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Lindt's social giveaways get consumers hooked on new product

Mobile Marketer – Lindt Chocolate is enticing autumn fans early as the summer comes to an end with activity recommendations accompanied by alluring fall-themed images on Instagram, with a series of contests on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter promoting its new pumpkin-flavored product.

The chocolate brand is putting a fall spin on its classic Lindor truffles by launching a Pumpkin Spice flavor and making sure consumers know about it ahead of the autumn season. As many fans take to social media to engage with autumn-related content, Lindt is hoping to connect with them through a series of fall-themed contests and pushes on multiple platforms.

“The pumpkin spice economy was placed at $500 million dollars last year,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at BRP. “By launching compelling social media campaigns and partnering with a contemporary boutique hotel group, Lindt USA will distinguish themselves as a more artisanal and exclusive offering, adding to its marketplace appeal.”

Read full article: Lindt’s social giveaways get consumers hooked on new product

Consumers’ retail journey to improve with amplified social media strategy

Luxury Daily – Social media provides retailers with a toolkit for enhancing, influencing and personalizing the consumer journey, but 81 percent of retail marketers feel their methods need to improve, according to a new report by Boston Retail Partners.

Through the use of social media, retailers are able to create a memorable and personalized experience, but, despite 69 percent of retailers seeing the medium as a catalyst for curated customer journeys, there is still much uncertainty surrounding best practices. In a Special Report supplement based on the “2016 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey,” BRP outlines five key areas where retailers can improve the customer journey through social media strategy.

“One of the greatest challenges for retailers is that social media is still relatively new and is still evolving,” said Brian Brunk, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Retailers still have uncertainty as to how to best leverage and integrate social media into the customer shopping experience.

“The social media vehicles available to consumers to interact with brands and influence shopping behavior have never been more varied, and continue to be very dynamic,” he said. “This makes it difficult for retailers to identify, create and maintain a strong social presence that integrates well with the entire brand experience.”

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Lilly Pulitzer enhances biannual promotion with Instagram Stories-only flash sales

Mobile Commerce Daily – Lilly Pulitzer is hopping on the bandwagon of retailers offering Instagram-exclusive merchandise to followers by hosting several flash sales on the photo-sharing application’s new Stories feature, enabling fans to purchase promotional items by entering a URL into their mobile browsers.

The resort wear brand is treating fans of its biannual After Party Sale, which began yesterday and runs through today, with several flash sales on Instagram Stories, giving consumers added incentive to follow its account for a chance to snag exclusive merchandise. Instagram followers can check Lilly Pulitzer’s Instagram Stories at 3 PM and 7 PM EST for the unique URL link, which leads users to the mystery item’s product page on the brand’s mobile site.

“Since Lilly Pulitzer doesn’t have many sales, many customers may jump at the chance to see what deals they can find on the Instagram Stories flash sales,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “While the Instagram Stories feature is just hot off the press, it represents another media vehicle for retailers to engage with their customers.

“Lilly Pulitzer’s flash sale creates a novel way for consumers to experiment with this new Instagram feature and get special deals – right from their mobile phone.”

Read full article: Lilly Pulitzer enhances biannual promotion with Instagram Stories-only flash sales

Report: Most retailers not optimizing social media engagement opportunity

Retail Customer Experience – Social media is becoming increasingly popular among retailers, but 81 percent of those using the platforms to engage customers acknowledge they need help in optimizing the effort.

That means a very lucrative and rewarding opportunity is likely being missed, according to a new Boston Retail Partners report.

“Social media provides retailers with unprecedented visibility into their customer base. It provides a venue where retailers can directly communicate with their customers and it can be an extremely powerful tool for collecting and using customer insights to improve planning decisions,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP, in a release. “Retailers can understand who the customer is, what she wants, when and where she wants it, and even why she wants it based on social media postings and feedback.”

Read full article: Report: Most retailers not optimizing social media engagement opportunity

81% Of Retailers Admit Their Social Media Strategies Fall Short

Retail TouchPoints – While most retailers have moved quickly to leverage social media to enhance their customers’ journeys, more than four out of five admit that their efforts have not yet caught up with their goals and expectations. A new report from consulting firm Boston Retail Partners (BRP) indicated that 81% of retailers using social media to engage with customers say their processes need improvement.

The report, titled Enhancing Customer Engagement Through Social Media, identified five key areas where retailers can use social media more effectively to improve the customer journey:

  • Experience: 69% of retailers see opportunities to utilize social media to enhance the customer experience;
  • Interaction: 75% of retailers support customer interaction via social media;
  • Endorsement: 59% of retailers plan to utilize brand advocacy/social endorsement as a source for identifying their most valuable customers within three years;
  • Satisfaction: 59% of retailers utilize social media comments as a means of measuring customer satisfaction; and
  • Insight: 60% of retailers capture customer feedback and insights from social media and online comments.

