Social Commerce: Innovation, Inclusion & Insights

Revisit our virtual roundtable discussion about shaping, designing, influencing, and delivering on social commerce.

The author(s)
  • Janelle James SVP, Qualitative
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What do you get when you cross fin tech, social media, and retail? You guessed it: Social Commerce. This year tens of millions of Americans swarmed TikTok and other social media platforms to find their Amazon Prime Day deals. YouTube and Shopify just partnered to provide a frictionless shopping experience so creators can directly link products across channels… even livestream. Shopping and fulfillment now also ‘go down in the DMs’ with Instagram’s new feature that allows order placement and tracking via direct messaging. And countless brands are currently reimagining the customer journey including immersive Metaverse experiences. 

Without a doubt, social commerce is transforming marketing and retail right before our eyes. Industries like fashion, beauty, food, travel, and fitness are poised to experience record growth and questions are emerging as quickly as we uncover solutions. How should we think about omnichannel customer journeys, equitable access, algorithmic bias, and supporting all small businesses (including those that are women and minority owned) as social commerce unlocks an unprecedented amount of opportunity?

Listen in as Ipsos’ Janelle James hosts a dynamic conversation on innovation, inclusion, and insights in social commerce. Janelle is joined by guest panelists who are shaping, designing, influencing, and delivering the future of commerce – hear what they have to say:

  • Eva Wang, Firework. Head of Commerce & Partnerships
    Global executive and former Amex veteran who's building live commerce experiences for the next generation of consumers.
  • Irene Walker, Meta, Director of Business Equity Partnerships and Programs
    Program architect of Meta Elevate who’s secured high profile partnerships with Ciara and other influencers.
  • Katharine Norwood, Google, Head of UX Insights & Strategy
    Google Commerce design researcher and strategist leveraging cultural anthropology and systems thinking to build human-centered commerce solutions. 
  • Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily, Founder & CEO
    Fashion Journalist turned Social Media Expert who created a direct-to-consumer fashion brand with millions of followers. 

Today’s AI-generated audio transcript is offered below. Apologies in advance for inconsistencies that have been included.


Thank you for joining us for today's Ipsos Virtual Roundtable discussion about shaping, designing, influencing, and delivering on social commerce.


Today's Roundtable guests are among the most talented executives in the industry and you can read more about them in the slide in front of you.


Throughout today's session you will remain in listen only mode.


However, throughout the webinar, please submit your questions online using the Q&A feature, Time permitting we'll answer questions at the end of today's session.


However, if time reinsured than your question will be answered by e-mail, today's webinar is also being recorded and will be directed to you.


So now without further ado it is my pleasure to introduce today's moderator Janelle James' Senior Vice President with Ipsos UU. Janelle, you have the floor.


Thank you Elen and thank you everyone for joining us today.


Really excited to have this conversation with our amazing executives on our Roundtable today. This year Social Commerce is estimated to be a $53 billion business. And half of all social media users are anticipated to at least have one transaction on social media. So this is definitely a growing space in one that we're very excited about particularly because social media is both a marketing touch point and the retail channel and it works across sectors and across occasion. So, with that, I would love to get started by having our wonderful panelists introduce themselves.


So, Katherine, you can get us started. If you could just tell us, obviously, you know, where you work, what you do, and tell us about a recent project, that highlights how you touched social Commerce. Awesome, thanks so much. And L, and thanks for having me. So, I'm Katherine, UX, Insights, and Strategy Lead, across Google Commerce.


I've been deeply immersed in the Commerce shopping, retail space for several years now, Leading Google's foundational generative, exploratory research in the retail category, including building out our foundational insights about the next generation of shoppers, Gen Z, as well as our foundational insights around social commerce. So, I'm touching a lot of different things in the Google Commerce category as a whole.




Next up, Eva, to ingest it for sure is a great pleasure to be here today with the rest of the amazing panelists that we have here to talk about a topic, so close to my heart, social commerce. And so I come from by work out, we are the largest live stream, and short video commerce platform back by Southbank. We help brands of all sizes to redefine their all in channel experiences with their end consumers across there are owned and operated channels. So I lead our commerce and partnership team here at if I work, and I came from a payment and commerce background. So being in this space, I'm super excited to see Social Commerce helping brands to drive the next generation of growth. Because when you bring content, comers and community together it really helped to expand the ecosystem where you so very excited to be here today.


Wonderful. Do you want to tell us about a recent project that you're touching or working on?


Yeah, Social Commerce actually touches many aspects of what we do. I'll give some examples of work we're doing with different industry, because social Commerce doesn't just touch some of the typical industry on fashion, as well as cosmetic, which are super important. But we actually have examples of our grocery customers using Social Commerce to build connection with their end customers. I'll talk a bit more about that later as well.


Wonderful. Irene, you're up next.


Hi, everyone.


And, yes, I echo what what Eva said in terms of being with that very prestigious panel here. So it's an honor to be.


I am at Nesta, and run a program that is called Elevate Elevate was created in 20 18 before the pandemic to help businesses, small businesses of color, to amplify and to grow their brands online.


We do this through education programs and to provide mentorship and also to help them get to the place where they have dedicated account support. Sometimes it can be a little bit of a maze with some of our of these big tech firms trying to get the support that they need. So one of the recent projects we worked on was with them, Sierra. And we had her nominate small businesses around the country to get sponsorships agency support, and so we're marrying really the blend of being a creator and being a small business, and helping to, as we've said, to, to amplify everyone together.


