Ettitude's social attitude connects with customers

Online retailer has found most success on Facebook, least on Google+

Ettitude managing director, Phoebe Yu, is based in Melbourne.

Ettitude managing director, Phoebe Yu, is based in Melbourne.

Social media has enabled online retailer Ettitude to better reach customers and increase its sale conversion rate, according to managing director Phoebe Yu.

Ettitude sells eco-friendly linen and clothing made out of organic bamboo. Yu started Ettitude.com.au by herself in Melbourne five years ago.

Ettitude employs a variety of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Yu takes a different approach to each social media tool, she said. Pinterest is for product pictures, while Facebook is “our platform for talking to customers and getting feedback,” Yu told Computerworld Australia.

The Ettitude website places social media buttons on its product pages so people can like and share items on the site with friends. The website also uses social media for promotions. For example, giving $5 coupons to customers who like Ettitude’s Facebook page.

“That works well,” she said. The Ettitude Facebook page now has more than 1,500 followers and is “the most important platform for us,” she said.

That high approval on social media has increased Ettitude’s sale conversion rate, Yu said. “It really helps [customers] to make a decision to buy.”

Customers can actually purchase all of Ettitude’s products directly through the Facebook page, but Yu said most Facebook followers still go to the main website to make a purchase.

“We do see the traffic from Facebook to our main store,” she said. “People haven’t got used to the idea they can buy directly from Facebook. They see it more as a catalogue or showroom.”

Facebook and Pinterest have perhaps worked better for Ettitude than other social media because they have more women users, a top demographic for Ettitude, Yu said.

Yu reported the least success with Google+, which has been trying to gain traction among businesses. Ettitude’s Google+ store has a score of just +26.

“It’s not really working for us because the consumer brand Google+ is not yet” as popular as other social media, she said.

Yu said the best approach to social media is to “focus on where your customer is”.

“Social media is where you connect with the customer, so you need to choose the two or three most influential channels.”

Yu began to explore social media two to three years ago after switching to Bigcommerce as Ettitude’s e-commerce platform. It replaced a more limited content management system that didn’t support social media, built by a small Melbourne company, she said.

In addition to seeking more options, Yu sought a platform that was easier to use. “You needed to have really serious computer knowledge” to use the old system effectively, she said.

Bigcommerce has been intuitive and has provided helpful support, Yu said. Adding social media support was a simple matter of flicking a switch, she said.

Read more: Twitter launches global competition for startups that incorporate Fabric

Bigcommerce may not be ideal for international stores, said Yu, who recently recently launched a US version of Ettitude. Bigcommerce forced Yu to have two separate stores rather than one that sells to both markets.

However, Yu praised Bigcommerce for being quick to release new features.

“I like to try the new stuff,” she said. “Every time they have a new feature, I’m probably the first of their customers to try it out.”

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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