The Hype – Digital innovations at London Fashion Week

In this edition of The Hype, we look at the retailers and designers that have showcased fashion and digital at London Fashion Week (LFW).

Every season, the role of digital becomes more prevalent at Fashion Week as more and more brands harness the power of online. Now you don’t even have to be in the Frow in order to interact and engage with the shows, as more and more designers bring their collections to consumers via technology.

Burberry’s Snapchat story

Burberry on Snapchat

The digital pioneer that is Burberry inevitably stood out this year due to their innovative use of Snapchat.
 
In a first for a luxury brand, Burberry created a Snapchat story which revealed its spring 16 collection the night before its Fashion Week show to Snapchat’s 100 million users. The preview remained on Burberry’s story for 24 hours and was then followed up by a ‘Burberry Live Story’ that combined crowd-sourced Burberry show-related video and images into a single stream on Snapchat. The content then of course disappeared after 24 hours giving it a real feel of exclusivity. I’ve seen many brands use Snapchat, but it has often felt like the brand has been thinking ‘platform-first, content-second’, but in Burberry’s case, its use of the platform felt polished and really added value to their show.
 
Prior to Fashion Week, Burberry also launched another first for a fashion brand – a music channel on Apple Music. You can find the channel in the ‘curators’ section and it showcases collaborations with British artists in the form of songs, playlists, films and performances that are all in keeping with the Burberry brand.
 
The campaign was clearly a success as data from Brandwatch showed that Burberry was the most talked about designer on social this season – pulling in over 40,000 tweets – over 10% of the total tweets about London Fashion Week.
 
Former CEO Angela Ahrendts (now retail boss at Apple) was responsible for putting digital at the heart of Burberry’s business strategy, which has included launching live catwalk streaming and the ‘Art of the Trench’ mini-site. Last year during LFW, Burberry also partnered with Twitter to launch a click-to-buy button for Burberry products as they were modeled on the runway. 

Topshop’s Pinterest Palettes

Topshop Pinterest Palettes screenshot Topshop is the only high-street brand on the fashion-week schedule, and their Unique Show which is now in its 23rd season, has become one of the most highly anticipated shows.
 
In order to engage their entire customer base in the London Fashion Week excitement, Topshop teamed up with Pinterest to launch ‘Pinterest Palettes.’ Their online tool scans and identifies colour trends based on either a user’s individual Pinterest boards or those curated by Topshop on the trends they spotted in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Based on the colour palette selected, Topshop then provides shoppable recommendations from their online store. According to the team, a potential 16.8m colour combinations will be possible, providing unique results for every user.
 
For those in London, Topshop hosted a pop-up on the lower ground floor of its Oxford Circus flagship that offers shoppers the ability to explore their Pinterest boards on iPads, and print out their our Pinterest Palettes colour inspiration cards. Their personal shopping team is also offering colour advice tailored to customers’ individual colour spectrums.
 
According Brandwatch’s analysis of Fashion Week, Topshop secured largest number of sponsor mentions.

House of Holland NFC-enabled wearables

Eclectic English Fashion Designer, Henry Holland teamed up with Visa Europe to combine fashion, wearable technology and payments in another Fashion Week first. At his London Fashion Week show, front-row guests were given a Henry Holland-designed ring – created just for the event which featured integrated NFC technology, which linked up to a number of pieces containing a payment receiver tag. This was then linked via Bluetooth Smart technology to a virtualised terminal and Visa’s payment network. Guests could then purchase items directly from the runway which could then be picked up after the show. On speaking of the wearables, Holland said he designed the “connected jewelry” with fashion in mind and it was important to him that the technology was completely invisible.  

Hunter goes live on Periscope


British heritage brand Hunter Originals utilised live-streaming app, Periscope, at their London Show to extend the reach of their brand to a broader audience with a series of live mobile gigs in the build up to its show.