Wonderful, Thank you. And last but not least, Claire, who is joining us from Paris, she's there for fashion week. So we're so excited that she's in a different time zone and still with us today. So, go for it. Claire?


Yes, thank you, Jen. Now thank you so much for having me. And I'm very glad to be a part of this panel, as well. And the CEO and founder of Fashion Bond Daily, Wear a media and e-commerce hybrid company that leverages our two million followers on Instagram to drive a multicultural shopping experience. I started fashion. Barb Daly in 2006 as a blog, just a passion for fashion. And just by updating it every single day with celebrity style news sheets style, we've created a wonderful community.


And then three years ago, I decided to launch an e-commerce platform e-commerce platform called Fashion Bomb Daily Shop. And we use our large media platform to help emerging designers connect with stylists, consumers, with celebrities, and so a recent project that we recently did was actually a fashion show during New York Fashion Week. We call it The Bomb Fashion Show, and we give designers an opportunity to show at New York Fashion Week, show to over 400 people in the audience, who also live streamed it. And people could shop products from the runway immediately as soon as they hit the runway. So that was a project that was really proud of, and I'm really excited to talk more about it today.


Wonderful. Thank you so much. The first question I have for you ladies is kind of a creative one. I would love for you to come up with a nickname for yourself but not any old nickname. I'm interested in your social commerce nickname that helps me and everyone in the audience understand what's most important, what your priorities are when you're thinking about social commerce, given your role, et cetera. So I'm going to call on, let's say Irene, do you want to get us started with a nickname?


Yeah so I think about a nickname for me could be megaphone Irie and that symbolizes my role in amplifying all of the creators and small businesses and putting that together onto the platform of social. And so my job, as I mentioned earlier, is to amplify everybody else.


Wonderful, Claire, do you wanna go? next?


Oh Yes, my nickname is Fearless Claire, and I adopted that nickname, because I approach social media with no fear. I'm unafraid to try new things.


Let's do new things to try to drive traffic, and I also am fearless and carving out new spaces, making sure that fashion is more inclusive, and creating new opportunities for those who consider themselves to be often overlooked and sometimes undervalued.


Love that. Eva, you're up next.


I love this question. So edge helped us to think more creatively. And give us biderman, actually, not in the sense of jumping from one building to another. I wish I could do that, But, in the sense of building a web of social connections, right? In a similar manner, across brands, across products, influencer's, brand ambassadors, store associates, right, And then, where data act, as the interaction on the web apps, to help to optimize engagement, as well as performance across the web.


Wonderful, last but not least, Kathrin, right? I'm going to step into like a radical departure from Katherine here. I'm going to be going to be ambient. Any of, you know, I think thanks in no small part righteous to our social platforms and, you know, the confluence of commerce and content, the fact that we are, right? That I am often on Instagram, fact that we're all often scrolling our feeds and consuming, you know, dynamic immersive content that blends with commerce means that we are always shopping, whether we tend to or not. So, I think about ambient, I think about Omni. You know, that that's sort of the territory of the spirit of what I'm trying to get out with Ambient Annie here.


I love it and I love how each of your nicknames really, you know, touches on a different aspect of, you know, all the things that social commerce is.


There's so many ways to look at social commerce, I mean, social media platforms are both marketing touch points and retail channels. How do you define social commerce? What do you think is most compelling eva?


You have the best questions, you know, that. And so, I think about social combers as the ability to really connect with brands as well as their audience, you know, very immersive engage in an authentic way, right.


And that's community based, Which can happen in social media, but also expand into the open web as well, because the nature of our interactions are social based, right, in the digital as well as the physical world. So I look at social commerce, you know, more, much broader sense on social media, as well as beyond an hour go over here, and if I work is really to bring that engaging in an authentic experience across different consumer touchpoint, and specifically on their open web experience, such as their website, their app. So there's more opportunities for the end user to discover the stories behind the brand. as a neck with the products, they resonate the most with their value. So that's the way I look at it.


No. I love that.


I'm curious, Claire, now, you are not only a strategy is sort of shaping how people use social commerce, but also someone who's really on the front lines in a lot of different ways. And I'm curious, when you think of the users of social media, users of social Commerce today, how are they different than a year ago, two years ago, three years ago? Give me a little sense of that.


I think that the users now are different from two years ago or longer is that there is a proliferation of options, which is great from a creator or a brand standpoint there that there's an open market.


The world is your oyster when it comes to social media, but the readers and the consumers and followers, they can choose from so many different brands. So, how do you continue to distinguish yourself? And in this plethora of options. And how do you also continue to Excel when it comes to customer service for delivering on, on your promise? In terms of brand quality, brand identity?


How do you continue to raise the bar, continue to raise the bar for them?


Because I do think consumers are extremely discerning things as well. And and and they're demanding as they should be. So how do we, as brands, approach them and make sure that they're getting the best absolute best from us that we can deliver. Yeah, I'm hearing lots more options, more discerning, more demanding. Irene, How do you think about users and even content creators being different today than they were a couple of years ago?


Well, I think there are two ways of one is in terms of a lot to what Claire just mentioned, Users now aren't just looking to the big fish in the playground and in the pond anymore.


