With beauty vloggers showing off their cosmetics hauls on YouTube, and the rest of the world taking to Instagram to filter their purchases into perfection, the B2B service Olapic has been capitalizing on that social shopping tendency to connect brands with user generated photos for use as a marketing tool.
When Olapic closed its $5 million Series A round in July, the company had already begun to shift its focus away from media companies, where it had gotten its start, onto retail. Now it is going all-in on that proposition: the founders said that though Olapic will continue to support its customers in the media space, its concentration from here on out will be entirely on ecommerce.
Olapic provides the infrastructure for featuring user generated photos as well as a dashboard for analytics. As it gathers data, Olapic is hoping to crack the code on what about a photo makes a person buy.
According to Olapic, people who look at user generated photos or videos are five times more likely to buy something than those who don’t. Numbers reported by the company, yes, but user-submitted photos are both the mark of a happy peer and make the product more approachable, especially for clothing retailers that use waifish models (read: not the size of the average woman) in their product photos.
It’s a strategy that a number of ecommerce companies have adopted in-house, and Olapic also competes with similar B2B services like Chute. Rent the Runway, for instance, adds photos submitted by previous renters in the product description of a given dress. It includes their height, weight, and chest size, so that when a shopper has her own stats on file, the site can float to the top images of like-bodied women.
In order to go deeper into ecommerce, Olapic has now added a single-sign-on feature that gives consumers one log-in for all Olapic-supported ecommerce sites, rather than having to re-register for each site individually. More importantly, retailers are able to get data on what customers are doing across the Olapic platform, which better enables the photos consumers look at and products they buy can feed into recommendations and marketing.
Olapic has also partnered with Demandware, the ecommerce platform, enabling customers of the latter to easily integrate Olapic’s services via plug-ins. That’s a reach increase of about 200 potential customers.
Before the end of the year, Olapic aims to integrate with retailers’ email marketing, so that customers are encouraged to send in photos after the purchase. A good number of their customers have already been doing this manually, the founders said.
[Image: Flickr/In this fleeting moment]