How Snapchat can boost e-commerce sales

Michael Kors has come up with a fun, smart use of Snapchat that may just solve one of the key issues brands are facing with online shopping.

While purchasing a bag online doesn’t necessarily require a fitting room session before hand, shopping for clothes or accessories you actually wear on our body usually does (let’s say sunglasses). To advertise for its Kendall II shades, the brand Michael Kors set up a Snapchat lens¬†on June 27th, which just happens to be the U.S. National Sunglasses Day (apparently, there is such a thing).

Just like any other Snapchat lens, this one allows users to take a selfie and the lens filter sets the sunglasses on their nose! So Snapchat users in the U.S. were able to have fun virtually trying on luxury sunglasses on for 24h and sending the results to their friends. This campaign leveraged the whole hype around the National Sunglasses Day and mixed it with the overall enthusiasm for selfies among millennials, which in result created branded moments in young people’s exchanges with their friends.

The Kendall II sunglasses being relatively affordable for a luxury brand (they’re priced 149$), targeting millennials through one of their favorite apps was a great way to secure some top-of-mind brand and product awareness for the model as the summer holidays are approaching.

I believe fashion brands should create similar campaigns to generate engagement around their products in a fun way, that focuses on the users and their friends, rather than focusing on celebrities and products. While it may be hard to develop a lens filter, it is worth it in terms of awareness and feelings towards the brand.

From inspiration to purchase: how to speed up the process

Social media now play a major part in purchase inspiration, especially when it comes to fashion, beauty and travel. It is no surprise that influencer marketing is gaining more and more importance for brands in these industries. Yet, social media, which are these influencers’ main communication platforms, do not systematically offer a convenient support for promotional posts.¬†While Facebook and Pinterest allow for visual posts and URL¬†integration in the caption, making a great support to promote a branded message and direct viewers to a brand’s website, Instagram and Snapchat chose the opposite way. For now.

Solutions started to appear, to create a smother experience for avid followers who just want to purchase an influencers’ bag, or visit the exact same place. One of these solutions is called LikeToKnow.it and it’s a sort of extension to your Instagram. You simply need to register on their website and then like posts featuring a @liketoknow.it mention from your favorite influencers. Then, automatically, you receive a summary of your favorite posts and the shopping list associated to it, with clickable links, directly in your inbox. How’s that for a service?

An interesting example of application is from Starwood Hotels. The hotel group experimented with this feature by working with a selection of influencers to promote two hotels in Paris. Influencers simply had to post pictures of their stay there, with the right mention in the caption, and Instagrammers who liked their posts (and be registered prior to LikeToKnow.it) received an e-mail inviting them to book their stay at the same hotel in a click.

This seamless transition from getting your travel inspiration from your favorite influencers, to making the purchase decision on your phone, really eases up the purchasing process. It saves you time and effort, if you’re not the kind of traveler who wants to check multiple options and compare them in detail. It will be interesting to see other industries dive into this kind of customer experience experimentations and see which consumers are more likely to make a purchase following this path.

Artificial intelligence and messengers: what voice for luxury brands?

While Apple’s Siri and Google’s OK Google conversational interfaces are getting closer to human intelligence everyday, other companies are joining the artificial intelligence race. Whether it is¬†with Amazon’s Alexa assistant, or Facebook’s virtual assistant M, brands now have more opportunities than ever to reach consumers, and to offer a personalized and on-point experience.

As of now, Facebook’s M is not available to all users nor to brands, but it will very likely change the way brands do customer service online. Brands can already use Facebook Messenger to improve their customer service and dialogue with customers¬†as they would chat with friends, while answering requests and providing recommendations, etc. The trick is to¬†adopt the codes of Messenger and become as close as possible to a friend. And this means carefully choosing a¬†brand voice.

When using services such as Messenger, consumers are expecting to be treated as greatly as they normally would be by a great customer service rep. This includes: omnichannel consumer knowledge, quick answers, personal recommendations, and friendliness!

everlane

Now, if you’ve been to a luxury store before, you know friendliness and proximity aren’t always sales reps’ main qualities. Efforts are usually put into great service,¬†professionalism, personalized recommendations, and status.¬†Let’s put it that way: sales reps are not acting as friends.

If we consider digital marketing, it’s more or less the same. Brands use display ads, websites, apps and social media to share an exclusive, high-level and inspiring brand image.

But would you want to have a Messenger discussion with a luxury sales rep? Would you send gifs to someone only sharing product updates? I wouldn’t.

The challenge for luxury brands is to find their voice for conversational interfaces such as M. This voice may be different from the one they have in-store or online, but it should embrace the values that define the brand. You can be the best in our area, have the most elegant style, be rather exclusive, and yet be super friendly and thoughtful with¬†your customers. It all goes back to the usual trade-off between the luxury’s exclusivity, and digital¬†proximity and personalization.

Considering the fierce competition between brands to be the one consumers want to engage with, the ones mastering the voice their consumers want to hear will gain legitimacy and their consumers will be more likely to ask for advice on their latest products or to use their highest level of services, because they’ll feel like¬†the brand understands them like a friend. It’s not about pushing products, or even engaging consumers anymore; it’s about exchanging with individuals in the most authentic way possible.

It may be easier for startups like Jam in France, or trendy brands like Everlane, to find their voice and successfully engage with customers via texts and Messenger, but it will be worth the effort for luxury brands to attract new customers and develop new services to achieve the most personalized and unique digital brand experience yet.

Harrods Green Man finally gets to travel

P1090144British retailer Harrods is commonly associated with its large red building with green screens, its lights at night and its wide product range – meant to cover any demands customers might have. Another characteristic of the store is its Green Man, the historical doorman character, always there to open the door for visitors.

To leverage the company’s heritage and to celebrate the Vogue Festival 2015, Harrods is holding a photo contest on Instagram. It started on March 27th and lasts a month.¬†Whether they bought a figurine of the Green Man, or simply download the character online, contestants are asked to take a creative picture of the Green Man somewhere around the world and then share it on Instagram¬†using¬†#MyGreenMan @Harrods #VogueFestival.

This contest should help modernize the retailer’s image and make its Green Man even more part of the brand’s image.