They are definitely looking for Underdogs or those who have not necessarily had the, the awareness in the community. So I think that's, that's the one thing that, you know, users are looking for and definitely because it's such a fragmented market. And to Claire's point yes, the world is your oyster. You can go anywhere. So it's so important that engagement that Eva was speaking about, that, that content creators have to think, How am I going to keep on?


one of the thing is that we used to say it matter. It's like, what's the thumb stopping experience? You're going to give your user, and you're not giving them that, and they've got 20 other places to go. What's gonna make you have them stop? So, we have to think about more creative ways, which I'm, I'm really impressed with how creators are actually doing that today. That, I think it's, it's about your engagement your storytelling, and, you know, really just getting attention even more and finding the underdog. And to give everyone a little bit of, more like, Hey, I can aspire to be someone in this world, where typically was dominated by the big fish.


Hm, hm, hm, I love that, Catherine, I'm particularly curious what you think, given your background in UX.


Tell me a little bit about, you know, what you're seeing in terms of changes in the last two years, and what users are looking for, or how about inference?


Yeah, I mean, what an extraordinary time for literally all the things, I mean. I think so, that with shifting consumer expectations and behaviors over the past few years, thanks to covert in no small part, right? Substantial growth in e-commerce throughout coven.


Economic and Social instability the increasing prominence of social justice movements in the US. Like even shifting relationships and perspectives around work, right, the rise of the gig economy and the rise of the everyday entrepreneur. I think, you know, what, you know, what our fellow panelists were saying earlier about wanting to, you, know, seek out, smaller, you, know, maybe less, established, more, creative, you know, brands and, and, and enterprises I mean, the lines, I'm just saying. that's a little bit, you know, earlier, I'm in an intro.


You know, the lines between creators and consumers between content and commerce are just increasingly blurred, and I think, you know, throughout these last few years, there's been a greater need for trusted, authentic voices, too.


To cut through the noise, no greater need to be informed, and inspired all at the same time because, people, Because of information overload, right? Like, we're looking for like efficiently efficient outlets, for consuming information, for creating information, and, you know, our creators and the creator economy, and the social platforms that support content creation and human connection, like, they have stepped in to meet those shifting user needs, I think, in remarkable ways. So, that was probably like, wait.


But it's, yeah, it's an ordinary time that we, that we are now. Yeah, Yeah. You gave me a few nuggets that I want to follow up on, you talked about.


You know, people looking for information and inspiration, where do you guys look for inspiration when you think about social commerce?


And you can't talk about your own organizations?


Claire, I'm curious, what do you, what, where do you go for inspiration, or what do you, what have you seen recently that feels inspiring in this space?


Well, for me, travel, of course, is always going to be a source of inspiration and making sure that I don't just do fashion week in my town, but I'm, I'm in Paris right now. We do London, we do Milan, I've been to the car fashion week, Lagos, fashion week and see how people do things over there and see what their priorities are. Do they use social commerce site? We do or they ahead Or are they behind?


And it's actually interesting in Paris, where we've seen a lot of people who are lining up lines down the block for a lot of brands. And there's, there's another line that's happened today, where there's another line for people who made purchases online, and that line was engine. So, people are, there are, there are some, for certain brands, for certain luxury brands where they still want to be see it in person and feel it and touch it. And they'll wait in line, Like, they're waiting for a roller coaster tend to go these NC and fill these brands, but that happened in New York.


And in, what does that say about the global kind of context of fashion and commerce? And it's interesting to see, but I think for me, travel remains a constant source of inspiration.


I love that. Eva.


What are your thoughts?


and so many places that I would say, the founders of the direct to consumer brands and the store associate, those are the people who are typically behind the scene, right? You don't see them.


You see more, the flashing images, all the amazing advertisement, but I think a lot of time, Live Stream, as well as video content today, are giving those people behind the scene a voice to come to the front of the camera, right? To really showcase, why did I develop this product? We have a customer that's a grocery store. And they do live stream where their store associates talk about the passion around the Purdue's, right, As someone who doesn't cook. I look at that. I was like, that was so cool. I may want to pick up that, and I feel inspired, right, and I think that's the power of social commerce, is about, is about connecting people.


Giving people who typically sit at the back, to say, oh, you go for it, and then bring them both to say, hey, tell us why this is something you're so passionate about. And I want to better understand the value. And I think for the new generation of consumers who really want the brand's value to be aligned with, there's help helping them, having those touchpoints to understand the stories behind the scene.


Really make a huge difference, and we have another customer call alt text, They do hair products, Amazing hair products, and then their founder actually shoot some of the short videos to talk about their product, and I've never seen such passion in the product itself, because you're hearing from, weren't directly behind you, like Clare Wright.


You founded their brand, who can represent it better than you do, and we have seen great increase in the traffic, as well as the conversions as the phone, or actually stood in front of the cameras. I think that's incredible as well. So I constantly look for inspiration from the vendors and the store associates.


Yeah. Irene, any thoughts on this one?


Yeah, you know, I think, you know, to Evas point, it's it's true when we hear from founders who, you know, there's results curls, for example.


If you've seen that product anywhere, but, to list, the Prado talks about the founder, talks about how she started in her uncle, her TO juan's garage down here in LA.


And what he said was right earlier, now, because there is such art, and Catherine, you mentioned this to the lines between if you're a consumer If you're a creator, or if you're a small business owner, are so crossed right now, 60% of the things that you do as a as a creator and as a small business owner are going to be exactly the same.


