New shopping site rewards social influencers

Sep 01, 2015
Tom Ryan

A new social e-commerce site, Yuno, rewards consumers for influencing their social networks.

Users earn a cashback for any purchase made on Buying a pair of $125 Nike sneakers, for instance, earns a user a $3.12 deposit in their PayPal account, according to

But social influence is where users rack up points.

Yuno offers a curation of fashion, lifestyle, sports and technology products from Macy’s, Best Buy, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Foot Locker and others. The company claims to have a combined inventory of over 70 million products.

After purchases, users are encouraged to share links to their profile or to individual products with their social media followers. A notification of any purchase can be linked to users’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Subsequently, users are also rewarded a cashback every time someone in their Yuno social network sees what they purchased and decides to buy the same or related product.

There is no limit to how much cashback a Yuno user can earn. Ultimately, the most active customer can receive up to 100 percent cashback on their purchases depending on their level of influence or "social capital" among their Yuno followers.



"As the company’s name suggests, ‘Yuno’ helps the consumer benefit not from what they know, but who they know," the company wrote in a press release.

Said Yuno CEO Andre Walters in a statement, "With social media, the power to generate attention and to influence others’ behavior is no longer limited to famous celebrities. We are all valuable in the world of commerce through word of mouth marketing, and we believe that value should be recognized in our everyday transactions by the companies we support."

How much retailers contribute to rewards was not disclosed.

Much has been made of social media’s potential word-of-mouth reach. A Pew Research Center survey last year found that among adult users of Facebook, the average (mean) number of friends is 338, with the median (midpoint) number of friends being 200. Twenty-seven percent of 18-29 year old Facebook users have more than 500 friends in their network.

However, the influence of social media on purchases and brand loyalty is not clear. Klout, which ranks people’s social influence, has said the company is exploring helping retailers send discount coupons to consumers with high Klout stores who click on items.

Do you see benefit for retailers partnering with Yuno? How does the opportunity for retailers to capitalize on online influence differ from offline influence?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
"There’s a limit to the number of social networks people can internalize (even teenagers!) and I’m not clear that those with discretionary income will have the time or energy to participate."

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7 Comments on "New shopping site rewards social influencers"

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Paula Rosenblum
3 years 11 months ago

I’ve heard about a few of these types of sites lately. I don’t really see the need for it but I also don’t see the harm in a retailer being associated with the site, either. I don’t think it’ll get big enough to have a material impact on a large retailer’s P&L.

There’s a limit to the number of social networks people can internalize (even teenagers!) and I’m not clear that those with discretionary income will have the time or energy to participate.

Shep Hyken
3 years 11 months ago

How much does a retailer pay for traditional types of adverts? How effective are those traditional ads compared to word-of-mouth? You know the answer. So paying for customers with Klout or other social influence through discounts and cash-back incentives may make sense. Furthermore, I think it raises the game for the retailer. If the retailer pushes for a review, they are hoping for a positive review, which means that the staff and/or experience better deliver on the overall customer experience, which includes the service, product, etc.

Ryan Mathews
3 years 11 months ago

If it works, i.e., if customers warm to the idea the Yuno model could be quite powerful and partnering retailers should reap major rewards, if you’ll excuse the pun.

I think the potential for consumers to leverage “peer power” is obviously much greater in digital retailing and therefore it ought to be more attractive to retailers. If customers could monetize their social networks it could also give them more incentive to build and nurture their digital connectivity, creating even more commercial potential for sellers.

Mark Heckman
3 years 11 months ago

Before a retailer decides who their marketing partners are, they should first have a social media strategy that optimally is a piece of their overall marketing/communications strategy. Yuno seems to have captured the reputed power of social media by rewarding word of mouth recommendations and has earned consideration.

With intensive social media users, incentives can be a very powerful tool. If I am a retailer looking to expand social media touch points, I would take a strong look at Yuno’s approach. However, points and reward programs are plentiful and accordingly I would insure that customer gratification is nearly immediate and certainly not complicated. Involving key brand partners could immediately expand the content, rewards and options as well.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
3 years 11 months ago

Retailers will learn how valuable social shopping can be and realize they should be promoting it themselves to generate more value for their brand. Consumers who like social shopping will love the site because a variety of brands and products will be offered and they do not need to go to a specific retailer or brand site and do not need to be loyal to a particular retailer or band. The influence process is not different. Online offers more speed and the opportunity to reach more people.

Lee Kent
3 years 11 months ago

It wouldn’t hurt! Retailers need to be where their customers are. If it is no or little skin off their backs, then go for it.

For my 2 cents.

Arie Shpanya
3 years 11 months ago

Social proof is a great way to get shoppers to buy and this could work for Yuno. Retailers could potentially get more sales and influencers could have more incentives to buy and share. The benefit of online influence is that retailers can track it more easily. This seems like a win for retailers and consumers.

"There’s a limit to the number of social networks people can internalize (even teenagers!) and I’m not clear that those with discretionary income will have the time or energy to participate."

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