Hunter launched #BeaHeadliner Mobile Sessions on the app to showcase music and interviews from up and coming musicians which were filmed as the musicians travel to see the show in Hunter-branded 4×4 vehicles. The #Beaheadliner campaign tied in nicely to the brand’s association with music festivals as the label’s Wellingtons have long been the staple footwear at festivals. Hunter will continue to use the hashtag post Fashion Week to promote upcoming musicians during festival season.

According to DigiDay, Hunter Originals was the fourth most tweeted about show, fifth most tweeted about brand, and received over 40,000 Instagram interactions.

That’s it for our round-up. Which brands and designers stood out for you at Fashion Week this year?

The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?

Welcome to The Hype – a monthly digest of the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail, hand-picked by our Premium Panel.

Selfridges Opens Christmas Shop 143 days before the big day

Last week Selfridges claimed to be the first department store in the world to open its 2015 Christmas shop as it bids to capitalise on summer tourist trade.

Selfridges has transformed 3,000 square feet of its fourth floor into a winter wonderland filled with festive treasure, gifts and decorations. The department store’s theme for Christmas 2015 centres around ‘Journey to the Stars’, which store bosses said is its “most unconventional Christmas scheme to date.”

This year’s big trends include personalised decorations, black and white monochrome and iconic London decorations, which are expected to prove popular with their key target audience of tourists. What do you think – too early?

Etsy to launch in Selfridges as it moves into UK bricks-and-mortar space

As part of Selfridges ‘festive concept space’ mentioned above, the online marketplace, Etsy, will be launching a pop up space as the online marketplace takes a further step into the bricks-and-mortar space in the UK.

Etsy, which sells handmade and unique products created by around 1.4 million sellers across the globe, will stock a host of products based around Selfridges’ ‘Journey to the Stars’ Christmas theme.

At least six Etsy sellers will be selling products such as dream catchers and astrological prints at the store. The sellers will also be on hand to lay on live crafting sessions at Selfridges.

Cambridge Satchel Company x Vivienne Westwood

After printing the leather comes making the @viviennewestwoodofficial bags… Are you getting excited? #CSCxVW

A video posted by camsatchelco (@camsatchelco) on

July also saw accessories brand The Cambridge Satchel Company team up with iconic designer Vivienne Westwood for the second time to produce a limited edition collection of bags.

The new collection features three of The Cambridge Satchel Company’s styles in three lust-worthy colour ways printed with Westwood’s iconic squiggle print. The print is screen printed directly on to the leather by the printer that has produced Westwood’s iconic Pirate Boots for over 30 years.

The range is available exclusively at Vivienne Westwood and The Cambridge Satchel Company’s stores and cambridgesatchel.com and definitely offers a more affordable option to anyone lusting after a Vivienne Westwood bag. You can take a look at the collection here.

Harvey Nichols uses CCTV footage of real shoplifters in new advert

High-end department store Harvey Nichols has become renowned for creating controversial adverts that get people talking, and their latest ad for their new Rewards app, continues their tried and tested formula.

The online film, created by Adam&EveDDB and produced by the Layzell Brothers at Blink, shows security footage of real-life shoplifters stealing from Harvey Nichols and being caught by security staff. The shoplifters’ identities are concealed by the addition of cartoon animated faces which adds a touch of humour to the advert.

In addition to the online film, there is also a print campaign, showing stylish shoppers being caught red-handed, and in-store activity reminding potential shoplifters that there’s now a legal way to get a freebie by using their new loyalty app.

 

Christmas in July: what should you be planning now?

With the summertime (supposedly) in full swing, the last thing anyone wants to do is start thinking about the upcoming festive season. However, for online retailers, Christmas really does come early and identifying a strategy now can make the difference between success or failure at the most important time in the retail calendar.

To highlight this point event further, last year Ometria found that customers acquired at Christmas time are 59% more likely to purchase again the next year, when compared to those who were acquired at other points in the year. Christmas is therefore a great time to acquire loyal customers, not just one-off seasonal purchasers.

Every year, we feature our top tips to start planning for the Christmas season and although we still stand by what we suggested in 2014, we’ve expanded on a few of the points and provided some new tips to help you get prepared…

Speak to your customers!

