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Insights From ‘The Women’s Domain & The Rise Of Social Commerce’ Panel

Last month, we attended an event in London by The Women’s Domain – a vibrant community set up to amplify women’s voices within ecommerce (which Nosto proudly sponsored!). This particular event was about the rise of social commerce, and between cocktails and canapes, we listened to a fantastic panel of women, that included our very own Senior CSM, Joanna Thomas, as well as our client Laurina Scott, Digital Marketing Manager at Skinnydip London. The panelists dove deep into tactics brands can use to connect with their female audiences authentically, and shared anecdotes about their success. 

Here are some of our top snippets!

Understanding the human element:

Alongside Joanna and Laurina were five other speakers, including Amanda McCourt, Co-Founder of Pantee, a sustainable fashion brand. Amanda kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the importance of recognizing your audience as individuals with unique needs and desires. She stressed that building a community is not just about making sales, but creating a conversation.“It’s important to learn that there’s value to be extracted from your community or your audience that’s not just getting a sale” she shared. 

Amanda said she encourages brands to sit with their customers, truly listen to their feedback, and transform it into actionable insights. Later in the panel, Amanda shared a thoughtful example of this. Emphasizing the need for transparency between brands and consumers, she told a story of how—when one of Pantee’s most hopeful product launches went awry—the brand responded in such a way that led to a really positive outcome. Essentially, they launched a new collection and it didn’t perform anywhere near what they were anticipating. Pantee suspected there was an issue with their site that might’ve affected this, so posted on Instagram that they were offering anyone a 30% discount to anyone willing to give feedback and provide screenshots of their shopping experience. Not only did this give the brand crucial insight into what went wrong, but got so much traction that it turned out to be their biggest sales day to date—improving loyalty while also converting many new customers.  

Amanda shared how she believes “a lot of brands are really scared to say when they’re messing up and when they don’t have the answers. So we treat it as a two-way conversation.” By involving customers in problem-solving, they discovered that the issue was a product issue, not a website issue. Amanda highlighted the valuable trust gained, creating a stronger bond with the audience.

Laurina Scott, Digital Marketing Manager from Skinnydip, echoed this sentiment highlighting the significance of a human touch within social commerce. She underlined the value of having a human tone of voice that resonates with their demographic: largely 16-30-year-old females and Gen Z. Laurina humorously described the brand’s tone of voice as “the girl in the bathroom that you meet on a drunk night out and you suddenly become best friends with.” This is crucial for Skinnydip, Laurina explained that they want to maintain their authenticity and connection with their customers.

Targeting and reaching your demographics:

The discussion shifted to tactics for reaching these specific female audiences. That’s when Jo from our customer success team weighed in to stress the importance of personalizing the customer journey. Jo discussed how impactful it can be to create content pop-ups that are relevant to the user and how, using Nosto, merchants can set up segments and target them with such campaigns. Jo talked about the buyer journey and how, as an increasing portion of shoppers are arriving at brands’ sites from social media apps or other mobile platforms, brands need to seamlessly transition them to landing pages that maintain consistent messaging and streamline their product discovery journey on site. 

How women have been transforming DTC and social commerce:

Rita Harnett, Global Head of DTC & Social Commerce at Wavemaker Global, delved into the transformative role of women entrepreneurs in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) and social commerce landscape. 

Rita added to the conversation by discussing the role women play in social commerce, saying how she believes women are innate multitaskers who rely significantly on their communities and have an active role in engaging with other women—all of which translate smoothly into the social commerce sphere. Rita spotlighted influencers and women-owned brands as examples of fostering female communities by building trust through try-ons and tutorials, giving the example of Charlotte Tilbury and Victoria Beckham.

Rita provided insights into the evolving online shopping behavior of female consumers over the last 12-18 months. She stressed the need for short, engaging videos and seamless end-to-end experiences, urging brands to understand what resonates with their consumers and create curated video experiences.

Fostering communities:

Something the panelists emphasized and commented on throughout was the need for brands to build communities with their customers. This led to discussing the rising popularity of having influencers and what we now call ‘micro-influencers’. Sara Russell, Marketing Director at 5874 Commerce and panel host, shared how she, as a consumer, wants to see products from someone who she can relate to and therefore prefers seeing influencers who mirror her demographic, such as fellow moms.

Hannah Walker, Head of Mid Market UK at Reddit, a social news and forum website, shed light on the unique nature of Reddit as a platform for community building. She asked the room how many people use Reddit, to which the majority showed hands. She went on to say that “Reddit is a home for different communities, with 100,000 active communities every day, from every different subject.”

Hannah explained how, given its anonymity, Reddit provides a space for genuine conversations and in-depth product research, making it a valuable channel for brands. The platform’s focus on information and research contributes to a longer consideration phase for users, setting it apart from other social platforms. This lends itself to trust and authenticity from users, which is reflected in how people often turn to platforms like Reddit over Google Search.

It’s also what makes Reddit a fruitful place for social listening—to see what your customers and prospects are discussing about your brand and products. Due to the community setting and informative nature, Hannah said that often, brands create megaposts as part of their marketing strategy giving the example of when Reddit ran a campaign with Boots for Boots’latest No.7 product line by creating a megapost filled with information. As Laura put it “On Reddit, people are there to learn, they are there to research products to make decisions. They can then engage with posts, and leave comments, and brands can reply to them. I think that’s where the power lies..” 

Following this, Laurina from Skinnydip shared her success in leveraging authenticity to drive sales through small influencers. She said that social commerce naturally lends itself to diversity by empowering different types of women which she does through influencers. She shared an example of one influencer, “Anna, whose handle is @thesinglemama. Every day, she just goes live while making her kid’s dinner, something like chicken dippers. She was wearing one of our dressing gowns, and she sold 800 units for us in 26 minutes. I was like, who is this? And how do we employ her?” she joked. Laurina notes how fun online commerce can be compared to traditional channels. “We’ve worked with amazing influencers like Jade from Little Mix but it’s actually more fun working with the mums, kids, and students.” It not only supports them as they can earn money from commissions but she says it’s refreshing to see all types of female influencers achieving success.

Conclusion:
From building authentic communities and fostering influencer relationships to utilizing unique platforms like Reddit, The Rise of Social Commerce showcased the diversity and importance of women-led initiatives within the space. And we’re here for it!

Special thanks to our friends at Nosto for their insights on this topic.
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