Fashion apparel retailer Express on Monday announced the launch of Express Community Commerce, a social commerce experience for fashion enthusiasts to style, inspire and earn commission. According to Express, the Express Community Commerce program brings together a network of like-minded, entrepreneurial style experts — called Express Style Editors — through coaching, education, mentorship and meetups. The platform gives Style Editors exclusive access to sell and earn commission on specially designed seasonal collections, while providing them with tools to engage and connect with followers through a shared love of fashion, turning their passion for style into a successful business or side hustle. Currently in its pilot phase, the Express Community Commerce program will roll out nationwide this fall. Intended to position the company toward achieving its goal of $1 billion in e-commerce sales by 2024, the program aims to drive increased digital revenue, acquire and engage new customers, and promote the Express brand in a new way.
Total Retail's Take: This new initiative makes sense for Express, as the retailer caters to a young, media-savvy audience — the prime target for influencer marketing. Express is looking to leverage its already engaged, media-savvy audience to act as salespeople and work to connect even more fashionistas to its brand. And influencer marketing is the vehicle to do it. Influencer marketing spending in the U.S. is set to grow more than 30 percent this year, exceeding $3 billion, and surpass $4 billion next year, according to eMarketer. (eMarketer defines influencer marketing spending as payments made to influencers or their representatives to promote products and services primarily on social media and other platforms featuring user-generated content.) Lastly, investors apparently like the idea as well: According to Business Insider, shares were trading higher Monday afternoon after Express announced the launch of its Community Commerce program.