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Saks ups commerce-driven email strategy via monthly trend report

January 11, 2013


Department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is upping its email strategy to cater to fashion-minded, female customers through a new monthly, product-focused newsletter.

The first volume of The Trendcaster newsletter was sent out to Saks’ list Jan. 9. The newsletter presents one must-try trend of the season as well as three additional trends and links to a page on Saks' ecommerce site that pushes specific products.

“Our customers are confident in our take on the season’s hottest trends, so we wanted to provide an ongoing, shoppable dialog with them that showcases how to interpret trends across varying product categories and designers,” said Kinjil Parikh, vice president of digital marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York.

Shop by trend

The first issue of The Trendcaster appeared in recipients’ inbox with the subject line, “Introducing The Trendcaster: What will be hot next.”

The format of the e-newsletter is similar to that of a newspaper. A header at the top of the email shows the volume number and month.

Saks is presenting the new email campaign as “our monthly download of what’s ready to be hot.”

This month’s key trend is Optic White. Three additional trends are In Bloom, Pop-up Color and The Architect.

The focal point of the email is an image of a model on the runway who is wearing circular sunglasses, a white, structured dress and white, midrise boots.

The email also shows three items that align with the trend that surround the runway image.

The Trendcaster email 

Saks is encouraging recipients to click on the email with the call to action “Shop the Event” so that they land at The Trendsetter page on

The page presents six items that fall under the Optic White trend including the three apparel items from the email.

Items include Raoul’s Carmen Poplin Dress for $385, Halston Heritage’s Cascading Ruffle-Detail Peplum Top for $295, Equipment’s Colorblock Silk Shirt for $228, Alexander Wang’s Split-Back Bib Shirt for $380, Opening Ceremony’s Beaded Cropped Sweater for $335 and Theory’s Zorina Lace Shirt for $255.

Optic White on 

Users can click on each item to read product details and add it to their shopping bag in a window over The Trendcaster page. They can also click “Shop Now” to browse additional items.

Product details

Next are items that represent the In Bloom, Pop-up Color and The Architect trends.

In Bloom items include a Prabal Gurung floral shirtdress for $1,595 and a Diane von Furstenberg sequin clutch for $345. Once more, users can click to browse additional items.

Pop-up Color items are brightly-colored accessories from brands such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Reed Krakoff and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Items that represent The Architect trend are geometric jewelry by Kelly Wearstler, A.L.C. and Etten Eller.

Trends on 

Style experts

Quite a few luxury marketers take it upon themselves to offer style advice to a certain group of consumers so that they look to the brand not just for the latest products, but for up-to-date advice.

For example, men’s online retailer Mr Porter is showing affluent males how to dress for parties through its first iPad application that acts as an interactive magazine and video hub centered on the tuxedo.

The Tux app is split into four chapters that each focuses on a different aspect of wearing a tuxedo. The magazine-style app asserts the retailer as an authority on black-tie menswear (see story).

In addition, London-based department store Harrods offered a guide to dressing for festivals, balls, races and parties this summer via email and social media.

The retailer subtly pushed fashion and beauty purchases through the editorialized shopping guide and e-boutique called The Season that was presented by occasions that affluent consumers would likely celebrate (see story).

Saks is eyeing female consumers through The Trendcaster so that it can drive ecommerce. It may be successful with the softer product push.

“It targets the customer that is at the heart of what we do – the style-conscious woman,” Ms. Parikh said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York