Our Managing Director, Rosie Freshwater, is a huge advocate of running surveys to gain insight about your customers and establish their shopping behaviour. Create a simple survey using a service like Survey Monkey and offer your customers an incentive for filling it in such as a giveaway or discount. Ask them if they are likely to shop with you for Christmas gifts this year and if so, what categories, price points and people they will be shopping for. This will give you a good steer on where to spend your marketing budget.

We also suggest asking your customers how you can give them the perfect shopping experience this Christmas. Ask questions around preferred delivery options, customer service channels and gift wrapping, as well as the types of gifts they will be looking to buy and who they will be buying for. Use this insight to get your Christmas promotions on point.

In a nutshell, it’s crucial to understand and profile your customers and then build your marketing strategy around them.

Get your website up to speed

Google satisfaction

As well as the survey questions above, ask your customers what they think about your website and invest some user testing sessions to identity any issues on your website. Services like WhatUsersDo are great help identity any issues in your customer journey and the user experience of your website. By doing this now, you’ll allow yourself ample time to make any necessary changes to your site.

Start a program of CRO testing, so you can be sure that your landing pages are converting well when it comes to the key Christmas period. Consider the page layouts, your basket, usability of checkout and test what are good merchandising and upsell opportunities on your key pages.

We also recommend running an optimisation review and a natural and paid search gap analysis as soon as possible. This will ensure that any well performing paid search terms are included on your site. Be sure to sense check the terms you are promoting to ensure these are still potentially good traffic drivers.

Start planning your specific Christmas landing pages now to ensure that you have strong landing pages for any campaigns you are running as well any Black Friday/ Cyber Monday promotions. While on the topic of Black Friday – make sure you have a watertight plan, as many retailers were caught out by its popularity last year and it’s predicated to be even bigger in 2015. Start planning everything from your product strategy and promotions to fulfilment and delivery.

Social media and content

Surface View_FB ad

When preparing any paid social campaigns, think about the platforms you are running campaigns on and what your audience looks like on each platform e.g. is your Facebook following mainly women while your Twitter followers are men? Use this insight to create campaigns that are appropriate for each channel. Look at your campaigns from last Christmas and see what you can learn from them – what worked and what didn’t?

Imagery and video content is REALLY important – it’s what grabs the reader’s attention, whether that’s a blog post or a Facebook update. Therefore, any creatives shouldn’t be an afterthought when creating Christmas content. Make sure you have the resource to create awesome images that reflect your brand and will engage your audience.

Also, ensure your social team are working very closely customer service department if they sit in separate teams. Typically, Christmas will be a busy time for them, but it’s likely there will be an increase in enquires and complaints coming through from the social too. Agree who is responsible for dealing with queries and and customer enquiries or problems are dealt with in a quick and efficient manner.

Paid search

Make sure you have visibility of every promotion you will be running over the Christmas period and how they will be promoted, so you can plan your campaigns around them. Look back at which promotions have worked best in the past, such as flash sales, free delivery or discounts, and focus on these in your Christmas promotions.

Plan your paid search budgets to anticipate shifts in search volume for big shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Take a look at your data from last year to see which days were the most popular and plan accordingly.

Upload all new advert creatives well in advance of their launch to ensure they are reviewed and approved before your campaign starts – this includes both text and image ads. Don’t let Google hold up getting your campaigns started!

Lastly, make sure your product feeds are fully optimised for Google Shopping which is a key channel for Christmas shopping when consumers are looking for specific products. By not having visibility in Google shopping, you’ll be missing out on a huge chunk of traffic.

As you can see there is certainly lots to be thinking about and this blog post has only just scratched the service. The key to having a successful Christmas is to start now, plan well ahead, and be organised! If you’d like to talk to us about your Christmas strategy, then do get in touch, there’s only 152 days to go…

Facebook tests ecommerce by building shops into Pages

Facebook has taken another big leap into ecommerce – a market that is predicted to be worth $350 billion this year. The platform has begun testing shops within Pages, allowing businesses to sell to customers directly. Complete with “buy” buttons, these mini-ecommerce sites allow the entire shopping experience to take place on the social media platform – from product discovery to making a purchase.

