How does Polyvore fit into your digital marketing strategy? If you’re scratching your head and reaching for your phone to Google it, you’re already missing a fairly sizeable trick (sorry about that).
Launched in 2007 - years before Pinterest was even a twinkle in the eye of its creators - Polyvore has been making community-powered social commerce cool for the best part of nine years.
The platform enables fashion, beauty and homeware aficionados to curate their favourite products from across the web into collections or ‘sets’, in which each product is priced and directly linked to the page it can be bought.
If most of your customers are hardcore Pinterest fans, we have good news. Using the Pinterest API, Polyvore users can "seamlessly save fashion, beauty and home decor sets from their site to Pinterest".
As with any social network, it’s important to be down with the lingo, and luckily the Polyvore vernacular is fairly easy to get your head around. Here’s what you need to know:
Items are at the heart of everything that happens on Polyvore - think of them as the ingredients that community members and brands use to cook up a sensation. The easiest way of adding items to Polyvore is using the clipper tool - a browser add-on that enables users and brands to add items to Polyvore from any webpage they’re currently browsing.
To extend the culinary metaphor, if ‘items’ are the chief ingredients on Polyvore, then ‘sets’ are recipes that mix them together to create something sensational. They’re essentially like those scrapbooks or collages that you made as a kid, but without the need for scissors and Pritt Stick.
Polyvore limits users to 50 items per set, and these can be arranged in whatever way you please. You can also include other complementary images and photographs, for example, if you’re trying to recreate a celebrity look or want to include moodboard style images that help set the tone.
‘Collections’ are made up of items and sets that are usually grouped round a theme.
They’re a brilliant way of showing off new product lines - for example, if you wanted to show off your new summer pastels collection you might add individual items from that line and throw in some sets where you’ve styled the items into an outfit.
Polyvore by numbers
Now this all sounds very nice, you might be thinking, but does this relatively obscure social network generate cold hard dollar? Let's take a look at the numbers.
- According to its website, its average basket size across retail partners is over $383, "which is higher than other leading social networks combined" (RichRelevance)
- It attracts over 20 million unique visitors per month
- It achieves over 7.5 billion product impressions per month
- Its collages (or ‘sets’) get over a billion impressions each month
- Over 3 million sets are created each month
- The average order value on the site ($66) trumps pretty much every other major social network out there
- The average Polyvore user is 84 per cent more likely to have shopped online for clothes, shoes or accessories in the last 30 days than the average online consumer
- It has an affluent user base (whose household income is, on average, $73,286)
For more stats, check out this infographic the company produced:
Polyvore tips for online brands
So everything points towards Polyvore being a worthy marketing investment for brands - particularly for those moving in high-end luxury or boutique circles. The site itself provides an excellent guide to setting up a Polyvore profile if you’re a business, but here are a few extra hints and tips:
- Create beautiful content of your own. While it’s nice to have other people featuring your products, the only way to build an engaged, attentive following of your own on Polyvore is to build collections and sets that showcase your superstar products. The better your content, the more prominent it will be on the website.
- Make your Polyvore page ‘official’ by contacting them and providing a company email address as proof. This will put a lovely ‘official’ stamp on your profile and encourage users to click through for authentic good stuff.
- Add the Polyvore ‘like’ button to the product pages on your website - it’ll act as a social proof booster, as well as enabling users to quickly share the product with their Polyvore followers (instructions about how to add it can be found here).
- Get into the routine of interacting with Polyvore users who use your items in their sets and collections - by ‘liking’ community-generated content, following members who feature your products and adding positive comments on collections or sets. It’ll make them more likely to wax lyrical about you in the future.
- Do your own Polyvore PR. If you see a popular user who has a style that aligns with your brand, contact them and maybe suggest a partnership. Remember to make sure there’s something in it for them too!
- Create a contest. You can set up a group on Polyvore as soon as you have 30 followers - use your groups to run contests that encourage followers to make their own sets out of your items.
- 43 per cent of set impressions occur on social networks and blogs - be sure to share your Polyvore creations on your social channels. Polyvore supports all major social networks (including Pinterest) and also lets you embed posts on your website or blog.
Top Brands on Polyvore: 6 examples of boutique online retailers
To date, Net-a-Porter has achieved a whopping 4,902,434 set views and a following of over 14,000. The luxury online retailer publishes both thematic and brand-related sets, and gets stuck in with the Polyvore community, liking sets created by members.
Farfetch’s following of over 36,000 go mad for its stylish sets that often have a topical theme. We like how the luxury fashion boutique mixes up their sets, showing products in context on ‘real people’ as well as on their own.
We love how LN-CC uses ultra stylish sets to promote its various offers and sales, as well as creating handy guides to its must-buy products. It also uses Polyvore as a platform for engaging with brand advocates, following members and liking their sets.
1stdibs creates fantastic themed ‘inspiration’ boards that have, to date, achieved over one hundred thousand views on Polyvore. As a seller of antique furniture, fine jewellery, vintage fashion and fine art, its followers are treated to a wide variety of sets that blend everything from fashion pieces to furniture to fabulous fine art. Lovely!
The massively successful Italian brand YOOX gets all artsy with its Polyvore sets, which blend the best pieces from the online boutique’s array of fashion brand partners.
My-wardrobe.com offers its followers carefully-crafted sets and collections that showcase the boutique’s star items, from city-themed compilations to collections that put a single brand in the spotlight.