And so when we think about how creators are are trying to amplify themselves, they also have to have these business skills, and that includes building a community claribel fabulous community around business. I Yeah, and and it's what everyone aspires to build and it's so key and even mentioned it a little bit earlier, but not having a community can be a detriment to you You want to build those who have the affinity for your brand and for the information in that authentic insight that you can bring and to share with everyone.


Question plus 100 to everything, this amazing group of colleagues have said, I mean, the other place, where, you know, I've, I, am, I have spent, the last couple of years, finding, a lot of inspiration is, with the kids, I mean, with, with the next generation of consumers. I have an 18 year old daughter.


And, and she is a radically different kind of consumer than I am, and I am very squarely unabashedly Gen X, Gen Z, And what's coming up behind them gen alpha.


You know, I am deeply inspired by this next generation.


They have a they are so savvy and that might say and I don't mean that any kind of condescending way. They are context and channel switching seamlessly. And they are, They are empowered to ask for what they want, you know, to ask, ask what they want, and demanding of brands, and, and the creators who they look to for real, authentic representation of values. And not in, and, of course, they also are, there, are a fascinating generation. For, so many reasons, not the least of, which because they, you know, they're embracing fast fashion and vintage all at the same time.


But, you know, what, one of the things, that, I see this next generation driving, you know, really, like, in a, in an interesting, new ways, this confluence of values, based shopping and value affordable sustainability. And you know, And not just environmental sustainability. Social sustainability as well. So you know, a lot of inspiration And this next generation of consumer and creator right, because they're not just or if they are also creators.


It's so funny you say that because like as you started talking I started thinking about my 19 year old nephew.


now, my nephew is 63, is a sophomore in college. He plays basketball. So he's an athlete like very athletic, but at the same time, really into fashion, on one hand, he's buying luxury goods on the other and yet he got up to lifting.


Yeah. I'm so amazed by this. Like, it's the wild, And he got so into thrifty. He's like reselling things. But he gets when he threats and he's gotten his friends into it.


It's the wild was think we went on a family vacation and you know, he, every day he's getting dressed.


Whatever he's wearing is like, ready for, you know, social media and his mother had this, like ferragamo, so my sister had this like arrow, gamma, light, belly bag. And he's like, mom, I need that. And it looks like he's a confluence of so many things where it's like, there's things that might traditionally feel feminine. He doesn't care. What it is pulling it all together, so seamlessly, and show authentically, that it even surprises me. Sometimes, how did this happen? So, yeah, I got really excited when you were speaking, because I just started thinking about this in a way that, that I, that I hadn't thought about it before. You totally totally of fire.


Something else that kind of blew me away recently, I was on LinkedIn, and I saw, for lack of a better description, what you could call, sort of a click to buy button.


And it was, you know, an executive who belongs to a platform where you can easily sell consulting services, right? And I was kind of amazed. Like, you could literally book an appointment. There was a price, everything, and, um, you know, when I thought of social Commerce, I didn't necessarily think of LinkedIn. I didn't necessarily think of experts. I didn't necessarily think of consulting services at the same time there.


There's like a travel blogger that I follow who is all about business class deals and started selling her services. Like, you want to find business class deal to Europe.


Like, I can talk with you, and it's not even though she's looking at for you, Jesus, you, what she knows and figuring out ways to monetize, like, her expertise.


What do you guys think about this, like it.


This is literally the last two weeks, and it has blown my mind thinking about expertise, consulting services, social commerce, who wants to weigh in, essentially. You gophers.


Well, I was just going to say that: it's so interesting because two years ago, I used to hear from businesses that were service base that they had a hard time in selling their service. They would always say platforms are great for product, but I'm not selling a product.


And one of the things that we always try to say is that, with a service based business, sometimes it's easier than a product, because of the ways that you can share information. Your information is your value. And that expertise from the travel blogger that you're following. that information is valuable, because she has spent time as, as SME, subject matter, expert, to gather these insights about where and how you should travel.


So I think it's very interesting that, that now, more and more businesses are feeling comfortable to sell a service, and they do it with creative storytelling.


Which I think is, I'm glad to see this.


This transition to service based business, selling more, Aver. Any thoughts?


Yeah, it's still interesting, because I come from a payment backgrounds. I always come to look for those tracks, right?


In terms of, like, how are people whose decision being made, right? How do people convert, right, Either, is to take up a digital services or take up a physical product?


I've read somewhere in a recent study that 80 plus percent of people have been influenced to purchase or make a product buy a digital product only after they watched a brand's video.


And I think that really matter, right now. If you think about a you are on LinkedIn. You're looking for professional advancement. And in that context being served a video of someone who has a lot of expertise in this space. And if the content in that context is something that attracted, why wouldn't you have an increased likelihood of clicking on that CPA. So, that, Call to Action button may have to be booking, or doing something. And then, the next stage of that is, how do you make that experience so seamless, right? So it doesn't feel like you're jumping through hoops across to put your credit card details in that, and that you can really easily seamlessly make that transaction happen. Because, in that context, and the ability to get access to that now becomes very, very important for the new generation of consumer that we talked about earlier, right? Because now, really have no patience. And I've seen this, this is interesting for me, I'm in the context, I will get it now.


And that's applies to the travel.


influencer you talked about earlier, right?


When you feel inspired in that moment, you want a seamless experience to actually have you help across the the line to convert as though, in my mind, is having that inspiration, the right code to actually in the right context and the frictionless checkout experience. That's what combines everything together to actually push the boundary.


Love, love that.