Currently, most of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising, and this is driven by the data that users provide. By offering people a seamless online experience – including the ability to buy their favourite products without having to the leave the platform – Facebook further cements itself into people’s online lives.

What is happening to commerce elsewhere on the web?

Facebook isn’t the only online social media platform to explore ecommerce functionality. Both Twitter and Pinterest have introduced shopping experiences of their own, such as Buyable Pins. Instagram (the photo sharing app owned by Facebook) has also enabled “Shop now” calls to action on adverts. Moving away from social into the world of search, even Google wants a piece of the action, recently unveiling its own Buy Button.

One of the main driving forces behind changes in the online retail landscape is mobile. Having a mobile-friendly website was made even more vital when earlier this year, Google announced they would be boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. You can read more about the update on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

However, apps are also a significant part of the online experience on mobile devices. According to research institute Forrester, we spend 80% of our time on mobile apps within the top five apps. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for online retailers to get the attention of customers. Therefore, it makes sense for Facebook to exploit this need by giving businesses space on the platform to sell directly to users.

Important considerations for retailers

This latest project by Facebook is still in its infancy, with less than a hundred test shops said to exist (Facebook won’t release the names of the businesses currently trialling the feature). However, based on what Facebook has done in the past, there are a few things retailers should consider.

The first is how much selling directly to users might cost. Facebook currently doesn’t make money from sales that take place on the platform. However, as we’ve already pointed out, online commerce is worth a lot of money – even more than digital advertising. Facebook won’t want to miss out on a slice of that pie.

Facebook also has a track record for offering something for free then changing their minds later on. Businesses used to be able to communicate with their fans easily in their newsfeeds. When Facebook decided to reduce the organic reach of Pages, businesses had to resort to paid advertising in order to reach the same people.

It is perfectly possible that Facebook will monetise shopfronts on Pages in the future. However, if the trends in mobile usage and social commerce continue, retailers might not have a choice if they want to get their products in front of customers.

Main image via Maria Elena on Flickr.

Five digital marketing must-haves for retailers

As consumer expectations continue to rise, there are a wealth of digital marketing tactics that were once a “nice to have” which have fast become “must-haves” in order to win and retain customers.

In this blog post, we have picked out the top five digital marketing must haves that all retailers selling online should have as part of their digital marketing mix.

 

1. Customer Personas

How can you market effectively to your customers if you don’t have a clear picture of who they actually are? There is a wealth of information that you should know about your customers that I have covered in many previous posts. No matter how much information or data you have about the people who buy from you, your marketing team must use that knowledge to formulate a set of customer personas.

A customer persona is a succinct profile of each type of customer that purchases from you. It should contain demographic information (e.g. age, gender, family, salary, location, education) as well as emotional intelligence such as their personal values, aspirations, shopping behaviours, buying drivers, media consumption, hobbies and lifestyle.

Mapping this information around a visual representation of the customer with a name will allow you to really bring your customers to life. This means you can start to engage with them on an increasingly emotional level, which in turn allows you to create far more engaging and focused marketing tactics. In fact, user personas have been found to make websites 2-5 more effective and easier to use by targeted users.

Customer personas in marketing have been around forever, but we are constantly surprised to find digital marketing teams who don’t have access to this type of insight on their customers, therefore missing a huge opportunity to focus their marketing more effectively. Having this insight is absolutely crucial as engaging content is becoming increasingly important as part of the digital marketing mix.

Customer Personas

2. Segmented email campaigns

Up until recently, a segmented or automated email program was deemed a “nice to have” for many retailers with the complex email strategies left to the larger retailers. Today, with the high level of personalisation expected by consumers, those retailers who are not carrying out any segmentation or personalisation of their emails will be losing a large amount of retained revenue and market share. According to HubSpot, personalised emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

Make sure you have some form of welcome program for those who are signing up to receive email communication from you. Gather as much information as you can when they register to allow you to tailor your communications to them – even if it is only sending different emails to men and women.

