On 29th October Linkdex, in collaboration with Leapfrogg, hosted a roundtable with digital marketers from a select group of UK retailers — including TK Maxx, Kurt Geiger, Premier Inn, River Island, and digital agency Incredibly — to discuss the intricacies of premium retail.
After all, premium retail is a fascinating niche. It’s no ordinary purchase journey consumers undergo when they indulge in a designer handbag, pair of shoes, or luxury fragrance — and as the day unfolded it quickly became clear, that (especially in digital contexts) there’s still a great deal of opportunities for brands and retailers in the sector…
Content Lessons from Premium Retailers
Lucy Freeborn, Insight and Strategy Director at Leapfrogg, kicked off proceedings with a presentation on Content Lessons from Premium Retailers. Leapfrogg, who specialise in premium retail and luxury brands, are an award winning agency built around a ‘customer-first’ philosophy. The approach is particularly fitting for premium retail, and allows Leapfrogg to really understand what makes customer tick when they’re shopping for luxury goods.
Leapfrogg’s engagement reports, regularly rank the top retailers in the health & beauty, footwear, furniture, and premium fashion verticals, scoring each retail on content and engagement.
Engagement Case Studies
Lucy picked out four retailers, each with their own positives and negatives around their content and retail strategies, namely beautybay.com, Kurt Geiger, loaf, and Mr Porter.
What do each of these brands do well, and what could they do better? Check out the case studies in Lucy’s presentation:
Four very different strategies. From beautybay’s social media suave, to Kurt Geiger’s excellent PR and celebrity endorsement, loaf’s spot-on lifestyle focus, and Mr Porter’s incredible content and retail synergy across the board, there are clearly many different flavours of success.
However, one clear takeaway here is that quality and depth of content plays an important role for each of these brands. Fashion retailers are marketing to the same audience who might easily peruse fashion magazines or catalogues, and a key challenge for many retailers in the industry will be in how to serve consumers with that same level of content across the sum of their digital experiences.
Additional challenges lie in remaining consistent across channels, using social media to build brand story, and integrating ecommerce effectively within content experiences (Mr Porter are perhaps the exemplar case study for content-ecommerce integration).
After the presentation discussions formed around how premium and fashion retailers could improve content delivery, and how individual channels such as social could be better brought into a brand’s overall goals and targets.
Evidently, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions here, but for premium retailers looking to emulate the success of the above brands, a plan of action could revolve around addressing the following questions:
- What do you want your content to do?
- e.g. to raise search visibility/awareness/retentions?What content do your customers want?
- Is the consistency and range of your content on brand?
- Are your PR and digital content teams talking?
- Are you maximising commerce functions within social?
- Are you utilising Facebook data / Rich Pins / Instagram opportunities?
After a quick break for lunch, Kirsty Hulse got the discussions going once again with her presentation on:
Fashion Publishing Strategy: Worth the Effort?
Kirsty’s presentation was an in-depth exploration of how retailers are becoming publishers and publishers are becoming retailers (evidenced by Condé Nast’s move earlier this year to turn style.com into an ecommerce site, and Net-a-Porters similar ability to blend editorial with great ecommerce), and how successful a publishing strategy can be for a brand’s onine performance (particular with regard to organic search).
So does a publisher approach improve SEO performance? Check out the snazzy charts and visualizations in the slides below to find out:
Fascinating stuff, and it’s no surprise that discussions quickly turned to the intricacies of the journeys consumers take when engaging with luxury brands.…
That for example, represents the typical purchase journey, but are consumer journeys changing? Is the millennial purchase journey changing?
Perhaps when we make a search (for “dinner jackets” for example) we want to land directly on a product page? Then there are other instances when perhaps we are looking for journal content, to learn or find out more about what’s on offer and maybe be inspired, or maybe indulge in an impulse purchase. In these cases, what should consumers be exposed to first? Product pages or content pages?
In the case of TK Maxx things get even more interesting. A key USP for TK Maxx is for shoppers to look for things that they might not specifically have in mind, but to venture in-store and have the chance of getting a great value product from a designer brand. In these cases how to you infuse that sense of discovery or impulsiveness into the brand’s ecommerce experience?
More questions than answers at this point perhaps, but all in all a fascinating roundtable. Stay tuned for more on the Linkdex blog.