Taggstar launches real-time social proof recommendations, new website and brand identity

Taggstar, the social proof messaging specialist, has launched Social Proof Recommendations, a solution which combines social proof messages with real-time product recommendations.

The company has also unveiled a new brand identity and relaunched its website with a new look and feel, which showcases the business’s “playful personality” and features 55 customer case studies.

CTO Andy Lucas said Taggstar was leveraging its platform to make real-time product recommendations in tandem with social proof messaging, recognising “a new era of shopping, which is becoming increasingly social”; where product categories are now filtered by social media, friends and influencers. 

The new Social Proof Recommendations solution is based on six product recommendation algorithms to reach both new and returning customers:

  • Recommended for you
  • Jump back in – to remind customers what they had previously looked at
  • Also bought
  • Popular ie best sellers
  • Trending (based on rate of sale)
  • New in – products that have recently been added to a retailer’s catalogue

Different algorithms/product recommendations would be presented at different stages of the shopping journey eg the discovery or decision phase in order to maximise discovery and conversion.

Lucas said the solution addressed the frustration of existing algorithms providers, which were not real-time. 

“Crowd sourced recommendations are like shopping with a friend,” he said. “Social Proof Recommendations help shoppers understand the popularity of products in real-time and give retailers control over the recommendations on their websites. By combining social proof messaging with product recommendations we can help retailers increase the transparency for their customers,” he said.

NFTs are tokens to drive customer engagement, says Smart Media Labs

Presenting at Taggstar’s half year event for retail customers in the North West of England, Smart Media Labs’ marketing director for Europe, Noelle Reno, and client strategist, Sophie Conway, shared how NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) were trending tools to drive customer engagement and a means to extend brand experiences to more people.

In the midst of a technological and behavioural shift, brands have more opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers, said Reno.

Reno presented Smart Media Labs’ NFT campaign for Rosewood London, which was designed to increase engagement and customer acquisition around afternoon tea.

On the arrival of their final course, customers were invited to scan a QR code on their phones and then input their email address in order to receive a link to an AR experience featuring butterflies. Customers could click to capture a butterfly, which would appear as an NFTea in their own NFT wallet and be a souvenir of their visit. Reno revealed 75% of customers had redeemed their NFTs, 55% of people were opting in and 50% of NFTs had been listed on secondary marketplaces. 

A Selfridges collaboration with the designer Charli Cohen and creation of Electric City, a virtual city where customers could purchase both physical and digital garments, also had huge appeal, Reno told retailers.

The campaign attracted 7,500 users and had a 25% conversion rate. Again, there was an opportunity to sell items on in the secondary market.

Conway also shared how Smart Media Labs was driving customer engagement with smart digital objects and emphasised their appeal.

“It’s hard for brands to differentiate and capture an audience. Customers no longer just want to be advertised to – they want to be entertained. Customers want value from the brands they engage with and that’s where NFTs come in,” she said.

According to Conway, NFTs are powered by both scarcity and gamification – ie they take users on a story or narrative, which generates good dwell times for brands. Campaigns are typically web-based experiences and customisable and aim to register users with a branded wallet – usually via an incentive or draw – where they can collect NFTs.

Conway presented its NFT campaign for the rucksack brand Fjallraven, which wanted to grow its audience. To date, Fjallraven has 750,000 registered wallets, which it can market to directly eg with NPD.

Fjallraven also launched an AR Scavenger Hunt by dropping 5,000 backpacks on a virtual map, which users could hunt for and then redeem in-store. Further drops have followed plus searches for digital coins (Fox Coins) – virtual loyalty points, which users can collect and then translate into ‘real world’ value.

Conway suggested points could be rewarded to customers for numerous actions eg for following a brand on social channels, for using a specific hashtag, sharing with friends, watching a video or taking part in surveys and quizzes.

Shopable NFTs can also be used to drive customers to certain areas of a brand’s website, she added.

In another campaign, Ben & Jerry’s launched a virtual Golden Egg hunt in Australia and New Zealand with prize-filled eggs dropped around stores for players to collect and redeem for ‘real world’ prizes such as free ice cream. 

The initiative included dropping 10 limited edition golden eggs, which provided finders with a year’s worth of free ice cream plus a tradable golden egg NFT.

In total, 52,000 prizes were picked up and there were over 45,000 registered users, with an average dwell time of 3m 33 seconds.

Doritos’ AR Quest, a partnership between PepsiCo and PlayStation, was another ‘hunt-based’ game, which invited players to hunt virtual packets of Doritos and collect Playstation’s iconic four symbols – square, cross, circle and triangle – as Doritos chips. Players who collected all four won a PlayStation 5. Run in six countries and safely within home settings during Covid lockdowns, the campaign attracted 180,000 engaged users with 500,000 virtual packets dropped on the map.