TECHNOLOGY

Beauty retailer outperforming all others in social media run up to Black Friday

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

With the Black Friday weekend nearly here, there are clear winners when it comes to social media engagement.

At the head of the class is Sephora, with 2.4 million consumer interactions (reactions, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sephora’s top status is being driven by its success on Instagram, a site that reveals high consumer enthusiasm for the retailer’s offerings of makeup box sets and key brands, such as Bite Beauty and Urban Decay, as well as its own collection.

That’s according to Shareablee’s Black Friday edition of its “Social Scorecard.” The annual report ranks shopper interest in U.S. retailers in the countdown to the official start of the holiday season.

Nordstrom is also earning consumers’ attention across social media. The department store chain had nearly 544,000 social actions in November — a move that earned it the top Black Friday posts on Facebook. The chain also earned highest audience loyalty with 40% of the brand's Facebook audience returning month over month to engage with the brand, the report said.

Meanwhile, Amazon was the clear winner on Twitter, capturing over 9,000 retweets and driving the most social actions for the U.S. retail category in November.

These companies gave some retail giants a run for their money, including Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Homegoods, all of which dropped from the top 10 list this year, with declines of 39%, 50%, and 74% respectively.

Major retailers Target, Walmart and Best Buy were also notably absent from the rankings, driving just 338,000 consumer moments on social in November, and declining by more than 50% year-over-year, the report said.

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TECHNOLOGY

Nordstrom expands its B2B gift card program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Nordstrom is taking its gift card program industry-wide.

Leveraging its partnership with CashStar, Nordstrom is using the CashStar Business platform to streamline the sale of its gift cards — both plastic and digital — to business partners.

Called the Nordstrom Gift Cards for Business program, the department store retailer is streamlining orders, and enabling partners to securely place, pay for and manage orders, as well as load cards with $5 to $2,000 per card.

Nordstrom partners can also use the platform to track current and previous orders, as well as create new orders via saved information — all directly through the portal.

Nordstrom began its partnership with CashStar in 2015, when it adopted the CashStar Consumer application to debut a new consumer digital gift card program in time for last year’s holiday season, a company statement said.

“Launching our Gift Cards for Business program gives Nordstrom a great opportunity to connect with and better serve business-to-business customers,” said Sean Burrow, director, gift card at Nordstrom. “CashStar’s platform will help us to provide expanded ordering options, faster fulfillment and improved account management.”

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TECHNOLOGY

This retailer is donating 100% of its Black Friday sales to help the environment

BY Marianne Wilson

Talk about commitment.

Patagonia announced that its plans to donate 100% of its store and online sales on Black Friday, Nov. 25, to grassroots environmental organizations.

"These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines," Patagonia CEO and president Rose Marcario wrote in a post announcing the company’s plans. "The support we can give is more important now than ever."

Patagonia is a longtime and ardent supporter of environmental causes and already helps fund grassroots environmental organizations by giving away 1% of its sales to such groups — an amount that totals $74 million to date.

“But during a difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those who are fighting tirelessly to protect them,” Marcario wrote. “The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country. We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment — and our children and grandchildren do, too.”

The company’s move to donate Black Friday sales comes after it closed its stores, headquarters and distribution centers on Election Day to encourage its employees and consumers to vote for a candidate that would make a commitment to the environment.

“At Patagonia, we will grow and deepen our resolve to protect what we love,” wrote Marcario. We will fight harder and smarter, and use every means at our disposal to prevail for the sake of the country, the planet and the wild places and creatures that need our voice.”

Patagonia will also provide its consumers with information in its stores and on its website about how they can get involved with the environmental groups in their communities.

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