Social Commerce has evolved. Once simple shopping destinations have transformed into entirely new channels for brands to reach their consumers; to purchase, to take part in meaningful experiences, and to be entertained. 

The entire practice of marketing has to grow with this landscape.

Tune into this conversation, LIVE from the Social Commerce Summit: New York, to hear Paul tackle the tried-and-tested approaches to mastering this marketing synergy with some of beauty’s best. 

He’s joined by Anna Vale (Modern Marketing & Communications Expert), Jessica Riffle (Senior Manager of Social Commerce @ Coty; including Kylie Cosmetics, SKKN by Kim & Philosophy), Amanda Griffiths (Director of Digital Marketing & eCommerce @ Davines), and Djalal Lougouev (CSO & President @ Ometria). 

Listen up to learn about…

  • The Evolution of Social Commerce: A strategy for the integration of digital marketing and Social Commerce with traditional retail experiences is essential in 2024. No brand can create a seamless customer journey, connecting in-house and out-of-house commerce, without one. Perfecting your ‘B2C2B’ approach is the next horizon. Hear the experts advice for doing so.
  • Data & AI to Personalize the Customer Experience: Every customer experience that can be, should be personalized. That’s why the use of first-party data and AI is crucial for elevating the customer experience, and communicating with your brand fans in the most effective way possible. Almost everyone is now aware of AI’s advantage, and the consumers of tomorrow are coming to expect a personalized experience as standard. Don’t get left behind. 
  • Generational Shifts in Marketing Strategies: Gen Z is here. Gen Alpha is coming into the Advocacy picture, faster than you think. The impact of these generational shifts on spending and marketing strategy require brand builders to be savvy. Focus on ethical marketing practices and targeting the right segments within these mass audiences to win.

This episode is presented by Ometria, a customer experience data platform that helps deliver scroll-stopping marketing across multiple channels.

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The Social Commerce Tactics That Actually Work for Coty, Davines & The Biggest Brands in Beauty

Paul: So I'd like to invite to the stage Djalal Lougouev, Jess Riffle, Amanda Griffiths and Anna Vale. Fantastic. So in this panel, we're going to discuss the steps to successfully harnessing Social Commerce insights to craft marketing initiatives that not only resonate, but also build lasting loyalty. 

Now we did a lot of creative stuff previously. Now we're going to dig into more of the nitty gritty of data, of loyalty, of activating those customers in there. So now before we sort of kick off, do you want to go around to give yourself a very quick intro – who you are, what you do, who you work for, and also explain what Social Commerce means for your brand and the brands that you work with; and how that differs from other forms of eCommerce. 

Would you like to go first, Jess? 

Jess: Yeah, so I'm Jess. I oversee Social Commerce for the D2C portfolio at Coty. So that's Kylie Cosmetics, SKKN by Kim, Philosophy. I think that for me, since I'm D2C specifically for brands that don't necessarily have a D2C history, Social Commerce is really really important because it's that tool that helps us bridge between the traditional points of sales and really meet our consumers where they're at to sort of migrate them into this DTC ecosystem.

Djalal: My name is Djalal. I'm one of the founders of Ometria. We're a customer data experience platform. We help brands create marketing experiences across multiple channels. And I think Social Commerce, at least from the brands that I work with, has evolved significantly over the last few years. First, it started off by helping brands acquire customers. Then it was through engagement and creating retention. And I think now Social Commerce has been transformed into a whole shopping destination, which helps brands create new channels for consumers to purchase their products and experience products.

Anna: I'm Anna Vale. I work with Indie Beauty Brands. I'm a fractional CMO and a marketing leadership consultant. A lot of my career was actually in the big corporate companies and now I've transferred it into Indie. For me, Social Commerce is the heartbeat of the Indie brands that have launched. And I was thinking about this conversation today. I remember when the eCommerce team weren't even given budget to get photos for their website. And obviously it's come a really long way. So for me, it really is kind of the heartbeat of the brand nowadays.

Amanda: I'm Amanda Griffiths. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing and eCommerce for Davines and in North America. We are professional. We are a B Corp. And we lean into sustainability pillars such as biodiversity, circularity, and reforestation. And we're pretty new, I would say, to North America and the eCommerce space, although we've been around since the 80s because we're headquartered out of Parma, Italy. We're an Italian brand. And it's been a journey over the past, I would say, three years or so building our brand in the D2C space as well as Social Commerce. 

