Best friends Nina Vitalino and Corey O’Loughlin bonded early on over their mutual fondness for preppy style. They wanted to build something together, and soon discovered that Nina’s extensive e-commerce experience and Corey’s professional marketing background paired together like pearls and polos. The duo began researching and developing strategies for social selling on channels like Facebook and Etsy.
By the time they launched Prep Obsessed Facebook auctions in April 2013, they had accumulated a loyal and engaged fanbase that was equally passionate about prep couture. “Keeping the entire buying experience on Facebook is an unbelievable opportunity–we’re never asking fans to convert in a way that might lose the sale,” says Corey, who adds that an e-commerce site seemed superfluous.
When Soldsie rolled out its Instagram platform, we tapped Prep Obsessed to run a test sale for its 1,700+ Instagram followers. The results were remarkable: though Prep Obsessed’s Facebook page has over 25,000 fans, the Instagram sale resulted in only 10 fewer invoices than their weekly Facebook sale typically yields. “Instagram is the preferred channel for some of our fans. We saw a different type of response here when we put up some of our most popular products–it was a much more leisurely shopping experience, and the fans loved it.”
Prep Obsessed finds that multiple sales channels can be effectively used with the right strategies. To cater to shoppers who were wary of Facebook, they concurrently opened an Etsy.com store. “We treat each channel differently,” says Corey. “On Etsy, our cost is higher but the supply is greater, and shoppers get to buy on their time and their terms. They don’t have to worry about getting beaten to the punch, which could happen in a Facebook sale.”
“The time that we’ve saved using Soldsie is why we’re successful,” adds Nina. “Right now, we’re so far ahead of anywhere we thought we would be! It’s a tribute to our unique background, our loyal customers, and how well we work together.”