There's nothing niche about referral marketing

Giants like Zalando and Expedia have embraced referral marketing

E-cigarettes were invented back in 2003. The first patent for fidget spinners was granted in the early '90s. People have been drinking almond milk since the 13th century. There's nothing new about these things but, suddenly, they're everywhere.

That's what happens when a niche phenomenon goes mainstream, and it's exactly what's happened with referral marketing in 2017. Once regarded as something only risk-taking, edgy brands like Uber and Airbnb dared to do, it's now the fastest growing form of customer acquisition.

That's why international giants such as Zalando, Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, and Expedia, the world's largest online travel company, have both recently jumped on-board and embraced referral. Like Feelunique, ASOS, Telefónica and hundreds more brands before them, they've teamed up with the leading experts here at Buyapowa to launch programmes designed to get their customers sharing and their friends shopping.

Of course, just like your local Starbucks didn't offer almond milk lattes back in Middle Ages (although I hear their mead frappucinos were divine), none of these brands prioritised referral until their customers began to demand it. According to the Ivy League data-scientists at the Wharton School of Business, 83% of customers want to refer their friends to


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Q1 2016: Impact Update

Here is a short video to highlight the impact Buyapowa has had across all our clients in Q1 2016.

Enjoy the video!

So you can see that from initial engagement all the way through to conversion and average order values, our platform gets people sharing, shopping and spending at unprecedented levels.

In short, it can make a huge difference to your sales. No wonder, then, that some of our clients are achieving up to 20% of their overall sales from referrals.

If you'd like to see some case studies, learn more about these stats or even see a full demo of our platform, we'd love to hear from you .

See Recent Buyapowa Client Activity:


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Social in 2014 is just like the web in 1996

If social media existed in the '90s

Take a look at your favourite brand's Facebook page. It's pretty mature, isn't it? It's well managed, it's active, those guys really know what they're doing. And it's not just Facebook - look at the way businesses use Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and a million other tools. Social has definitely come of age.

And then step back and put all this into context. It might seem like we've reached an end-point, like we've gone as far as we possibly can but, in truth, we've only just begun to scratch the surface of social's potential. How do we know that? Because it's happened before - with the birth of e-commerce.

Back in the early to mid '90s, the only corporates who saw a business use for the web were the marketing guys. Excited by this dynamic new platform, they were the ones who established websites for their brands. But the new tech didn't automatically deliver a new way of thinking and, consequently, these websites were little more than online versions of the print brochures and corporate resources they were already producing, coupled with some touchy-feely fun for the customers.

ASDA's website in 1996 offered everything from jobs and recipes to java games to entertain their customers. The one thing it didn't offer, though, was the ability to buy things. The UK supermark ASDA's website in 1996 offered everything from jobs and recipes to java games to entertain their customers. The one thing it didn't offer, though, was the ability to buy things.

Meanwhile, pioneers like Pegasus (who set up the world's first online travel agency, and now power giants like Ebookers, Orbitz, Lastminute and Hotwire), eBay and Amazon had identified an infinitely greater potential for the web - the ability to sell direct to customers, any time day or night, anywhere in the world, disintermediating traditional retail, shaving overheads to a bare minimum, reinventing shopping forever. These pioneers invented a whole new channel - e-commerce - and the reward for their innovation was 20+ years of dominance. Brands and traditional retailers are still paying the price for their tardiness back in the '90s, and you only have to look at what's recently happened to the likes of HMV and Jessops to see how costly that price has been.

The same thing will emphatically happen with social. We're still in the mid '90s when it comes to how brands interact with their customers via social. It's a toe in the water - something for marketers to play with. Just like the brochure sites of old, corporate social outposts collate information for their customers, they engage them with fun distractions (competitions, polls, Pinterest boards, pictures of fluffy kittens to share), they stick a flag in the sand for their brands.

But the future will only arrive when social expands beyond the social media we're playing with now, or even the social media marketing people assume is cutting edge. The inevitable, essential future is Social Commerce - shopping where we socialise, buying things with our friends, accessing offers and exclusives via viral networks, influencing the price and nature of products with our collective, social voice.

The question, though, is whether brands and retailers will make the same fatal mistake they made 20 years ago and allow someone else to corner the market before they can get so much as a foot in the door. There's still time to act, but the next six months are going to be fascinating to watch.


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Going, going, gone. What's going to happen to retail when the sales are over?

Sale Ends Today

Oh, Banksy. Always bang on the money with your witty observations (although - ironic art fact! - this oil on canvas swipe at consumerism didn't actually sell when Sotheby's tried to auction it in 2008). We are totally obsessed with sales, which is why it comes as no surprise that everyone from Buckingham Palace to the 99p Store chain is knocking off money quicker than the late Ronnie Biggs (incidentally, how do 99p Stores have sales?!).

Unsurprisingly, that's led to a slightly busier high street than usual (though not everywhere, it seems), but let's not kid ourselves here: people aren't shopping because the recession's over and they're merrily splashing the cash. They're stockpiling in preparation for the moment the sales end, making sure they have everything they need before that 80% off is actually off.

At which point, everything's likely to get rather bleak.

Traditionally, the post-sales period between leading up to Easter has been retail's time to experiment: click-and-collect, loyalty cards, even the world's first ever online store (1992's Book Stacks Unlimited) all came into being during Februaries past (as did the mobile internet and Facebook, incidentally). So now's definitely the time to plan something fresh and innovative.

The


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2014: the year social media management grows the hell up

2014: the year social media grows the hell up

This is our fourth prediction for 2014. For our other predictions, click here.

Everybody's favourite Page on Facebook is Condescending Corporate Brand Page. If you're not a fan, stop reading this (just for a second!) and go get clicky. They post things like this: More genius

Brutal genius. But C.C.B.P.'s war against meaningless 'engagement' by brands too scared to admit they're trying to sell stuff isn't just funny, it's gut-punchingly insightful. For far too long, social media managers have been chasing utterly meaningly metrics (engagement, likes, sharing) in a desperate race to the bottom. The tail isn't just wagging the dog, it's started bashing Fido violently against the nearest wall until he's had to be put down for his own good.

So, blam. Here's the humane injection, the brutal truth: if you do the social media for a brand who sell things, your job is to sell things. There is only one metric you should care about: how many sales have your posts generated? Cute kitten pictures may get liked and shared like crazy, but they've never, ever sold a bottle of multivitamins. And, trust us, your CEO will be on the warpath in 2014, looking for cold,


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