How much time do you spend shopping online? Chances are, if you’re unsure what you want, you might end up in the never-ending black hole of ecommerce, so overwhelmed by choice that you might decide the best thing to do is to abandon the purchase.
This is a classic example of the choice paralysis concept, outlined in psychologist Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice. In it, he mentions a study where people were asked to taste and pick a jam. In one example, the group was given 24 jam varieties, and in the other – 6. Out of those who were presented with the 24 options, only 3% bought a product, whereas that number increased to 30% for the group presented with 6 varieties.
If 24 options sound overwhelming, how do things look in the fashion ecommerce space? “Retailers like ASOS, for example, has 80,000 products on its site and 3,500 new items per week,” says Andre Wang, co-founder of endorsement tech startup FavourUp. “They have to suggest the right item to the right people at the right time.”
Retailers can decide if they want to keep working with a particular influencer, opt for a different one as well as provide bloggers with direction on specific poses or styles that generate better results
This is one of the problems FavourUp wants to solve. The platform lets brands aggregate their influencer content from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and put it on specific place on their website. Then, they can link the photos to specific product pages, where customers can purchase the item. Andre says this can move users quicker through the sales funnel, from discovery and inspiration stage, to action.
Beyond quicker conversion, FavourUp lets retailers monitor the performance of these influencer posts. For example, the system can report on which blogger photo people clicked the most on, how many people navigate to the product page and end up buying the piece. "The biggest advantage is determining how to allocate their marketing budget in the future based on that performance," says Andre. For example, retailers can decide if they want to keep working with a particular influencer, opt for a different one as well as provide bloggers with direction on specific poses or styles that generate better results. “We are able to say what collection of photos will perform better on the site for a specific season or campaign.”
By aggregating influencer photos on a brand’s website, FavourUp helps extend the impact of these brand-blogger collaborations too. "Companies spend so much on influencer collaborations, they get the endorsements and the pictures, but it’s mostly all on social media,” says Andre. “So that endorsement dies very quickly because it gets lost in the feed after just a couple of days.”
So far, the two-year old startup has collected 12.7k endorsed content pieces, generates 20.2k extra views of IGC (Instagram-generated content) per month and analyses 3k data points doily. The system, which is powered by machine learning algorithms, plans to use those data points to personalise the UGC content people see in the near future. “If you go on a retailer’s site and log in through Facebook, we can see the things you’re interested in and ensure that we serve you influencer content that you will respond better to,” explains Andre. ‘This is a big opportunity for us, so we are testing the feature with a few retailers before we fully roll it out because we want to do it right.”
The startup, which counts footwear brand Ganor Domonic, fashion studio Sabinna, eyewear maker Josh Fano, multi-brand retailer Wear the Walk, as well as agencies like Liberty Marketing among its clients, has ambitions for the future, seeing the potential of the technology beyond the fashion industry. “The main challenge we are facing is limited time because we’re a small team but need to turn around things quickly," concludes Andre. “What I really love about us is that everybody on FavourUp’s team loves the problem that we’re solving. That’s very important in a company. You don’t have to love the solution but you have to love the problem.” Onwards and FavourUpwards.
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