Paul: Amazing. Well, thanks for joining me here. Anna, let's start with you. In your view, how have modern marketing channels transformed traditional marketing practices, particularly within the context of Social Commerce, but also wider as well? 

Anna: I think it's interesting because marketing is just such a huge umbrella term. It doesn't really have a meaning nowadays because there are so many functions that operate under the marketing term. The transformation really has been the power of social, but multiple platforms. I enjoyed listening to Lia earlier because talking about social, you can't go in one direction. You have to have multiple outputs, multiple conversations, multiple communities that all come together. 

But then you can't forget some of the more traditional marketing touch points. And brands nowadays need a really big budget to be able to be on the right platforms, operate in the right places, be seen. A new consumer sees a brand six to nine times now before they make a purchase decision. So they may see you on a few platforms three times, then they may be driving and they see a billboard, then they may walk into a store and there's an activation going on. Then they open their phone and they're targeted. The transformation – it's not necessarily completely transformed, it's just expanded in so many ways now. 

Paul: And like, which of those tactics actually work today? You know, there's obviously a lot of fads, you know, we could have, could have all jumped onto every single one of these new social platforms that come out every five minutes and then, you know, lost our shirt on it. Like which ones still work and do you think will always work? 

Anna: Great content, great content and community, I think is going to really keep us going through the next few years. Content needs to be engaging, exciting. It can't just come from the brand. We can't do this push -pull marketing. I actually never studied marketing. I really grew up in marketing. But if you go and study marketing in college, you'll talk about push marketing and pull marketing. It doesn't exist anymore. The pull between the consumer and community, who are one of the same, let's be honest, they're really driving what the content looks like for the brand.

Paul: What works? 

Anna: I mean, I really think that's a million dollar question, a billion dollar question. Everyone wants to know what works. I think that you have to have an always on program. So you always have to be identifying the right partners, the right community, the right products to be talking about. What do you want to be known for? So you have to be pushing that across different channels and across a few other marketing operating functions. 

I'm into out of home, partnered with social. I think the two together work really well. I don't know if you need to add paid media into that. Some big brands do. But I think if you've got a really good social funnel happening and you add out of home, you end up seeing the brand as you're looking down, as you're looking up, as you're walking into the store, as you're buying online. I think those, and that's not just two things, obviously, that's multiple things under those two umbrellas but I do think that's a really good combination right now. 

And we were talking before, Gen Z does like to go into store. That means they're walking along the street. They're heads down in their phone, but they're also walking along the street. They are actually getting off their sofas in this scenario. 

Paul: Apparently, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Why? 

Anna: I mean, I'll tell you a quick story. My daughter's eight and she was on a school bus yesterday. She went to the Rockefeller Center. She came home and I was like, “what happened?”. And she was like, “good news, mom”. I'm like, “what happened?”. She went, “I was on the school bus” – and I was expecting some educational thing, And she said – “I saw the brand you're working with. I saw the truck. I saw the picture of the lip gloss on the truck.” I was like, you went to the Rockefeller Center. Our family back in the UK, they go to the farm. You went to the Rockefeller Center and you came home and you told me about a lip gloss you saw on a truck. And she's eight. She's a bit young for Gen Alpha, but that is a very noticeable thing and she knows about it because she sees me scrolling on my phone. 

Paul: Is that our first insight into Gen Beta?

Anna: I mean, it's terrifying. This is the future that we've got. 

Paul: So Djalal, with Ometria, you have exposure to some of the hottest fashion brands in the world and many others, like seeing the way that they're engaging with people, generally digitally. Like If you think about those modern marketing channels, they've changed the way that we're marketing. Although sometimes we're going back, we talked about word of mouth being the old is new, talk about out of home, which people probably would be giggling about if you'd said that a few years ago. A lot of people nodded along there. Like how are you seeing them evolving in this when, when you kind of seek social getting involved – the old, the new, the engagement, how's that, how's that working for you? 

Djalal: Yeah, I think it's, it's an interesting time for, for brands and marketing and consumer engagement, I think we actually have gone full circle. So if you look back in the day, sort of the traditional retail ways of interacting with the brand and shopping, it was mostly brands selling their products through physical stores, wholesalers, other department stores, and they didn't really have control of the consumer experience. It was dependent on the brand or, sorry, the store that the shopper went into. 