Another sort of piece of inspiration or stimulus that I want to talk about, there's a, um, a digital creator, I guess, mixed between a fashion blogger and a travel blogger that I follow called calculated opulence and Cheese.


So interesting right now she's in Greece and before her trip literally I think it was in one of her stories.


She was packing for her trip and I'm embarrassed to say I probably watched 35 minutes.


Like maybe more, I'm embarrassed of her packing for this trip.


And as I'm watching.


I'm like, how am I watching this? And on the other hand? I'm like, oh my God, this is so interesting.


Like I was literally glued to this and it was probably, I don't know how long the actual, like segment was, but it's probably about two hours in twos doing everything from.




Thinking about, and talking about, like, literally, how she physically acts things to also, you know, what brands and sponsor her for this trip, and what she would be wearing. And just, travel tips was like, a bunch of different things. But it was kinda like behind the scenes.


I bring this up because I'm curious about video shopping. I'm curious about live stream.


I'm you know, what today is kind of like an infomercial, um, because this woman not only has like a retail shop, but she has a lot of sponsors. Like, how should we be thinking about this?


You know, yeah, how should we be thinking about this?




You can dig in, that this is such a great, I mean, a great place for us to kind of park for a few seconds and focus all of our attention, because I think, I mean, I love the scenario that you described.


No shame girl, I mean, that's, that's what it's all about. Right. I mean, it's about the power in no small part, it is about the power of video. Specifically, Right.


Engages more of our senses, are innate desire for storytelling and human connection? I think so much of what we're talking about comes down to the need the drive for human connection and, you know, I mean, visually immersive experiences that engage multiple senses really.


I mean, they simultaneously provoke a sense of wonder. They create the draw you in that create a deeper, emotional connection to content and the and the creators of that content. So, I mean, it makes, it makes perfect. I mean, And, of course, you know, in the on the YouTube side of our Google Business, You know, Live stream shopping short, you know, shockable, short form: video solvable lat? Long form video if it's all taking place. Because it is just, it's such a compelling way to, to, you, know, to get people closer to, you, know, the, the, the, the trusted authentic voices who they are looking to to cut through the noise. I think I'm just riffing on on sort of the, you know, with the scenario that you were describing, but, you know, even I'd love to, you know, I'm curious From the, like, you know, live streaming, you know, what you guys are seeing. And in terms of the, you know, where live, where live shopping is going as, you know, the evolution of QVC, right?


Millimeter, Hm, You may not be app after this, And I think I can go home for a long time with this question, because, is such an interesting, important question, I think, like shopping is to look at the very early stage in the US, right, And P, partial testing, How does this work for my brand? To our group? The right mix of the content, right, is an educational experience. Show is inspirational. How do I bring the right experience together to ultimately connect with my end audience? And, I think, Ms. Janell you give in terms of the unpacking or packing.


Veto is a really good one because, you know, ..., the most important piece to connect with the new age consumer is to have the right mix of entertainment, influence from peers or someone you trust and someone that you can connect to write while also driving more of a community community based experience. Because while I'm sure she's doing this live stream should be asking question, right? What do you think? How do you feel about this? And what better way than that direct connection with your audience, from our brand stand point of view, that I'm sure if I weren't Claire running her own fashion empire, I would want to know directly real-time, right, From an audience? What do you think about the autumn fashion trends, right? Do you think we should go for fringe or do you think we should go for something else? I'm no affection person. until probably the classroom fashion. But you have that reached data and a platform that you can ultimately come that rally for your customer or giving sample actually has very small business. Customer of ours they're co spread the love. They do organic peanut butters.


So think about this like a very, very simple concept, right? And they run a live stream on their own website Every week at 10 o'clock in the morning. And I don't even eat peanut butter, but just seeing the couple together, such happy setting in their kitchen, and they're mixing the peanut butter together to do the ...


the morning with their kids. I was, fortunately, it was my four year old and I instantly in that moment, I bought three jars or peanut butter. I don't know how long it will take for us to finish it. You feel that emotional connection.


Cathryn and I ran both, touched on earlier on, because in this digital wall, right, and having been trapped at home, in many places for the last few years people crave for that human connection, you won't connect brands that you feel Like. Hey, like, they are like me, They can't really speak to them. And I think that's the power of the live palmer's as of today, right? Because it really bring that human connection a lot closer to a brand, even that may feel out of touch. In other cases.


Yeah, I would love for you to weigh in, particularly because I think one of the things that you've done, masterfully, for me, just even looking at you as a business person, is showing all aspects of, you know, your engagement and your interaction.


I mean, from, Actually, I think I was watching a video from before, like, earlier in the day, like the Day of your fashion show, you are actually going to another fashion show, but you went to pick up flyers, like you were doing all these things. I was just like, oh, my gosh, can she get all of this done?


Flawlessly, you know, it's actually really amazing. I think there's something to be said about that behind the scenes, but not only showing yourself as like, you know, a fashion influencer, but, like a business person, and a real person, I don't know. I'm kind of thing, but, I would love to get your thoughts as well.


Know, I think that, and thank you. But, I think Catherine hit the nail on the head perfectly, when she mentioned that readers want to, to connect with you. And they want that storytelling aspect. And they want to they want to see that vulnerability. They want to see every single second. If you could have a live stream of your life every minute that, that, I think that's what would resonate. But for me, I share it in so many different formats whether it's stories reels, going live, actually have a designer on fashion. But I'm daily shop, who goes live every single day, at the same time.