Once the consumer has made a purchase, use the information you have about their purchases to personalise future communication with them. You could send them curated products they might like, inspirational content related to the category they have bought from, or sneak previews of new products within that category. The increase in conversion rates from a tailored email communications are huge, so make sure you are looking at how you can start segmentation as soon as possible.

Here is a great example of targeted email that I received recently from Missguided which led straight to a purchase.

Missguided-email

3. A well-structured content plan

It is no longer enough to have different teams or individual people within your business producing content for your customers independently. A brand that delivers engaging content across all digital touchpoints can create a seamless experience for their customers that will aid both acquisition and retention. This cannot be achieved if there is not one central content plan for all teams adhere to.

A well-structured and successful content plan will contain the following:

  • Identified customer personas to engage with
  • A set of natural search terms to be woven into content
  • A central theme of content relevant to the customer and the brand
  • Channel by channel content creation around the central theme
  • Channel by channel content seeding and amplification
  • 3rd party content engagement elements (influencers, bloggers)
  • Week by week delivery and resource planning
  • A full set of financial and activity focussed KPIs

And most importantly – delegate a member of staff to own the plan and ensure everyone delivers their elements on time!

4. Google Shopping

If you sell products online and you do not have a Google Shopping feed or Product Listing Ads, then shame on you! Accordingly to research encompassing large-volume retailers, last year product listing ads drove 56% of non-brand clicks and 30% of overall Google search ad clicks.

Google Shopping results feature at the top of search results and are a key way to drive customers who are searching for particular products straight through to your product pages. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and images are processed 60,000 times faster than text, therefore if consumers process ads before anything else on the search results page, then you could be missing out on a high proportion of clicks if you do not have your products there.

Google Shopping

5. Rich Pins

Rich Pins are a very simple digital marketing tactic you can utilise in order to make the most of the fast growing Pinterest platform. Although product information on Pins has been around for a while now, the amount that retailers can do on this platform to generate commercial results has been growing rapidly in recent months.

By placing a small amount of code on your website means that any product that is pinned can be shown alongside relevant information such as stock availability and price. Pinners may also get notifications when prices drop by more than 10%.

Rich PinsThe increase of product information can lead to a much higher proportion of Pinterest users clicking through and purchasing. A recent study co-sponsored by the platform found that pins actually influence purchasing decisions. Over half the active Pinterest users surveyed said that the site helped them find items to buy. In addition, 32% said they purchased something in-store after viewing content on Pinterest.

Your competitors are probably doing it already! What are you waiting for?

The tactics above are by no means the only “must haves” within digital marketing, but are some of the most common tactics that we come across which are not being implemented by retailers.

Make time today to start just one!

Insight Edit – why do consumers return fashion purchases?

Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of more than 800 premium retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.

Every month, we question them on a range of areas from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.

The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.

A big focus for fashion retailers is the experience they give their customers pre-conversion to secure a sale. However, if the post-sale experience means the product is returned – all the investment in acquisition and conversion could be wasted.

This week we asked our panel to give us the reasons why they have returned fashion items to an online retailer within the last six months.

fashion-stat

Over half of our panel said they had returned an item within the last six months. This is a worryingly high statistic for those retailers selling clothes online, so we began to dig into the reasons why.

35% of our panel stated they had returned an item as it didn’t fit. This comes as no surprise given that humans come in all shapes and sizes. As a marketer, there is little you can do to change the physical product, however, you can ensure that your sizing information online is as clear and useful as possible. It’s much better to have a lower rate of conversion and lower return rate than a higher conversion level with a high return rate, especially if you are covering the cost of returns.

The next highest reason for returns is that the item received did not look like how it did online.

fashion-stat-1
This is another reminder that the investment in high quality imagery of your products is crucial in the battle against returns.

