October 2, 2012
London-based department store Harrods is boasting its status in both the fashion and food industries through a digital photography campaign that is transforming the retailer's ecommerce site into a stylish culinary experience.
Harrods will feature “Style to Savour” campaign photography shot at its on-site cafes on each section of its ecommerce site’s parallax scrolling homepage and in a food-themed shopping guide during the month of October. The department store is encouraging clicks to the site via email, video and social media.
“Food and fashion are both an acquired taste and when a person likes a particular restaurant or designer, they are loyal for a lengthy amount of time,” said Brittany Mills, director of client services for B Culture Media, Atlanta. “Fine food is not a fad or a trend and compliments that lifestyle of Harrods’ target buyers.
"I think Harrods will successfully be able to extend its reach by going after a complimentary industry that has a large, loyal following," she said. "I also think it will be able to leverage this campaign on Pinterest and see a significant growth in its engagement numbers."
Ms. Mills is not affiliated with Harrods, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Harrods did not respond before press deadline.
Hungry for fashion
Harrods is outfitting its retooled ecommerce site with food-themed photography that presents its fall collections. Each section including Women, Men, Accessories, Children, Beauty, Food & Wine and Gifts has its own image.
The redesigned site features a more interactive homepage with static scrolling, editorial content and curated items as well as a Favorites tool that lets users create a shopping list (see story).
Accessories section of the homepage
Harrods chose to marry fashion and food in this campaign following consumers’ desire for high-end culinary experiences and sweets, per the retailer.
The photographs were shot on-site at Harrods’ eateries including The Georgian Restaurant, Ladurée, the Ice Cream Parlour and the new Candy Store in Toy Kingdom.
From the homepage, Harrods is linking to its Style to Savour shopping guide that is split into five categories: Fashion Feast, Sicilian Style, Beauty Parlour, Appetizing Accessories and Fun Fare.
The guides curate some of Harrods’ fashion, beauty, gift and food products available for purchase online that match up with its eateries.
Style to Savour guide
For example, the Sicilian Style campaign images were shot in Harrods’ Pizzeria. It presents classic men’s apparel, accessories and personal care products while the Fun Fare section corresponds with childrenswear and Harrods’ candy shop.
Harrods is pushing the Style to Savour campaign to its customers via email, social video and social media.
The brand began its push late last week before the campaign launch yesterday by showcasing two videos via its social channels and email. For instance, an email sent Saturday linked to its menswear campaign video.
The retailer is also using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to push the campaign.
“I think October is a great time to launch this type of campaign,” Ms. Mills said. “It is right after Fashion Week and right before the holidays.
“Harrods can highlight the new collections for the season while high fashion is still on the minds of most,” she said.
Harrods often creates digital shopping guides to cater to affluent British consumers.
For example, the brand pushed summer fashion and beauty in a digital shopping guide presented by occasions that affluent British consumers would likely celebrate including festivals, balls, races and parties (see story).
In addition, Harrods created an e-boutique and guide to attract brides as well as wedding participants and guests to leverage products during the wedding season (see story).
The brand’s use of email and social media to promote its shopping guides likely drives more clicks.
Furthermore, department stores such as Harrods attract visitors not only for fashion-related reasons, but also the reputation of their on-site venues.
Consumers who have visited the store know that Harrods offers restaurants and cafes, but consumers who interact with the brand solely via digital channels may not know the extent of what it offers.
The month-long photography campaign seems to tap the popularity of fall campaign images from luxury brands, but could also help Harrods assert itself as a venue for high-end eateries to its international audience.
“I believe that Harrods is trying to run a true lifestyle campaign to increase its customer base,” Ms. Mills said.
“What that means is it is trying to infuse its brand into all aspects of its demographic’s lifestyle and buying behavior," she said. "For Harrods' demographic, that means fine dining plus fine designers."
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York