Debenhams launches new social selling strategy in run-up to Christmas 2014

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Department store giant Debenhams claims it is shaking up its social strategy this year, with several social ‘Co-buying’ campaigns planned between now and Christmas.

Launched in partnership with a leading social commerce technology provider, Buyapowa, the first Co-buy offer goes live today (10 September) and will give online shoppers the opportunity to purchase gift cards for Debenhams’s new autumn/winter 2014 collection, the value of which will increase as more people commit to buy.

Customers who join the Co-buy will be incentivised by group rewards and leaderboard-based gamification to get their friends, family and colleagues to purchase, too. Not only will everyone benefit from added value as more people participate, but the customers who make the most successful referrals will be doubly rewarded via exclusive prizes, including a personal styling session and hundreds of pounds to spend at Debenhams.

Co-buying will form a key strategic pillar of Debenhams’s Christmas online marketing campaign, enabling the brand to super-charge sharing across social, increase average order value and acquire new customers online.

Ross Clemmow, director of e-commerce at Debenhams, said: “We are always looking to the latest best practice methods to engage with our customers online. Co-buying is an innovative approach in connecting with new customers through our existing most engaged customers.

“The format acts as a great way to strengthen the customer experience and further drive sales.”

Gideon Lask, CEO of Buyapowa, said: “We’re excited to help Debenhams turn existing customers into highly motivated marketers and brand evangelists through curation, dynamic pricing and gamification across social channels.

“We call this magic formula Co-buying, and it’s the perfect way to get social audiences shopping. People love systems with a bit of fun to them: a game, a competition, a countdown. We love taking on the system, getting something for nothing and gaining social kudos. Co-buying taps into these social drivers.

“Selling successfully on social will be especially crucial in the run-up to Christmas, when retailers need to think well beyond traditional discounting strategies to beat the competition.”