Features such as zoom capability, multiple viewpoints and real life styling are becoming essentials rather than nice to haves, to both increase conversion but also reduce returns.

None of our respondents said they returned an item as it was damaged in transit. The methods and standards of delivery available to retailers are improving all the time and there should be no reason why your products are being returned due to poor delivery.

To conclude, the way a product is described and showcased online is absolutely crucial to avoid high return rates. While this may seem like common sense, there are many retailers out there who are reticent to make additional investment in quality imagery or increased product information and are scratching their head as to why their return rates are so high.

Of course there will always be a level of returns that you just can’t avoid, so ensure that your return process is as easy as possible for your customers. How helpful, easy and clear you are about your returns process can mean the difference between encouraging repeat customers and sending them off to a competitor.

Is it important for consumers to touch and feel products in a physical store?

Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of more than 800 premium retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.

Every month, we question them on a range of areas from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.

The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.

As more and more consumers are happy to purchase products online without seeing them in the flesh, we wanted to understand what retail sectors they most happiest making online purchases for. We asked our panel to rate how important for them to touch and feel products in a physical store across a number of retail sectors.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the category in which our panel preferred to purchase in-store was furniture, with 73% stating it was important and 46% very important. This may be why even pure furniture etailers such as sofa.com and made.com have showrooms available for people to view products in the flesh.

Furniture stat

The next most important category to purchase in-store is jewellery, with 32.43% selecting very important and 38% slightly important. Again, this is understandable and probably relates to higher the price point of jewellery items and the longer consideration process.

The need to physically touch and feel clothing in-store is preferred by many although a larger proportion (46%) viewed it as slightly important instead of very important. This is indicative of the huge success of fashion etailers such as ASOS and Net-a-Porter which make it very convenient to make clothing purchases online.

The categories for which respondents felt the least need to view products in the flesh were health and beauty (47% stated it was unimportant) and homewares (39%).

Health & Beauty Stat

These two categories are more likely to have a large number of reviews available online relevant to the functionality of the product, which may be why less need is placed on the need to test in real life.

To conclude if you are a big ticket retailer, it is crucial to provide a physical space for consumers to view products. If you cannot stretch to a full time show room then pop up stores could be a good compromise.

Five mistakes retailers are making in their digital marketing

Working within the premium retail sector means we spend our days making sure our clients are making the most of all the opportunities available to them online. As a result we also see the mistakes and lost opportunities many are making too. We thought it would be useful to share a few of the common mistakes we are currently seeing made by retailers and some tips to help you avoid them!

Marketing decisions made on assumptions about customers not real data

Many retailers (especially premium retailers) have a good idea of who it is that buys their products. This is great if they actually are the people that buy them. Too often we see retailers who are marketing to a type of person that only makes up a very small percentage of their customer base and a majority of their revenue comes from very different people.

Yes, we all want high earning glamourous, beautiful people buying our products, but in reality, many of those who buy premium products are actually normal people that buy nice things because it makes them feel good even if they have to save up for it.

Retailers who don’t understand who is actually buying their products may find they are alienating their true customers by not showing their products in relation to their customers true lifestyle and appearing too out of reach.

We are not recommending that premium or luxury brands dumb down their branding in any way, but by understanding your true customers you can start to target individuals through eCRM and personalised content to further engage with the people who make you money!

Acquisition and retention run by separate teams

With the growing trend towards “customer experience”, retailers are focussing on how they provide a seamless experience at every stage of the buying journey. However, many of the retailers who are starting to join the dots of their customer journey are still operating their marketing teams in silos according to each stage in the buying journey. For example, one team might be focussed on acquiring the right customers by marketing to them and driving them through to conversion and another team then taking on the retention of those customers and in many cases never the twain will meet.

