins.
Launched in November 2007, it combines these e-commerce features with a social network that allows users to create their own wishlists, compare them and purchase the items from the site’s partners.
We talked to OSOYOU marketing manager Leon Bailey to find out a bit more…
Can you explain how the site works?
OSOYOU is a cross between a social network and a fashion retail space. Our aim is to make shopping easier by giving users the opportunity to browse items from over 25 high street stores in one place and talk about those items to friends, peers, experts and total strangers!
Former Emap Elan MD Dawn Bebe is managing director. Dawn’s previous success stories include the development of Grazia magazine.
How is the team set up?
As a start-up OSOYOU.com is a small close knit team of nine girls and one guy (me!). The core teams are commercial & marketing, retail and content.
How have you promoted the site so far?
We have done a mixture of things – B2B PR, paid search, email marketing, media partnerships, online PR, SEO – no above the line advertising.
What proportion of traffic are you receiving via search engines?
74%. 92% of which is natural search – not bad for a relatively new website. We are a news source in Google News.
What made you launch a blog?
OSOBLOG.tv was originally seen as a way of introducing the OSO brand before the launch of OSOYOU.com – it grew into a sub brand of its own, so we decided to keep it going in a much bigger way. It’s now an integral part of our offering.
How much funding did you receive from Brightstation?
OSOYOU received an initial investment of £1m followed by further funding. We are a privately held company.
What kind of relationship do you have with partner retailers?
Our best relationships are where we work directly with the retailer, which is most cases we do – in these cases we have been able to test out innovative and exclusive promotions and offers – these have also driven better responses than any generic offers. In general relationships are positive and retailers are enthusiastic about working with us.
How many people are using the social network features of the site? Has this been effective in driving sales?
We have 8,000 users already and we’re happy with the interaction. We are seeing that our super-users are adopting to the features well and influencing the community. This is helping to drive sales, but conversions are still really driven by editorial features.