And it's a QVC type format, and she says that by doing those are the times when she sells the most when she's interacting with her, with her followings, And so the concept of community, even if it's just a niche audience, like an organic peanut butter, following, you know, just having that consistency and making sure that you're connecting on a real level.


It's not just a transactional sort of interaction, but you're actually invested in their success and their happiness, and showing how they're interacting with you can help help pour into that. So, for me, it comes naturally, you know. But, for anybody who's who's looking to, to, to convert more, I would say, to, to focus in on your reader, Focus in on what he or she really wants or needs, and see how you can be of service to them.


one thing oh, sorry, go ahead, Kathryn. You go ahead. You had a question.


I'm just gonna see the benefit of video over traditional advertising, and I and I teach this in our, in our trainings. We say that a picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures, and we get to do things live. As, as Eva said, you really get that human connection because there's no production around it.


Now, individuals like Claire, who have the confidence to, to come on and to do her lives, that makes people feel so much more comfortable.


Like, yes, I want to buy, and then when Claire or any other business wants to then add in brand partnerships, now here, including an opportunity for revenue for yourselves. So, there's, there's a, there's a way that you can, I use a French word, I may launch of all of these, the social aspects in these commercial aspects to altogether through a video, which is the benefit of why we should use video.


So, I always tell everyone, use video 100% of the time, because it tells more than what you can see through pictures and through your content.


You'd like to ask a quick question. I mean, and it's it's a It's a question of Eclairs You were if you were talking.


it Something really stood out to me. I mean, we're talking a lot about, sort of, the the amazing benefits and sort of the magic of, you know, the tools that we have at our disposal. For social commerce and ambient Omni, all of that.


I'm, I'm, I guess, I'm increasingly interested in thinking about, though, what creators need to, to create sustainable businesses for themselves, because I picture you running around and documenting everything and you just like, you know, audience is being hungry for, like every second.


How do our creators nightbird, right, like crater, burnout to reveal?


Like, being in front of the camera, 24, 7, is exhausting, right? And creating that need that hamster wheel of creating content is exhausting anyway. It's it's more just to an observation of I don't think we talk enough about creator, burnout, in the Connolly, totalling, about today. And, Claire, I'm just curious, how do you think about that, and how do you manage that?


Definitely, a team, you have to eventually have a team around you, And I'm really lucky to have a team who runs fashion, brand, daily, social media, that I really have to think about it when I'm abroad. But also increasingly seeing creators while in Paris, bring their own teams with them. So, I actually brought my photographer with me and he was taking photo and video and so now there's somebody else, who's preoccupied with, capturing my, every moment, so that, I didn't have to think about it, or he can grab the phone and take video and this is something, I've been doing this for 16 years. I This is, the first time, had brought a photographer videographer with me and but I've seen it all over in the streets of Paris people doing all sorts of photo, shoots having their teams capture it, so, you know, lean upon your colleagues. And, and, I think that that's the way to do it.


You can't do it on your own, and I don't think you should try to, me, you could try to at first. But I think that, you know, as, as the weight continues to build, see if you can enlist some of your fellow colleagues to come and help you. This is not this is not a plug for Amanda and an Instagram whatsoever.


However, I will say that when you build Communities, there's functionality with reels and stories where, if you have a community, this was 1 1 organization Spot Sports, who couldn't be at the French Open because they had to be at the US. Open.


But, because her community was traveling at the French Open, their spot sports is able to cross post from their community, the pictures they were taking. So, it almost seems seamless that they were not there at the French Open.


So, it's about to Clara's point.


Yes, Bring a team but sometimes your team doesn't even have to be people. You have to hire community that want to support you in that.


And another thing to, cap to, Catherine's question to us, no. I definitely agree that there are some creators, but there are some creators who are energized so that we also run into. So they want to continually be there. They just need additional tools to make it easier for them to be online, and that's awesome.


I recently read the following statement and I want to know if you agree or disagree and why not, or why or why not.


Shopping journeys are becoming less linear and therefore less predictable or controllable.


And I'll tell you guys how I'm thinking about this afterwards, but I agree or disagree.


I mean, entirely. Can agree having half is that even an option? I do agree where the shopping journey are becoming less linear, right? People jump around, and I think Catherine talked about this earlier. Right, the people are going across different platforms, checking on the information, Right. You see someone starting their purchase journey on social media. They got inspired. They go to Google search for the item. Go through.


The brands come look at the reveal, and then they then decide later on they may go into the store, right? So the purchase journey, I do agree, is less linear. And then the more on the mall Nature of the content consumption means that brands need to be more aware, right? Where their consumers are, and meet them, where they are, and be very thoughtful to cater that approach, right?


Across their brand owner, creating channels, may that be that brick and mortar store? May that be the online store? May there be social or advertising on the open web in different places as well?


The part where I'm not sure I agree is is less control, right? Because the argument you would make like what I said earlier about the spider man is if you have data coming from different sources, you would be able to support your customer to make better purchase decision. And there's more surface to shop as well, right? So, ultimately, the pie grow bigger. Versus before, like if I think about life 50 years ago, maybe the only place you can go shopping is to the shopping mall, right? And then everything evolved over time. So there's more places to buy. We have a customer in Japan, ..., and what they do is, they do live stream after our, in their physical stores.


So they're still associated wrong, the live stream, right? And then they will. they told me is that after they run the live stream for a period of time, they see people coming in.


