Monetising social influence

ModeFair is a new kind of online e-commerce platform that leverages the power of social influencers. I use the term ‘e-commerce’ instead of ‘shopping’ because it isn’t a simple transaction relationship between just brands and consumers anymore.

Social influencers also have a significant role to play, and ModeFair has designed a platform that enables them to manage the marketing of products and services from brands.

These influencers would discover interesting products and services via an exclusive mobile app, decide which they would like to experience, and then create their own campaign (or promotion) of that product or service, also via the same mobile app. In essence, they would do what they usually do on social media – create ‘magic’ and lasting impressions with social media tools like Instagram, blogs, Facebook etc, that won them the hearts of thousands of followers, in the first place.

(L-R): Chua and Tang

This time these social media services would also have a URL that links back to Modefair and every time influencers create awareness or ‘market’ a product they will get paid an endorsement fee by the brand that the product belongs to.

The ‘Numbers’ game

Interestingly, ModeFair CEO, Tang Siew Wai is quick to point out, that they do not select their Influencers based on the number of followers they have. “We also look at the engagement rate influencers have with their followers.”

A main selection criteria is a healthy engagement rate with their fan base and since beginning last February, ModeFair has added another 75 influencers for a total of 90, and their combined fan base of 14 million fans. Curated brands have increased from 20 to over 150 local and international brands.

The products that are sold, are expertly and lovingly curated by influencers, with useful tips from ModeFair. Tang shared one example of a tip, “We advise them to sell ten to 20 items. And each item doesn’t go beyond 50 units (in inventory),” Tang also added that for every successful sale, there is a certain profit margin share with the influencer.

The tech behind ModeFair

“Initially, everything was out-of-the-box, but there were performance issues, and integration was a pain,” said Tang.

ModeFair CTO, Chua Wen Ching shared that they did not want to incur any proprietary licensing cost, hence the decision for open source solutions. “The core system, merchant dashboard and campaign management system are PHP-based and built from ground up.

“We also built an internal tool that focuses on social influencers; it detects them and measures their engagement level with their fans,” Chua said.

The seven-member tech team also find that they have a more secure solution, as a result. “Beginning from scratch was a good decision, we know our system very well and are better able to mitigate risks faster,” Chua described, adding that having celebrity-level personalities on their platform attracts a lot of cyber intrusion and cyberattack attempts.

All of this, is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

In conclusion, Tang let on that a more comprehensive campaign management system is in the pipeline for ModeFair influencers. “Fourth quarter this year, will also be the trigger point to go into other countries (think Singapore and Indonesia).”





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