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.

360° videos already mainstream among luxury brands

Luxury loves 360° videos…

360° videos technology has become easily accessible to brands a few months ago and we have already noticed multiple brand experiences offering a 360° mini-websites or videos. These efforts from brands to create an interactive and original experience is great but using 360° for the sake of 360° is not good enough for luxury brands. Why? Because that’s what all their competitors are doing.

Let’s just take the example of luxury fragrances: last Fall, Dior launched a 360° mini-website for its new men’s fragrance Sauvage, with a road-trip inspired journey to discover content around the perfume. this winter, Jean-Paul Gaultier created a 360° video called #BeTheBottle where viewers see a factory through the “eyes” of a perfume bottle, and they get to take a sneak peek at the brand’s fragrance characters.

The latest example would be Chanel and its 3 videos for its men’s Allure Homme Sport fragrance. The brand invites viewers to dive, slide and ride with the brand by watching men taking a dive in the sea, skateboarding on a mountain road, or horseback riding in the sea, and eventually seeing what they see in order to experiencing it themselves.

… but is missing the point

All the examples above are in line with their brand’s DNA and they deliver a rather original experience to consumers. But there is one thing that bothers me: they all seem a little off, either because they just support an existing campaign, or because they are not good enough for the status of the brand. By not good enough, I simply mean that 360° videos have not yet reached the standards of image quality that these brands have got us used to. And while brands offer a rather fun experience every time they create new interactive experiences, they should also contribute to improving the standards in new technologies to keep their edge on other brands. Because, as of now, it mostly looked as if they are only trying to stay at least at the same level as their competitors by using the same technologies.

What I would like to see is a brand like Louis Vuitton embracing its travel-brand positioning and extending its City Guides offer with 360° videos that bring life to their content and pushes the quality of their recommendations even further. Brands each have their distinctive identity and I’m sure they can find adequate ways to communicate on them while using new technologies and actually bringing great content that people want to consume and share.

Your guide to doing the Festival de Cannes right

The Festival de Cannes 2016 ended a few days ago and, just like every year, celebrities proudly posed in their designers’ outfits on the red carpet. Brands, just as they do every year, happily shared photos of celebrities wearing their latest designs across their social media channels.

Some brands, however, decided to shake things up. Surprisingly, the two brands I have in mind went for a similar message: a guide to experiencing the Festival de Cannes the best way.

Dolce&Gabbana’s guide to making the most of the Cannes Film Festival

Dolce & Gabbana took advantage of the famous movie festival to launch a social media campaign centered on the event. The brand share pictures (of models only) at Cannes, doing things celebs do at Cannes, and wearing the brand’s designs. The twist of the campaign was in the posts’ descriptions.

Dolce & Gabbana clearly positioned its campaign as a “guide to making the most of the Cannes Film Festival” and shared 16 rules. Rules ranged from “dress to impress“, to “surround yourself with stylish friends“, “never blend in with the crowds” or “take an ice-cream break“. This touch of humor, paired with the too-perfect-to-be-true scenes pictured, made for an entertaining campaign that spread over 4 days on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Too bad it didn’t the brand long to go back to sharing photos of celebs wearing its creations again, slightly ruining the efforts of the campaign to position the brand as a self-deprecating one.

#whathappensinCannes (stays in Cannes!) with Elie Saab

Elie Saab, on the other hand, mixed celebrities photocalls with fun and self-deprecating content, ranging from gifs of a suitcase being filled, to pictures featuring a key piece form the brand’s collection and a second degree caption.

For example, the brand shared a gif of woman scrolling through her Instagram feed, with the caption “Half way through, time for a recap”.

Mixing fun, on-point insights of young women with high fashion content, the brand successfully twisted the traditional Cannes communication. All contents of the campaign are gathered on the brand’s site.

Half way through, time for a recap. See #WhatHappensInCannes on #TheLightOfNow | Link in Bio #Cannes2016

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld) on

 

These two initiatives brought a refreshing touch to the way brands approach major red carpet events, and it follows the trend of campaigns focusing on humor and millenials’ insights that we have seen among luxury brands in the past few months. It seems luxury brands are finding their voice one after the other, and they seem to have chosen a young, friendly and social media savvy voice.

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.