Q&A with Lulu Guinness on social commerce

Tayyaba Malik, head of eCommerce at Lulu Guinness, explains the brand’s approach to use social media as a selling tool, after implementing Curalate to surface shoppable user-generated content on its website.

How important is social media to Lulu Guinness?

Social media, especially Instagram, is one of the strongest tools we can use to communicate our brand and product. It allows viewers to be immersed in the Lulu Guinness world and understand what the brand is about.

Further to this, we have a loyal customer base who look to social media to keep up with our brand and also potentially make contact with new customers or those who are not familiar with Lulu Guinness.

Tell us a bit about your social media efforts prior to launching Curalate?

They were minimal compared to what we can achieve now with Curalate. We did, like any business and team of our size, deliver dynamic and engaging social content, however we struggled with doing so at speed and integrating the social experience onto our website and alongside the product.

Why did you decide to implement user-generated content?

User-generated content (UGC) allows the brand and the customer to interact. Our hashtag #HowDoYouLulu encourages our customers to post with the chance of being featured on our website to show how they wear Lulu Guinness products. It is a fun way to interact and also see the imaginative content created by our customers.

How was the implementation process with Curalate?

Straightforward, once we were clear on where we wanted the feed to sit across the website it really was a matter of injecting the snippet in the relevant places by our development team.

Lulu Guinness uses interactions from social media shoppers on its website
Lulu Guinness uses interactions from social media shoppers on its website

How easy has it been to make your Instagram page shoppable since the platform has allowed retailers to do so?

This was a straightforward process also. The [Instagram] development team provided a clear brief and steps to take, which allowed our products to become shoppable easily. We have been using this feature for three months so far, and can report that since the implementation we have seen 97% increase in conversion rate and an uplift of 49% in average order value. This is an obvious nod towards continuous optimism.

Do you do also conduct paid-for advertising on Instagram?

Lulu Guinness does focus on paid advertising to ensure that our products, activations and promotions reach both our audience and new audiences. However, we see organic and paid as two separate platforms that serve different purposes. Our paid advertising is focused to be more commercial, product orientated and shows a clear call to action, whilst organic allows us to further brand image and communicate with our audience.

It’s a fickle industry that changes day-by-day, but what do you think will be the next ‘big thing’ on social media?

It is difficult to know what the next ‘big thing’ is until it really happens. Many social elements are predicted to be huge but do not follow through – for example, take Instagram TV (IGTV) and shopping on Instagram: IGTV didn’t make its mark so much, but shopping on Instagram immediately took off.

People are becoming more aware of paid promotion and how edited content has become. It seems they are looking for honesty and transparency in what is posted so they can make an invested decision on what they engage with and purchase.