Unless these teams work VERY closely together there can never be a seamless experience for the customer. Content for the customer should be planned along one central theme that appears throughout the buying cycle. Far too often we see acquisition and branding teams creating different types of content that then sits on site or distributed via email. If a customer sees different content at various stages in their buying journey then this can affect engagement and acquiring and retaining the right kind of customer. For example, if a customer is acquired through engagement with inspirational, lifestyle content, but post sale is then sent product or sales focused content only through email, they will lose the affinity they have built with the brand and will feel they are just being sold to and are far less likely to purchase again. Likewise, if they bought through the first time through offer and sales related content they are less likely to respond to inspirational or editorial content later in their lifecycle.

If you currently have separate teams dealing with the same customers at different points in their lifecycle, then ensure you meet regularly and you are all working towards a common set of customer personas and KPIs.

No segmentation of customers

Even if it’s just to split out male vs female, or active vs lapsed – splitting a customer base into smaller chunks can only ever be of value to a retailer. It helps deliver a more targeted message via ECRM, nurture high value customers and stops marketing budget being wasted on people who may not buy from you again.

We still see a large number of retailers who have no segmentation of their customers in place. They are sending the same email to everyone and don’t try and re-engage their lapsed customers.

It doesn’t have to be complex; getting started with any form of segmentation will create a return.

Same content on every channel

We frequently see retailers pushing the same content on all of their marketing channels. This is another wasted opportunity. If a customer has already been on the site and seen a piece of content then being sent the same content via email or seeing it posted on Facebook is going to start getting boring. Not to mention the fact that often different segments of your customer base will use different channels to engage with you.

Yes, have a central theme of content across all channels that epitomises your brand, but tailor it to suit each channel. If customers on Facebook are younger then tweak the content to make it more current, accessible, fun and interactive. If customers on email are higher spenders then make sure content is tailored to them accordingly.

A successful content plan will be focussed on a specific set of customer segments and will be planned channel by channel in relation to which customers interact and engage where, and at what stage of the buying journey they are at.

Not monetising social media

Last and by no means least, we are still seeing many brands active on social media who are missing the opportunity to commercialise them and make more money!

Rich Pins

Rich Pin

Pinterest offers the functionality to set up Rich Pins which allow brands to have up to date pricing and stock availability featured on their pins. We see so many retailers who have failed to implement these, yet by doing so you can reach users who are ready to make a purchase. Our Social Media and Content Consultant, Hannah, has written more about Rich Pins in her blog post here.

Twitter ‘Buy Now’

The ability to purchase through Twitter is only available in the US only at the moment, but brands such as Burberry have adopted the new functionality that allows a customer to click on a “buy” button within their tweets. Something to keep an eye on!

Shoppable video

Just last week, Google launched Shopping Ads for YouTube so retailers can now promote related products alongside their YouTube videos. In addition it allows retailers to assess how the video is being watch and which elements within the video lead to purchases. Clever!

Those who have strong engagement and customer numbers on social channels could be driving additional revenue by adopting any of the above.

So there you have it, a little bit of a rant about where retailers are missing out on revenue and profit. These mistakes may take a little time and resource to sort out but they will immediately start providing return on investment.

The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?

 

Welcome to The Hype – our monthly digest of the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail, hand-picked by our Premium Panel.

 

 

 

The Net Set launches

Last month saw the launch of the Net-A-Porter’s highly anticipated social network – The Net Set.

The Net Set allows you to virtually shop with the most stylish women on the planet, including the likes of Poppy Delevigne and Laura Bailey, as well as a community of like-minded fashion fans, sorted into ‘style tribes.’ Features include being able to shop any item directly from the app, and if you upload your own style or outfit, their image recognition tool will find similar styles for you to shop.

We’ve written up some of our thoughts in a blog post here. The general consensus is that it’s a great app that really adds value to the Net-A-Porter shopping experience. We just wish everything wasn’t so expensive!

Walls Ice Cream x ASOS

The iconic ice cream brand Walls and online retailer ASOS have teamed up to create a 16-piece kitsch collection inspired by your favourite retro ice lollies, including Twisters, Rocket lollies, Feasts and Mini Milks.

The festival-friendly collaboration launched this week and features crop tops, sequinned mini-dresses, jumpsuits, socks, novelty Feast clutches, and Twister-inspired shoes.

