Last year and bucking the trend of bringing social to the store, Magazine Luiza brought the store to social, by inviting people to curate their own mini-store on Orkut and Facebook.
The ‘Your Store’ (Magazine Você) initiative invited consumers to stock their own mini-store with up to 60 items from Magazine Luiza’s inventory. Users could personalise the store, offer personal reviews and comments, and get 2.5% – 4.5% commission for any sales made. Fulfilment and logistics was handled by Magazine Luiza.
Contagious Magazine reports that whilst the idea was popular – 53,000 stores were opened, and whilst conversion rates were 40% higher than traditional stores, only a total of 10,000 products were sold.
Whilst this could be seen as another nail in the coffin of the ‘bring the store to social’ variant of social commerce, we think it points to an opportunity.
How about if the idea was tweaked – a la OpenSky – to offer member organisations/certification bodies for independent professionals a simple solution for their members (Think personal trainers, caterers, yoga/Zumba instructors, photographers, hairdressers, educators). Self-employed professionals depend on, and use their social networks and followers to build their businesses, so there would be a natural fit for curated store on a blog, linked from YouTube, or even Facebook.
If you’ve ever been to a Zumba instructor event, you’ll see why this would work. Instructors buying sack loads of Zumba gear to sell to their members. It’d be a useful benefit from the Zumba Instructor Network if they could do this without having to manhandle the gear themselves – and it’d keep member dues coming in.
As the science of promotions shows, the key to success will, of course, be to run any such store with two-sided promotions, both the curator and customer should get a better price than can be found elsewhere. Otherwise the idea is dead in the water. But done right, here’s a real opportunity in the social commerce space.