Then there was a whole sort of transformation across D2C where the brands had full control of the consumer experience, the channels, the marketing promotions, the products that they're promoting. And I think now with Social Commerce and this huge trend in influencers, user generated content, we're going back into a somewhat isolated experience where the shopping experience is limited to the social platform that you're in. There was a few examples earlier today through TikTok and how it's created through Facebook, Instagram, Google. 

So ultimately, the other day I was actually, this is the first time, and I'm probably the worst person here, I don't have any social presence at all. I only understand the shopping experience from our customers. But the other day I was watching YouTube, not on a laptop or computer or my phone, on my TV, and there was a shopping thing that popped up. I've never seen this before, I don't know if anyone else saw this, but there was a shopping thing that popped up. 

So I feel like the brands and the consumers have gone through full circle. I think Social Commerce is extremely important, specifically with the growth that it's seen over the last few years. But the thing that I think is significant and most important for brands is to look at the customer experience holistically, rather than focusing purely on Social Commerce and how to optimize that. 

Paul: But how do you optimize the full customer journey from the initial touch point that the consumer has with the brand, all the way down to the different channels that they're experiencing your product with? 

Djalal: So I think in terms of the evolution, we'll be adding more and more channels down the line and brands will be adding more and more channels, right? There's VR, AR, a whole bunch of other channels that will pop up in the future. We started with email, then we've added SMS, then WhatsApp, then TikTok, then Instagram. And I think Social Commerce is just one of new channels we'll be adding. And I think the way for brands to look at this is just to focus on the customer experience and see it as a channel as part of the wider experience that the brand is trying to communicate with their customers.

Paul: And how do you measure that? Like how do the analytics play into that? And actually, I think we've probably said community about 37 times so far and counting. But the one thing we've not said so far is AI, which I think is probably a record for a conference in 2024. So, I mean, like how, how are you… I mean, cause AI is powered entirely by training data. We've got to get the right message to the right person at the right time. Like how is that evolving? 

Djalal: Yeah. So over the last decade, we went through a crazy sort of big data phenomenon where everyone's trying to gather more and more data. And just from a data perspective, these are sort of rough numbers, but over the last 10 years, mobile commerce has increased from 18% to 75%. And social presence has gone from 2 billion to 5 billion. So we're dealing with much larger data sets, more complex data sets, because there's more and more information coming through. 

And as we went through this big data phase, brands have acquired more and more data. They're paying crazy amounts of money to store that data. But unfortunately, the reality today is that a lot of the brands are not leveraging that data. There's a recent Forrester report where brands are only leveraging 20% of the data that they sit on. So we've collected all this data, but we're not leveraging this data to understand the customers and communicate in a better way. And of course, that's where AI comes in because you are what you eat. So you can't train these algorithms without clean data, accurate data. 

So we're in this kind of paradox where we have gathered data over the last 10 years, but it's not at a stage where we can use it to train these algorithms in the best possible way to communicate with customers, because AI and data gives you the possibility to communicate with your customers in the best possible way. 

And I think one more point, consumers are now expecting to be communicating that way. Back in the day, let's say five years ago, most consumers across different generations didn't fully comprehend how AI can influence the world today. But I think now with ChatGPT, everyone's aware of it, especially the new generation. So they understand how what technology is available and how they can be communicated to and the brands that are actually not doing that, the consumer will be upset because they'll be like, okay, all these technologies out there, why is this brand sending me messages that I'm not sort of relating to? 

So yeah, ultimately, lots of data, but data siloed, not being leveraged. And it is absolutely the most important thing to be able to use to personalize the experience. 

Paul: Do you know anyone who's doing it well? Is it like an example? 

Djalal: Yeah, there's, I mean, we've seen many brands that do it well. I can give you a specific example of how data AI and personalization was used in a very tactical, tangible way. I'm not gonna give any names out there because it has some of our competitors, I don't want to bad mouth anyone, but there's a beauty brand that we work with. It's not Amanda, it's a different beauty brand. 

Prior to, let's say, leveraging our software, they used to send a lot of newsletters. They used to go in and let's say they want to promote Tom Ford products or Tom Ford perfume. They would go in, extract data from the eCommerce platform and say, show me customers who have purchased Tom Ford products over the last six months and that they would manually create segments through Excel or whatever technology they're using, upload those into their email service provider, and send out a newsletter to customers who have purchased Tom Ford products six months ago promoting Tom Ford products. And that would take them about two hours per campaign. 