Check out the full collection here.

Image via Metro.com

H&M x Balmain

Last month, the creative director of the Parisian house of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, revealed that he was collaborating with high-street giant H&M for their next designer collaboration. The collection will hit the stores on November the 5th, and will feature clothing and accessories for both women and men.

Rousteing’s aesthetic is full on glamour and it will be interesting to see how this translates to the high street. Either way, we predict a sell-out!

Choo Hound by Jimmy Choo

Last month Brazilian artist Rafael Mantesso and his Bull Terrier, Jimmy, collaborated with Jimmy Choo to launch Choo Hound – a capsule collection of leather accessories.

Mantesso captured the attention of dog lovers all over the world last year when his playful illustrations of Jimmy went viral across instagram and the internet. Jimmy Choo’s Creative Director was so enchanted by Mantesso’s illustrations that she approached him directly to create a series of fun, tongue in cheek drawings of Jimmy to decorate a capsule collection of leather accessories.

The Pre-Fall 2015 collection includes tote bags, purses, cosmetic bags and iPhone cases and some seriously special leather dog collars. We think our office dog, Nora, would look great in one!

Image via Instyle.com

Karen Walker and Liberty

Liberty’s latest collaboration sees the iconic London department store lend its prints to Karen Walker’s eyewear. Choose from the Super Duper Strength, Harvest and Number One sunglasses styles in one of three Pereira print colourways.

Image via we-are-scout.com

Tom Dixon Sample Sale

If you’re in London this weekend, we recommend popping into Tom Dixon’s Sample Sale in Islington. Tom Dixon designs stunning, contemporary homewares. The sample sale runs from 5-7th june and will stock lighting, furniture and accessories at up to 70% off. More information here.

See you next month!

 

Why it’s time to take Pinterest seriously as a way to increase revenue

The direct impact of social media marketing on conversions can be difficult to measure. For brand awareness and community growth, Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other social platforms out there are fantastic. However, because you are engaging with your audience at a much earlier stage in the buying journey, it can take time for someone to become a customer.

One reason why social media referral traffic doesn’t convert straight away is because users aren’t in the frame of mind to make a purchase. They want to talk with their friends, not be sold to. This is reflected in the types of content that people engage with – likes, shares and retweets are usually reserved for interesting or informative content, not self-promotional statements about products.

The social media platform that bucks this trend is Pinterest. We recently compared four online footwear retailers to see how their content performed on social media. As expected, blog posts (style guides, information about the latest trends etc.) were shared the most on Facebook and Twitter. However, product pages were most popular on Pinterest. This would suggest that users of this platform are further down the sales funnel and are thinking about making a purchase.

This anecdotal evidence is backed up by data from Pinterest itself. A recent study co-sponsored by the platform found that pins actually influence purchasing decisions. Over half the active Pinterest users surveyed said that the site helped them find items to buy. In addition, 32% said they purchased something in-store after viewing content on Pinterest.

There are a number of ways brands can optimise their performance on Pinterest to help increase conversions. However, one that we frequently find is overlooked is the implementation of Rich Pins. These provide users with more information than regular pins. In the context on an ecommerce website, Product Pins (a type of Rich Pin) includes real-time pricing and availability. A survey by Sprout Social also found that Pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.

Rich Pin

How to implement Rich Pins

Rich Pins work by pulling in additional information from your website along with the image. What that information is determined by meta tags. These are snippets of code that are added to your website and tell Pinterest things like:

  • Product name
  • Product type
  • Quantity
  • Amount

If you don’t have access to the back-end of your website or you aren’t comfortable with code, we recommend either speaking to your website developer or to us about implementing Rich Pins. Although not complicated to set up, they do require some understanding of how your website works in order add them into the right places.

If your social media marketing objective is to increase conversions, you’re playing the long game. However, by making sure your website is fully optimised for Pinterest, you’ll reach users who are ready to make a purchase.

Image source: Pinterest

Header image via Jason Howie on Flickr