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Saks calls attention to revamped shoe floor via all-encompassing digital effortsBy Tricia Carr
High-end retail chain Saks Fifth Avenue is getting all eyes on its newly-revamped shoe department through email, digital, social and mobile efforts, likely to encourage foot traffic while stirring up a conversation online.
The retailer sent out two email campaigns this week dedicated to its fall shoe collections and shoes to wear to Fashion Weeks in international cities. Saks seems to be encouraging foot traffic to its 10022-Shoe department at its flagship store in New York and digital transactions via its social channels and Web site with an Instagram contest, blog content and social imagery.
“Digital is a fabulous channel to raise awareness because it is a fast, efficient and fun way to educate consumers about Saks’ new shoe department,” said Andrea Wilson, Fort Worth, TX-based luxury practice lead at iProspect. “Especially with the launch during the buzz of Fashion Week, it is an engaging way for consumers to feel like they are a part of the fashion world by actively participating in social platforms and gaining inspiration from the shoe guides.
“Saks’ goal was to drive engagement and awareness of its new shoe department during a time when all eyes are on the latest fashions,” she said. “The approach covered key digital channels like Facebook, Instagram, email and the like by showcasing interesting and influential content.
“This strategy can help develop positive relationships with potential customers as well as inspire current customers to visit the new shoe department.”
Ms. Wilson is not affiliated with Saks, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Saks did not respond before press deadline.
Saks sent two email campaigns to its list this week to hype its shoe offerings on the 10022-Shoe floor.
On Tuesday, the retailer sent an email with the subject “Giovanna Battaglia preps you for Fashion Week.”
The email contained a link to a shopping guide on its Web site. Saks also pushed this guide via its blog, Web site and social media accounts.
Editor and stylist Ms. Battaglia selected shoes that consumers could wear to Fashion Week events in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Consumers could click to purchase the shoes from brands such as Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik and Valentino.
New York Fashion Week shoe guide
“Saks is trying to have a conversation with its customers,” said Marsha Douglas, director of email and digital marketing services at Baesman Group Inc., Columbus, OH. “Providing personal quotes from a renowned stylist is not only engaging, but is a more intimate experience for the consumer.
“Customers are able to read Ms. Battaglia’s individualized comments for these products and can feel that they are privy to her personal style advice,” she said. “This email is a great example of how to send a more relevant message that builds a relationship.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 29, Saks sent an email with the subject, “10022-SHOE: the world’s most well-heeled zip code.”
The email contained a feature on shoes to raise awareness for its expanded shoe floor. The email linked to a section of the Summer Edit guide on Saks’ Web site. The guide focused on new fall shoes and included links to purchase.
10022-Shoe email campaign
Meanwhile, Saks seems to be filling its social channels and blog with shoe-related content that supports its Instagram contest.
The retailer is awarding a contest winner with a pair of shoes at noon each day for 30 days. Users must take a photograph of their favorite shoes with the Instagram smartphone application and tag it with #10022shoes in the caption.
Saks is using a Facebook app to showcase contest entries and winners.
In addition, much of Saks’ blog and social media content centers on the remodeled shoe floor.
For example, Saks is posting its own Instagram images from the store on its Facebook Timeline including an image of television comedy “30 Rock” actress Katrina Bowden trying on a pair of Rachel Roy pumps.
Photo of Ms. Bowden
Digital efforts help encourage both store foot traffic and online sales, per iProspect’s Ms. Wilson, which explains Saks’ heavy use of these channels at this time.
“As most consumers are online, digital campaigns allow learnings about the brand, an event or product to be gained in an interactive, exciting, highly-targeted and cost-effective way,” Ms. Wilson said. “Online visitors see digital content via their personal computer, tablet or mobile phone, and want to go experience it in person, therefore driving traffic and sales in-store.
“According to recent research, consumers are also using their mobile smartphones while in the store, showcasing yet another way digital is highly-involved in store actions,” she said. “Saks will most likely gain buzz about its brand and its merchandise, as well as a lift in online sales, store traffic and sales.
“It will most likely also increase engagements to its social channels and Web site, gaining likes, followers and email signups.”
In addition, the use of a variety of digital channels stirs up a conversation, which can only benefit Saks, per Baesman’s Ms. Douglas.
“The digital channel gets people talking, and when people are talking, they are seeking more ways to engage with a brand,” Ms. Douglas said. “I think that the more luxury the brand, the more customers want to fully embrace the experience of actually walking into the store and being treated to a sale with a personal shopper.
“By sending the digital message, shoppers may begin to window shop online, but many of them will ultimately chose to walk into the store to make their purchase,” she said. “
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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