And the reality is, even though they've segmented and they use some sort of data, the experience for the customer is pretty terrible because people who have interacted have purchased Tom Ford perfume or Tom Ford products over the last six months doesn't necessarily mean they're interested in it today. 

So the shift went from using a segment or an audience of a particular timeframe to an audience that would be created not in two hours but within minutes using predictive algorithms to say, show me customers who have the highest affinity and are likely to have the highest conversion with any Tom Ford product, not based on purchase behavior but based on any single interaction that they've had. It could be purchase behavior, it could be on-site behavior, it could be based on device, it could be based on the entire population of the analysis that's being conducted. 

So going from three hours to two minutes, but most importantly creating an experience that is highly tailored to the individual that's receiving the communication. 

Paul: That's fascinating. And Jess, if you kind of take that in mind, with regards to when they're actually making a purchase. I mean, you literally have Social Commerce in your job title, one of the biggest beauty groups in the world. Like you've probably seen this rolled out in multiple different ways. Like what tactics are working? What do you think every brand should be doing right now? 

Jess: So all of our brands are specifically platformed on Shopify. And one of the first things that I did when I came in, I saw that as sort of low-hanging fruit. There's a lot of Shopify integrations across so many of the platforms. We didn't have shopability enabled on Pinterest, and what I found for Philosophy is that we were getting 10.5 million viewers on our Pinterest profile every single month. None of that was converting to site traffic when I went in the back end of Adobe. So I was like, why? Why is this happening? 

And I realized that it was because a lot of the content on Pinterest about our brand was either outdated, I found links that even drove to Sephora, which we haven't been carried in Sephora for probably a decade now. So I was like, we need to make sure that people who want to shop our brand can easily do that and not allow other brands to have that moment and get in and cannibalize it. 

So I think any integration that you can leverage, and in the case of Shopify, it is so turnkey, just go and audit that and do that immediately as sort of like clearing that first area of white space. And then the second string of attack is I would just see how you could make those things better. But if you have a platform, especially where you have a lot of your consumers congregating or interacting, but then when you look on the back end of your site, you don't see that converting to traffic, figure out why what that disconnect in the funnel is.

Paul: Huge. And like, if you think about it from Amanda, you're obviously all over this and you've got a huge amount of part of the huge kind of talk. We're only halfway through. But no, so the content, which is obviously powering the Social Commerce to post around it, like how are you seeing this role has evolved over the past couple of years and how important is it to brands? 

Amanda: Yeah, so for us at Davines, it's quite interesting because I just actually learned recently that, you know, I mentioned we've been around a long time and we were a brand that typically didn't show hair content. So we were a haircare brand that didn't show hair content. It's quite interesting. So that's not the case now. 

You know, we're leveraging new functionalities on site such as we just got a hair quiz, might be a little behind in that area. But, you know, we're really looking to take the first party data that we're collecting from touch points like that and then seeing how we can learn and evolve and integrate those insights into the content that we're collecting. 

We're always A-B testing, we're always feedbacking to our global partners who is responsible for creating the majority of our content. This is very important communication just, I think, within all brands, within our brand, cross-functionally. We are very close with the social team, the team that I have going for email and SMS. We have several meetings monthly just to ensure we're all on the same page and that we're all gathering the insights collectively so that we can optimize our strategies go forward. 

Paul: And how much of that content is UGC versus? I don't know what the word is. Like, no, I don't think we’ve coined a good one for not-UGC. Like, it's not model content, in-house content. I don't know if you've got a word that's better. I haven't figured one out yet. 

Amanda: I don't think so. We've been using UGC. We use partners like Dash Hudson. We work with, like, Aspire IQ to leverage and find different influencers that we think are best aligned with the brand. And that's really important for us, too. I think finding partners that really have an organic love for the brand. Otherwise, then it doesn't come across so authentic to the consumer on the other end. So we're always really focused on that. 

And then we've done different things, too, as far as really leaning into hair type, really talking about personalization and you know, working with influencers based on their hair type, creating content on that, and then how can we leverage it across all channels? So Social Commerce as well, creating different ads, that will then lead and feed back into how we can improve our strategies within email and SMS, get more targeted, and create personalized journeys for the customer. 

