Note: The ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index is a new way of tracking Facebook Commerce introduced by ChannelAdvisor in the US in February of 2011. You can read the background information, schedule, etc. in this introductory post. The UK version was launched in May 2011.
February 2012 ChannelAdvisor UK Facebook Commerce Index
Welcome to February’s edition of the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Index; we’ve seen some pretty significant moves this month amongst some of the UK’s biggest retailers. Although February was the shortest month of the year, results were spectacular! Almost 1.2 million fans were added to the Index, a growth of 8%.
Boohoo.com has continued its seemingly inexorable surge up the overall rankings – posting a 19% increase in fans from January, and up to 11th position (from 13th) overall – we’ve also seen some impressive gains from two powerhouses of on- and offline retail, New Look and Tesco.
The success story of February has to be Boden Clothing, which increased its fan count by 34% in just one month! Although Boden are not yet breaking into the Top 25, this is definitely one to watch!
New Look has held the number 3 spot in our index since October, and while they have consistently been adding new fans, this month they shot to the top of our Fastest Growers table by adding a whopping 196,693 likes! A double-digit percentage increase is really impressive for a brand that is already so popular on Facebook, and New Look are rapidly closing the gap on ASOS.
So what did New Look do to drive such high interest in February?
Well, the answer seems to be having a very engaging and personable Facebook strategy. The team at New Look post regular updates and keep things fresh with celebrity news, “New In” products, sale previews and Facebook promo codes:
New Look is a female-dominated brand and its Facebook page shows that they the company is really in-tune with what its followers are looking for, plus the wall is managed in the same way that many of the other top brands do by not showing customer posts, keeping it clean and very controlled.
There are regular competitions in conjunction with other companies such as Heat, Shout Magazine and Company Magazine – again, all very much in-line with the New Look target market. Further, Facebook is the ideal platform for promoting competitions such as New Look’s model hunt for the Generation 9-15 brand:
New Look’s page is a great example of a fashion brand that can keep its followers engaged and loyal, as well as encouraging new followers to join the masses – other brands, take note!
One of February’s biggest movers was Tesco, taking on another 100,000 fans in the last month; a frankly staggering growth of 20%. The retail giant finally broke into the top 10 in January and is now sitting comfortably in eighth place.
Tesco has for a long time now transcended the world of supermarket shopping, diversifying massively over the years and evolving into the multichannel retailer that we see today.
The surge in fans this February could be attributed to a new feature, a virtual fitting room, whereby fans can try on a variety of different items; which meanwhile provides Tesco with in-depth consumer data.
Tesco also engage fans through competitions, from Valentine’s competitions to enticing fans to try out the virtual fitting room by offering a £50 voucher. The result? A varied and engaging Facebook page.
Boden Clothing were also a notable brand within our Fastest Growers (by %) index over the month of February. Taking a look at Boden’s page the ‘Face of Mini Boden Model’ competition that Boden ran through the month proved to be exceptionally popular, as evidenced by the volume of photos and comments on its Facebook page!
The Wall is filled with photos of children and comments from parents – given the very public nature of Facebook, it’s surprising to see how willing Boden customers are to share details of their children, which is possibly a credit to Boden for creating such a trust-worthy brand and community.
Another reason for the increase in fans could well be Boden’s regular offering of vouchers and discount codes – again the wall is filled with questions and comments from shoppers. Interestingly, in February Boden posted out vouchers randomly to customers – which resulted in many comments on Facebook from customers disgruntled at receiving £5 when others received £10, and others having not received anything at all, as well as the many comments from happy customers, keen to share their recent purchases.
Boden’s Customer Services team are clearly doing a fantastic job with what must be a mammoth task of managing their Facebook page as well as providing excellent service to their customers. There are literally thousands of posts and Boden’s team appear to be responding to as many as they can.
Lesson Learned: Boden may need to reconsider its Facebook strategy—especially with regard to coupons– as its customer community grows and take control of its page by posting proactively, rather than letting customers dominate the wall.
It has to be said that HMV has come a long way since announcing the closing of 60 stores in the UK last year, suffering from the rise of the digital download. This month they surged to the top of our ‘Top Growers’ list for February with a 48% increase in the number of fans.
Some tactics employed by HMV:
- Released a streaming media service to rival that of Apple’s iTunes and Tesco’s Blinkbox
- Promoted ‘HMV Live,’ its festival-running business arm
- Showcased upcoming movie releases
- Ensured plenty of visual uploads of gigs, new products
- Promoted its hip new HMV Bar in Hammersmith Apollo
Adopting Facebook’s ‘Timeline’, HMV have jumped aboard the social media bandwagon with aplomb, time will tell whether that increase in fans translates to a similarly impressive increase in revenues.
That’s it for February! After some exciting shifts in the Index and an extra 1.2 million fans we are already looking forward to March’s results!