CSA Exclusive: Aldo follows up on early steps toward Instagram shopping

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CSA Exclusive: Aldo follows up on early steps toward Instagram shopping

By Dan Berthiaume - 08/09/2019

Specialty footwear retailer Aldo Group is envisioning a bright future with social commerce and user-generated content.


“Social media is really our frontline contact with our consumer,” Amanda Amar, senior manager, global social media & influencer relations for Aldo Group, said in an interview with Chain Store Age. “We wanted to provide our followers ease in their experience. We were receiving so many questions on how and where to purchase the beautiful imagery they were engaging with, so we needed to ensure that their experience was as seamless as possible.”


Initially, Aldo rolled out the Like2Buy social commerce solution from Curalate to turn its Instagram channel into a shoppable storefront. Like2Buy enables retailers to connect their product feed and feature content, and Curalate auto-generates a link in their Instagram bio that can lead to an e-commerce page.


“Curalate allowed us to turn our Instagram channel into a shoppable storefront long before the native function of Shoppable Instagram was launched,” explained Amar. In addition to providing Aldo with the ability to directly sell to consumers via Instagram, Like2Buy also delivered more robust analytics, as well as sorting and dashboarding capabilities.


Despite Instagram launching native e-commerce capabilities on its platform, Amar said Aldo still obtains value from its Like2Buy page, as well.


“The two functionalities of Like2Buy and Shoppable Instagram are actually totally complimentary,” said Amar. “When Shoppable Instagram launched, we questioned if Like to Buy would become irrelevant. It’s been quite the opposite effect, actually.”


Beyond engaging in direct-to-consumer commerce on Instagram, Aldo was also pursuing and gearing up its efforts around influencer marketing.


“To this end, we needed to develop a more automated way of researching and ranking influencers across all major social media platforms to be effective and agile in our execution, which the tool allowed for us to do,” stated Amar.


Aldo also rolled out the Curalate Fanreel user-generated content (UGC) solution to leverage the UGC it was publishing on its social channels on its e-commerce channels. In 2018, the retailer saw UGC boost average order value by over 20%.


“We actually redesigned a large portion of our website and refined many of our content strategies as a result of UGC performance on our site in Fanreel,” Amar commented.


Although UGC has helped improve digital sales performance, Amar said Aldo does not view sales or revenue as the top best practice objectives on social media.


“We are now in the ‘age of the shopper,’ and a hypervisual platform like Instagram, where we are pushing out a ton of content, needs to be optimized,” she said. “It’s all about experience; we need to provide our customers the most user-friendly experience in any of our touchpoints. It’s simply essential to adapt and redesign to facilitate our customers’ needs.”


Looking ahead, Amar said UGC will continue to represent a key feature of its marketing strategy.


“With respect to UGC, we are focusing all of our strategies around more meaningful content and bringing to market our company values and efforts around cause pillars,” said Amar. “Many things that have always happened behind the scene but now we are seeing how important they are to our consumer; they are hungry for this type of soul from a brand.”