The choppy waters of retailing over recent years have seen the birth of some really exciting innovations – necessity is the mother of invention and all that. We’ve seen that as retailers’ needs have grown, so technology has moved on apace and given rise to the likes of Ecommerce, MCommerce… And now WCommerce.
The nation’s obsession for all things celebrity has created a new channel for selling based on what the celebs are doing – or most importantly wearing. Whether it’s the Duchess of Cambridge’s latest outfit from LK Bennett, images on Pinterest feeding directly through to the retailer’s website, or Rihanna’s newest collection for River Island, the rise of Wannabe-Commerce is a new wave of technology and celebrity working in harmony to help deliver additional sales for retailers.
Of course, it’s not an entirely new concept – think back to the early days of As Seen On Screen and their full page adverts in Heat magazine circa 2003, capitalising on what the celeb of the moment was wearing. Our image-obsessed Wannabe culture soaked up every tip on how to dress like / have skin like / lose weight like those in the public eye.
Recent reports show that brands are receiving not-so-free coverage from the Twitter accounts of certain celebrities. W-Commerce is alive and well with Alesha Dixon, Elizabeth Hurley and Amanda Holden all earning from their namedropping. Kim Kardashian (with her 18m followers) is said to make up to £7,000 for mentioning products in her Tweets.
And of course the newest W-Commerce example is the MailOnline, which now interrupts its “reports” to bring us a handy guide on where to purchase the very dress worn by JLo or swimsuit by Tulisa. It won’t be long until the stats are coming through showing how this innovation translates into money in the tills for our retailers, and W-Commerce becomes another accepted new channel for selling.