Paul: Cool. Like, Anna, we've been talking a lot about the generational switches, you know,

Gen B, you just heard it here. And actually the purchasing powers as they're evolving, how is the spending reshaping the industry?

Anna: So the spending obviously isn't coming from the kids, the spending is coming from the parents. And I think the parents need better education. I really do. 

I think, you know, we've just seen the whole Sephora story where the kids were going in and messing up everything and they were spending $200 and walking out with all the products on their arms and all the samples all messed up and all the testers all messed up. And everyone's blaming the children. I'm like, the children don't know how to do this without the parents allowing them. So I think the spending is how we target the adults, or their parents that are looking after them, and how they spend. 

So in effect, the consumer is the consumer that's buying for themselves, plus for others now. I don't know how we're going to maintain that, but that's ultimately what's happening. They're buying twice. So I think it's positive for the industry. 

From my experience, I think that's a good thing. But I don't know how we maintain that and then how we market to them in two different ways. Because we don't market to 12-year-olds. We're not marketing to an eight-year-old. We need to market to the parents that these products are or aren't good for their children. Same as most men's marketing is through women, traditionally. 

So I think with the the next generation we're gonna be seeing an influx of spend but it's not their money.

Paul: Okay.

Jess: I had something to add to that too. I think you know as marketers there's also this sort of ethical obligation that we have. I had this meeting that I kept trying to get off of my calendar for months and months and we finally had to have it it was with someone internally who really wanted to advocate for roblox and and they wanted us to run it for Kylie Cosmetics and I ended up looking into the stats and I'm like, we cannot advertise lip gloss to 10 year olds. One, I don't think the ROAS would be there, but outside of that, this is just not a good idea at all. 

So I think that just because an audience could be there, maybe your product would resonate with them. It's kind of how Kiehl's has a really, great campaign right now about how their products aren't for kids. So I think that you also need to step back and think that just because the audience is there, should I be speaking to them in this way? 

Anna: Yeah, and it's a flash in the pan right now. It's likely to continue, but it's just big hype and all the media's talking about what's happening right now with the kids. It will continue, but it's not going to be the main audience for most of these brands. And a lot of the brands are going to come into trouble because when they did their market research about who their product was for, it wasn't for a 10-year-old's skin. And when they talk about clinicals and 98% saw improvement over three hours or whatever, it wasn't on a 10-year-old. And 10-year-olds shouldn't be using peptides, and they shouldn't be using retinols. And so you're right. Just because the audience is there, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the right fit for the brand and it depends on the brand objective. 

If, for me, like the smaller indie brands at Sephora and Ulta, some of them are just buying, like some of them have launched, created the brand and are just quickly wanting to buy out. They just want to explode and then leave the brand. That's fine. You're in and out, but it still doesn't mean it's ethically correct. 

Paul: I was going to ask you, how's it working for you guys, Amanda? 

Amanda: Yeah. Interesting that you're framing it this way because Davines has been very slow to adapt TikTok in particular. You know, we're obviously interested in targeting the younger generation and these new audiences, but I think we've been playing around and very on the fence about what that means for us and what that should look like. And like you're saying, just because the audience is there, is it what's really best for the brand? 

So we've sort of been taking this crawl, walk, run sort of phasing. And right now we're still crawling. I think we're doing great. But yeah, we're really just using it as an opportunity to sort of test the content that we're putting out. And again, like staying true to the brand, I think staying true to who we should really be marketing to and then kind of going from there. So stay tuned, subscribe. And that's sort of evolving the kind of the company, because obviously you've got an older brand and you're sort of changing it. 

Paul: Like, has this been a big digital transformation for you as an organization or were you quite early on that? Or are you going through it currently? 

Amanda: No, it's definitely been a really big digital transformation, I would say, for the company over the past few years. We've also done a lot of work to just upskill leadership, our partners sitting in Italy. I think that, you know, sitting here is the largest market in America, that there is a lot just for us to teach others within the company and upskill them, because we're just always moving so fast. Things are happening so fast here. It's not the same across the globe sometimes. So we're doing our best. And it's working. So, you know, knows that I've gotten, you know, maybe a year ago, six months ago today, we have small wins, getting the yeses. So yeah. 

Paul: So like you've you've a huge amount of digital transformation, various different organizations like but often it's quite overwhelming, particularly if you aren't necessarily on that journey already? Like how do companies prioritize it? What's the sort of first thing you work on? 

