Gilt Groupe, Klout Form Strategic Partnership

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Gilt Groupe, a deal website for high-end products and services, will launch beginning March 6 an experimental, limited-time partnership with Klout, an online service that allows users to see how much influence they have in their social communities like Twitter and Facebook, said Gilt President Andy Page.

“We really built the whole company on this concept of influencers so our relationship with Klout has a ton of potential,” Page said, acknowledging how Gilt grew its business largely through referrals—giving a $25 discount to every user who directed a friend to the site. “We're tapping into a very robust social network of influencing,” Page added.

Per the partnership, members of both Gilt and Klout will be able to use their score on Klout—a number from 0-100—to get a discount off purchases. The rollout will begin incrementally March 6 at which point reach scores on Klout will affect the available discount. For instance, a 30% Klout reach score will elicit a 30% discount on a product featured on Gilt.

The campaign will extend on March 7 when each of Gilt's core properties—Women, Men, Baby and Kids, Home and Taste—will feature items curated by high-ranking Klout members. During the 36-hour sale, other Klout members will be get a discount off all of these items based on their Klout score. Curators include internet personalities Loren Ridinger and Ciaran Blumenfeld, who will curate Gilt Women and Gilt Baby and Kids respectively.

Page believes that each curator's reach should help sell products to his or her followers. “You're influencing your friends,” he said. “Your friends trust you to provide that recommendation.”

This partnership is a “huge vote of confidence” for Klout, said Klout spokesperson Lynn Fox. “It shows that online influence is being brought into the real world,” Fox said. “Never before had influence been put into action at this level by a retailer.”

The benefit for Klout, Page said, is the fact that they will have a new use for their social marketing site: ecommerce.

“This will increase their business model, I hope, because they'll use it for more than just measuring a score,” he said. “They are structured toward being able to quantify whom influences whom. We're marrying influencing behavior and commerce.”

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