A revolutionary move? VANCL tries out social e-commerce

Alia | March 18th, 2011 - 2:05 am

Many of you may still remember the hugely successful viral marketing campaign led by VANCL, China’s largest branded apparel e-commerce website. (Refer to Vancl; Expertly Planning a China Viral Buzz Campaign and How to Make a Marketing Campaign Go Viral in China to learn about the viral marketing campaign). Just today, VANCL started an e-commerce 2.0, or, as I call it, social e-commerce, campaign that has the potential of prompting a revolution in the industry.

The campaign is called “VANCL Star, 10% = 1 billion”. To put it in a simple way, the campaign is to share profits with VANCL fans.

Star.vancl.com is a photo blog + brand advocate community site for VANCL fans. Fans of the brand can register to open a “store”, which is more like a photo blog, and then they can showcase their VANCL purchases and upload photos of how they mix and match. Directly below each picture, there are links of what is being shown in the picture to VANCL site where viewers can click and buy. Members of the VANCL Star community can also comment on each others’ photos and “fan” members that they think have a good taste of fashion. Those members with the largest number of fans become VANCL stars and will have the opportunity to appear in VANCL advertising. The best part? VANCL stars will also be given coupons to buy free. The screen shot below is what a VANCL star page looks like

The concept of VANCL Star itself provides the brand with a vibrant and loyal consumer base. But it is not really innovative in terms of a grass-root marketing campaign. The new campaign of “VANCL Star, 10% = 1 billion”, however, is one big step further. Now with the campaign, if you are a VANCL star and someone click and buy through the link under your showcase picture, you are able to earn a commission of 10% of the profit. There is no fee, no charge or whatever cost on the part of the member.  Inventory, warehousing, delivery and customer service are all handled by VANCL, too.

All you have to do is to set up your VANCL Star page, work on your fashion, buy VANCL and take a picture of you in it, upload the picture, link back to VANCL, attract as many fans as possible, pray that they click and buy, and then earn money. In fact, VANCL provides the function for members to check how much they’ve earned in real time.

VANCL claims that by doing so, the company will share a potential of 1 billion or more of its profits with VANCL stars.  How this campaign will play out is yet to know. But it is surely an exciting try for new e-commerce business models. It turns “fashion for the masses” into “e-commerce for the masses”.

The campaign officially starts from 12 am, March, 18th, 2011.

Background: Vancl.com, which took off in 2007, sells clothes, accessories and home furnishings on its website. Its 2010 sales reached CNY 2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 300%.  See also how the CEO of VANCL told his wish to acquire LV and Converse.

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