Jess: Yeah, so interestingly, I was at Condé Nast over the time when we moved from print revenue to digital. And I think that before you can figure out the gaps in technical knowledge, you also need to figure out the hubris in your org. 

So what I did, because I was working with all of our media planners and account managers who laddered up into our sales teams and we just kept having a lot of tickets open that didn't make sense or things would get stalled. I'd be like, “why is this happening?”. I created this like, quiz, more or less, and sent it out to the entire team. And I had them rate themselves on their knowledge in different areas. 

And then the second part of the quiz was actually like, “what does this mean? What is a pixel? How does a pixel function in our sites?”. And I found that people were rating themselves much more highly than they are actually performing on this questionnaire. So that made me realize that we need to shift the conversation completely because if you are putting out all these resources about how you can be better at your job or have deeper knowledge, but someone doesn't think they need that, they're not going to access it. 

So first we had to size the problem. Then we had to develop the solution around that. And we ended up doing hands-on workshops over the course of three days. And by the end of that, one of our oldest sellers at Conde, she is in her 80s, she was a pixel expert by the end of this training, which was really exciting to see.

But I think that you have to understand the hubris that exist in your org before you can even tackle those technical knowledge gaps. But also the velocity of information now versus where it was 2018 when this was happening at Condé Nast is just hockey stick. Like there are over 11 .9k MarTech platforms and no single marketer can be an expert at all of them.

I think that you have to surround yourself with subject matter experts and then let them be the experts. Let them own that stream and then just make sure that you have people who also work really strongly, cross-functionally, so that you can have a sort of like league of experts driving the change. 

Paul: Djalal, you probably have strong opinions about MarTech platforms. I know I do. It's actually interesting to talk about sort of digital transformation. And actually, I was touching on social-first. It's almost like the thing that comes after digital transformation is now social transformation. Like presumably, working with you guys, you're a key part of that digital transformation phase. What would be your advice to anyone who's embarking on this and trying to figure out what's best to do and how to get to that next stage? 

Djalal: Yeah. There's a lot of things we've seen, both being on the technology side and working with over 200 different brands globally. One thing specifically we've seen over the last, once again, over the last decade, we've seen very big shifts. Specifically North America and the brands that are here, we've seen brands go on a crazy acquisition spree, acquiring every single vendor out there. We've seen brands with multiple agencies doing the same thing. We've seen brands with multiple ESPs, marketing solutions, CDPs, I'm throwing a whole bunch of different acronyms out there, but there's basically way too many technologies today. And what that creates is… we've talked about data silos, now we have technology silos. 

You have all of these different channels operating independently and even though you got best-of-breed technologies all over the place, that best-of-breed doesn't translate to a best-of-breed experience.

To answer your question more specifically, I think in whatever digital transformation initiative you have I think there are two things to consider first; once again going back to the basics and really understanding what is the customer journey that you want to create in order to do that? You need to understand that you have the right eco system across your partners and your vendors. But first and foremost, it starts by understanding your customer base, understanding what type of product journeys drive the best customer lifetime value, understanding what type of channels are driving the most profitable customers or the best retention. Once you understand your customers, then you can start mapping out your customer journey. 

And then once you've mapped out your customer journey, my biggest recommendation, irrelevant what vendor agency, whatever technology you use, is that back in the day, I think a lot of digital transformation initiatives took years and cost hundreds of thousands, not millions of dollars. I think now we are at an inflection point where we have technologies today that enable you to go much faster. So I'm talking days, weeks, months, not years. 

Because I've seen way too many brands, specifically at the high complexity and omnichannel perspectives, literally taking years to implement a digital strategy. And I think, there's no way that a brand can survive today with that type of mentality. And I appreciate it's much harder to implement something in weeks and days rather than years. But I think the cadence of technologies that are available today enable brands to go much faster. But ultimately, start with the basics, understand the customer, create the best possible customer journey, focus on a few key metrics that you want to optimize. 

Social Commerce will drive specific key metrics that you can optimize for, but ultimately, journey, data, journey, metrics, and then understand whether you have the right ecosystem within vendors and partners and agencies to be able to create that in days, weeks, months, not years. 

Paul: What metrics are the non-negotiables for you? 

Djalal: I think ultimately, whatever metric your brand has to capture the customer experience. Typically the metric, different metrics can be isolated across two sort of categories. One is around customer acquisition and the other one is around customer retention, which could be driven by loyalty and getting customers to come back and buy again. 