Next day is dual, and they specifically go to the store associates and say, hey, I saw you last night. Oh, my computer and show me showed on the live stream again, and they increase their baskets. That is right? Because they didn't coming just to buy that one thing, and then, while they're in store, they pick up other things, as well. And I think that's incredible.


And as a brand, right, you certainly have more tools that you can actually help to increase your overall engagement with your end consumer, And you're no longer restricted to the hours, the store opens, right? You're more, you have more touch points with the consumer, so I would say, I'd agree on half a day, and I disagree. They can have. So, although it's likely near more opportunity.


Yeah, it's totally fascinating because as I was reading a statement, I actually went back to what Claire said, about one of the classroom bomb daily designers going live every day at the same time, and that being a really lucrative, busy time that's predictable. So that is that. It's so it's interesting. So I do see the half and half aspect to it, and the other thoughts on that one before we move on.


Plus one, to everything that Eva just said.


I think it's, It's a It's a yes and I think, from my perspective, I mean, it gets to the heart of my super, my superhero ambient, Annie, Jessica. I guess it's interesting because I think at the same time, even though, I think, you know, shopping journeys are ambient omni taking, you know, taking place in so many different different avenues.


And at the same time, there, we also are, they also are totally linear in new channels, right?


The fact that I can, one click purchase, I can swipe to purchase. Like that is a that is a like a very linear truncated moment in time where I have discovered something and I can buy it right there and then. I don't, I'm not bouncing out and no moving between channels.


So, it's, it's, it's both and, I think, in my in my mind, I love that each of your businesses gathers a ton of data right on consumers' customers, If you could wave a magic wand, What would you do with that data to improve social commerce, improve interactions?


Give me a sense of that.


Irene, do you want to start?


Yeah, So my question is, well, the last question you can totally do that first actually ties into your next question, which is On Insights. I think we're actually at a time and place with the development of all of these platforms, where we can get the insights are looking for. We couldn't get them before. So it's a lot easier to understand. And it's something that we're always suggesting to individuals, is, do what we call AB testing.


Did you test one thing to test and other, because we want you to make smart decisions with your shopping, and is it for you as a small business owner? Can you see what is working and what's most effective for you? Right? So whatever platform or whatever format you're using to sell that. So, Back to your question about, about insights And what can we do? I think what I hear from many small businesses is that they would like one central place where they can get their insights, though.


So, because we have so, you know, two cabins with the Omni channel platforms for, for people to get to For Social commerce do to grow It would be great if there was a tool that would just facilitate how they can make the decisions across. And there are some tools out there, for sure.


But a lot of times, there's, they're very nuanced for creators, and so, you know, I see people who want a balance between tiktok or should I bounce between inkster. I'm like, Where, where am I going to perform the best?


What is best for me as a creator or as a, as a small business owner? So, I think figuring out that bridge would would help them a lot.


Wonderful. Any other thoughts on what you might do with that magic wand?


I mean, I just I'm I'm in it for all of us, like.


You know, I think what you were talking about, social commerce, I, you know, I have increasingly, over the last couple of years just really come to feel in my phones. All commerce is social, right?


I mean, commerce is predicated on trusting human relationships and social connection, and so, you know, more data. The more, the more that we can, you know, leverage, use our data, and, I mean, that. collectively, to empower the next generation of consumers. The next generation of content creators to be more creative businesses to thrive like, that, benefits all of us. And so, I'm in it for, like, I want.


It's an all ships rise kind of, you know, kind of ethos that I have in this because the, you know, commerce, you know, sustains our local economies are global economies. It's such a hugely important part of, you know, our global ecosystem. So. Yeah, I know that that might sound a little too little, too, maybe, but I really love. it.


The next question I am thinking about, I want to switch gears a little bit, and one of the things I love about this conversation is, not only we are talking about media. We're talking about technology, we're talking about retail, We're talking about marketing world, women, right. And we've been in business for, you know, quite a bit of time. I'm curious.


How, if at all, has being a woman being a person of color made you better in business in doing what you do?


Sir? I saw you nodding your head.


I can talk a bit more about this. I remember when I first started working, so I was born in China and grew up in London. And then moved to the US about 4 or 5 years ago. Right. And I remember the first time stepping into workplace, I was that person who was so scared to speak up.


I want to the way basically be the invisible person, right now spider button. I want to be invisible. Because, you don't, you're not confident enough about having a voice, right?


And I remember having this advice from a mentor, early on, who is also a woman of color, and she, she said, There's no one else was going to stand up for you, if you don't do it yourself, Right? And what's the worst thing that can happen?


If you raise their hand and then said, Will you wanted to say nothing is going to happen? Right?


And I try to like, be that voice to the newer generation of the young girls today, as well, because it is so important to be your biggest advocate for yourself. And I think being a woman, and being someone who is often the minority in the room, that you want to make sure that you can represent your boys, but at the same time, I think we're better because of that. Because we don't jump into conclusion, because we're more open minded. We respect others' opinions much more, right?


We want to actually hear the voices in the, in the room. But one thing I notice in this panel, through all of this panel, we are actually each other. We're saying, oh, I heard that from you, that really resonated with you, because we are lifting each other up, right? And that's very rare, in the broader.


And I think that's one, a woman, often being the minority in the room, that lead, because we know it doesn't come easy, so we take the extra step to help each other in that. And that brings unique perspective. And I think with that, I am really confident, even being in this room today, that I feel like, you know what, we do that, and we'll continue to pay it forward for the next generation of growth.




