Play.com – Monetize Big Data

Social Retail: Quantifying the Value of a Fan


This case highlights the retail value of growing and developing a highly engaged social media fan base. With budgets stretched across more channels than ever before, the challenge for many marketers is making social count within the marketing mix and justifying how social spend can contribute directly to a retailer's bottom line.

Executive summary


Marketing Director at Rakuten Inc.'s Play.com, Adam Stewart, was given 12 months to demonstrate direct returns from social media. The following case considers the data-driven test and learn approach that allowed the retailer to organically grow their fan count by 1,000 per cent, as well as the tools that allowed the retailer to quantify the value of a “like” and attribute over two million pounds of gross merchandise sales to social media.

Key findings

  • It's not only the number of fans that matters, but it's their level of engagement that makes a financial difference to your business. Play.com found that an engaged fan was worth 24 per cent more than a non-fan.
  • Overemphasis on push messages, such as product launches, will not foster the engagement levels that really stretch the audience reach of your campaign. A blended approach, which includes activity such as social polls, sweepstakes and competitions, is far more likely to increase conversation around ...

Get The Social Media MBA in Practice: An Essential Collection of Inspirational Case Studies to Influence your Social Media Strategy now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.