F-Commerce: Oscar de la Renta Plans Facebook e-Commerce Initiative

F-Commerce: Oscar de la Renta plans a Facebook e-commerce initiative

The fashion design house of Oscar de la Renta already has emerged as one of the leaders in social media marketing within the fashion industry and, though best known for $4,000 cocktail dresses, plans to be a leader in social media commerce as well. “We expect Facebook will become a major channel of e-commerce,” says CEO Alex Bolen, in a wide-ranging interview with Lauren Indvik for Mashable.

Oscar de la Renta is very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. It streamed its Resort 2011 collection on Facebook in June 2010 and, as part of its conversational strategy, the designer took questions from the audience over Facebook and Twitter during the live stream. It has attracted 224,000 people on Facebook and drew requests for 25,000 samples in three days when it launched its first fragrance in 10 years via a Facebook sampling campaign.

Its @OscarPRGirl Twitter account has more than 83,000 followers.  She is not used to sell products, but to provide advice from and about the Oscar de la Renta brand.  The company invited people to provide photo coverage of its Spring/Summer 2012 collection and some 1,000 photos of the show were uploaded to Tumblr with the hashtag #odlrlive from editors, bloggers, models and viewers at home in its inaugural social media crowd-sourcing effort.

The brand is planning to launch a major f-commerce effort on Facebook in the next six weeks. It has developed a product from its fragrance and beauty lines that it thinks will sell well – and far better than those expense dresses it’s known for – on Facebook, even though the $65 pricetag is a bit high for this platform.

Bolen says he’s not just after increased sales or gathering more likes and followers. “We’d rather have a smaller group of deeply engaged evangelists for our brand,” he says. “Ultimately, the goal is to get people to think more about Oscar de la Renta and less about our competitors.

His advice:

  • Experiment. Try new things. It’s difficult to know now what will work well and what will increase community engagement.
  • Be authentic. In the social world (and in the real world), people hate phonies or blatant sales pitches.
  • Be conversational. Oscar de la Renta learned to engage its audience in a discussion rather than simply broadcasting. “We adjust to what we hear, we don’t just talk.”
  • Expand internationally. Bolen wants his social media team to engage customers in other countries and to communicate in multiple languages.
  • Innovate. It comes naturally to Oscar de la Renta and it’s what people expect of the company.
  • Take full advantage of social media. “We have a huge opportunity, a whole new wold of people we weren’t able to speak to before. Figure out the best way to do that for your brand and what fits in with your DNA.”
Want more?  Check out the full interview on Mashable.

With all of this expertise and an engaged following, do you think Oscar de la Renta will be successful with its Facebook e-commerce campaign?