So on the acquisition side, talking specifically around Social Commerce, I think it's important to understand the customer acquisition costs, the customer lifetime value, and on the retention side, it's most important to understand what are the key metrics that are important for your brand that would indicate that you have a healthy retention model. So let's say leads to first time order, second time order, third time order. What are the different things or products or channels that are causing customers to go from first to second to third? What is their engagement through the different social media platforms? What are they posting? How are they engaging? User generated content, that type of interaction. 

I typically I'm quite reserved when it comes to recommending specific metrics because every brand is unique. Every brand has a particular type of message they want to deliver, create an experience for their customers. But ultimately, I would start with those two, separating acquisition retention, then focusing on two, three key metrics that would help the brand understand that they're getting closer to delivering their customer experience that they're aiming to deliver. 

Paul: And so talking of omnichannel, we actually have a question on here, which is about the idea of SMS and text, like is anyone finding power in this? Like, if you've seen that utilized across the board, love to hear…

Jess: You know what, we are not utilizing it the way that we should be, but Summer Fridays kills it with SMS and so does Merit. I have bought so many things, and they're both unattentive, I bought so many things from the messages that they send me. 

Paul: Brilliant. Anyone else? Any good examples?

Amanda: We just did something recently. It was more of a sampling campaign, actually. It was activated through social. So we used, we're testing two different companies, actually. One's Sample, the other one is SoPost. So I don't know if anyone's done this, but we're using ads through Facebook and Instagram to target new customers and to get them in if they're interested in a sample. But the best part is you can ask very specific questions. 

So, for instance, for our skincare brand, the products are a higher price point. So one of the questions we're asking is, how much are you willing to spend on a face moisturizer? If they say over a certain amount, then they're sort of opted into this bucket to receive the sample. Someone else may be rejected, but you know that they're not a qualified lead, for instance. 

But then all of the people that are receiving the sample, we've now acquired their email address as well as their phone number. And then we're leveraging that customer data and information and pulling it into Ometria and Attentive. And right now we have the two platforms talking to each other. So we're able to create very specific and personalized automated journeys to create different follow ups as well as post purchase segments once they do convert based on their experience. And it's been working very well. 

Paul: So how does that translate into the salon? Because we've got someone here who's a long-term fan and user of Davines but discovered them in the salon. How important is it tapping into professionals as Advocates when it comes to that? And how does that cross into the customer world? 

Amanda: Yes. So we have been working super hard over the past couple of years. We call it our B2C2B strategy. And it's essentially all the ways in which that we're connecting the online customer to the offline brick and mortar space, which is super important for us. I think that sometimes too, right, when you're doing all of these customer acquisition plays, they just know that you sell shampoo, right? But they don't know perhaps that we are a full service company. We offer color treatment. You know, we're in hundreds of salons. Actually, yeah hundreds of salons throughout the US. So, you know, we're looking at everything throughout the customer journey from, you know, the ads that we're serving that are just salon and professional dedicated to let them know. 

We have inserts that are in our orders that they receive that link back to the salon locator. Nuts to bolts, like we've kind of tried to think of it all up to this point. And we're doing a really good job because we were just featured in, I think it was like the top 100 brands for WWD just a few weeks ago. And it was like fully noted that we're doing an amazing job of communicating our professional heritage. And we're really proud of it. And I do my best to always communicate back to the team and reinforce that it is the heart of the brand. I think being on the digital D2C side, you can lose sight of that a bit but we have to keep pushing and fighting the good fight. 

Paul: Amazing. And Anna, finally, and congratulations by the way, Anna, in 10 seconds, what's next in Social Commerce? What should we be prepared for for the next few years? Hard question in 10 seconds. 

Anna: I think we need to keep our eyes open. We need to connect Social Commerce with real life and real commerce. And I think the two together will create something new. 

So I think, you know, what we're seeing now is, going back to the young girls, they're running into Ultas and so forth, looking at their phones, saying, “I want this”. So we're gonna have to find a way of taking that social piece, that Social Commerce, into like IRL and how we connect the two. So the in-store, out-store – we used to call it online, offline experience – but I don't think that really means very much now, but it is kind of joining the dots. 

Paul: That was great and very concise. 

Well, thank you very much, Anna, Amanda, Djalal and Jess. Thank you for your time. Thank you.