Any other thoughts on this?


I agree, oops, yeah. Yeah. I mean, go.


But I get 1000% relate to your story as being that person who used to be afraid to speak up and kind of wanted to melt into the wall. But just being always being a minority in a room, and sometimes being overlooked and undervalued. And not really wanting that, that same experience to be replicated for the younger generation. And so my experience really fueled my whole mission with Fashion Burn Daily, which is to serve as a place where we highlight those who are not always highlighted or uplifted are credited for a lot of their contributions to the fashion industry. So it's my experience that has served as my mission, my reason for everything that I've done in my career.


that I'll continue to do I mean, your Fearless Clare.


Panelists Claire, yes, Plus 1 to 2, both what Claire said, and Eva two is, is when I was younger, early in my career, south, the same way. Now I see it as we are privileged to speak up in these rooms and in these spaces, because if we lived in a male dominated, dominant world, which we still do. But if they didn't think about how our contributions to product development, to any of these things came about, we could not continue to be successful. And then, being as a person of color. Now, we also have to talk about Hey, did you think about how these different types of cultures are using this product as well as as a different gender?


So, when we think about, we all have a privilege to to to be in these rooms. And, you know, a little bit to Eva, to your little, your spiderman story, right? With great privilege comes great power. Right.


So, we do have this power to influence greatly in the spaces that we didn't used to have Nava.


Um, when I asked earlier about inspiration, you know, it's funny, Claire, you answered the question in a way that I didn't think you work, but I absolutely loved it, and so kind of doubling down on that, I'm curious how has living overseas or traveling shaped your understanding of consumers of business With technology, give me a sense of that.


I just think I'm open minded, and in general, to two different sorts of people, different sorts of experiences. And passion bomb, we always say we cover everything from the hood to couture. And so, a lot of times, in the fashion industry, it's extremely elitist. It's, it's closed. And so I think that my experience abroad has just given me an open mind where we're all about fashion is for everyone. We are all inclusive. Anybody who loves fashion can can find a place and can, can feel like they're at home and a part of our community. And I, so I do think that, that my experience abroad is, is the whole reason for that.


Eva, did you want to weigh in on that given the various places you've lived and how you think about that?


Yeah, sure.


her, and I have a funny story to tell on that. one of my product managers is actually in Japan at the moment, actually. And so we're typically US phased array.


So we had recommendations from our US. Customer to say, We want to be more obvious. You know, our product that this product is ... in the BDO riser we made the product cart bigger. And she went to Japan and she said, the Japanese customer didn't like it because as to all of you.


And so this is something that I think coming from a global background where I having lived in different places like Claire talked about, and many of us had experiences traveled to different things.


You start to put more appreciation for the different cultures and different customers and the type of experience they are looking for. Right?


And I think as marketers, product owners, or executives, that we have our responsibility to actually go deep into the differences and cater to the different audience We're speaking to, right, With the problem product. Like, either from Google and Meta, you have huge, huge ability to actually cater to the increasing diverse world, right? Of spending time to understand the differences in people's. I think that's my biggest learning.


Things are coming from growing China, growing up in China, living in London, doing a global role, and then moving into the US, and now still covering global role. You're really trying to double click on what is the end user wanting different geographies and how can we cater to that better, right, as a at the company or as an individual? So, you have more empathy, like, what the customers are actually looking for? There isn't a one size fits all solution. So, that, I would say, that's my biggest learning.


OK, last question.


I'm realizing we only have about a minute left, and so, I'm kinda gonna make this one a combo.


I would love dues or don'ts that you have when you think about social commerce.


When you think about business, when you think about innovation, so what are your do's and don'ts want to start?


I'll throw out, I'll throw out to do and actually building off of even what you were just saying. I think the role of research has a really significant seat at the table, your research teams. And I don't just mean, you know, usability and a valued research, but, you know, going deep understanding.


The, the, the markets and the individuals who you are building for an understanding that, you know, what?


what might work in one market is just not, it might not work in another market for a whole host, very subtle reasons that you're not going to really understand until you are, you know, in someone's home and living and learning alongside of them. So, I just, I don't think I'm thinking more about that on it, like a, you know, technology kind of, product development level, less than creating content, but, But knowing, you know, understanding who you're creating content, Or is the, you know, probably very similar. So, the research is what I would, it's what I would plug, doesn't do.


Wonderful, Irene. You want to go next?


I would just say, continue to be an advocate for others. You know, part of our mission is is in supporting Black and Brown creators, small businesses How can we continue to grow them, give them the awareness that they need? So that would be one, and then the second one is, as I mentioned earlier, video, video, video. It's the most effective way to get yourself out there.


Do you wanna go next?


I would say, do, be authentic.


Don't be the, don't look at this rail, or this, Vero Image, and decided I'm going to create an ad for them. Be yourself because that authentic selves speak to the audience better than anything else and I would echo on the video video video element as well. Of course, Last but not least, Claire?


What's your do or don't? I second what everyone said.


Do approach social commerce with authenticity and passion and don't make it just about the transaction.


You do it from a pure place of wanting to serve your consumer, and I think that that, that that is the path to success. That's been the path to success.


Wonderful, Ladies. This was an amazing, amazing, amazing conversation. Thank you so much for speaking with me.


And thank you so much for just bringing so much perspective and insight to this topic that I think we're all thinking about working on, working towards and advancing. So thank you. Thank you.

The author(s)
  • Janelle James SVP, Qualitative

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