Read full article: 81% Of Retailers Admit Their Social Media Strategies Fall Short

How to Effectively Engage with Consumers Using Social Media

Convenience Store Decisions – The majority of retailers who use social media to connect with consumers are not taking advantage of the platform’s full potential.

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) has released a new report studying the opportunities that social media presents to retailers when it comes to creating a memorable and personalized customer shopping experience. The new report has revealed that social media produces innumerable opportunities for retailers to engage with their customers, but the majority of retailers are not successfully taking advantage of these opportunities.

According to the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Enhancing Customer Engagement Through Social Media, 81% of retailers using social media to engage with customers indicate that their processes need improvement.

Read full article: How to Effectively Engage with Consumers Using Social Media

J. Crew sells out Instagram-exclusive product, showcasing new mobile sales opportunities

Mobile Commerce Daily – J. Crew enabled its Instagram followers to be the first to purchase a new pair of sunglasses available in limited quantity by clicking the link in its bio, resulting in all merchandise being sold out within several hours.

The retailer informed social media users of the promotion by sharing the news via Instagram’s new Stories feature, which lets users post content in real time. Yesterday, J. Crew’s Instagram followers were given the opportunity to be the first to purchase a pair of its pink Jane sunglasses, showcasing how brands can simultaneously reward social engagement and incite sales by leveraging the aspect of exclusivity.

“This is the next extension of customer engagement,” said Robert Cuthbertson, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “What is usually reserved for members of loyalty programs, J. Crew is expanding to interact with its most loyal customers in a more informal setting.

“By offering these limited and exclusive opportunities to their social media followers, retailers look to build excitement around new products and reward those who are their biggest fans,” he said. “With that said, retailers will need to be careful on how frequently and exclusively they initiate these offers to avoid alienating customers who are unable to participate.”

Read Full Article: J. Crew sells out Instagram-exclusive product, showcasing new mobile sales opportunities

Ulta’s scratch-off giveaway ushers in traditional retail tactics to mobile

Mobile Commerce Daily – Ulta Beauty is courting its audience with giveaway incentives that excite the modern beauty fan, mixed with an interesting user experience that serves users a digital scratch off on mobile, enabling them to claim their prize.

Ulta Beauty’s rewards members and newsletter subscribers are now able to enter to win a grand prize, as well as instant-win prizes, in a bid to drum up rewards sign-ups and sales. The retailer is giving extra points for purchases and giving away prizes such as gift cards and discounts to spark more buying.

“Ulta is providing consumers with a large incentive to participate by offering free prizes that are of significance to their target market,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “The gift card and beauty bags encourage further purchases, as consumers continue to explore and identity new Ulta products to add to their must-have cosmetic collections.

“This campaign is an effective way for Ulta to garner further brand affinity and relevance in the marketplace,” she said.

Read Full Article: Ulta’s scratch-off giveaway ushers in traditional retail tactics to mobile

Lilly Pulitzer revamps Snapchat strategy with themed filters for WeddingWire

Mobile Marketer – Lilly Pulitzer is designing four complimentary beach wedding-themed filters featuring its signature prints for WeddingWire users, demonstrating how marketers can up the ante with their Snapchat strategies by inserting themselves into consumers’ most photo-worthy special occasions.

The resortwear retailer is throwing its hat into the Snapchat marketing ring by rolling out four free exclusive filters for online marketplace WeddingWire. Lilly Pulitzer alerted its Instagram followers to the news last week and invited them to click the link in its bio to be taken to WeddingWire’s mobile site, where the themed filters can be downloaded.

“These Snapchat filters play fully into the prevailing trend of event-based photo personalization,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “As illustrated by the popularity of personalized hashtags for weddings, this has been particularly relevant in the nuptials space.

“The Lilly brand is a consummate fit for brides hosting beach weddings, so it should certainly play well with the target consumer base.”

Read full article: Lilly Pulitzer revamps Snapchat strategy with themed filters for WeddingWire

Warby Parker focuses mobile sales vision with Snapchat-exclusive merchandise

Mobile Commerce Daily – Warby Parker heightened the Snapchat monetization stakes by rolling out exclusive merchandise for its followers on the photo-sharing application, suggesting that the cachet of products only available via social media could result in more mobile purchases from younger consumers.

The eyeglasses retailer clued its Snapchat followers in to a new product that was posted exclusively on the social media app this week by teasing users with the phrase, “We made something special just for you!” Warby Parker then uploaded an image of its Haskell eyeglasses in Crystal alongside a unique URL, where consumers could purchase the exact pair and revel in the product’s Snapchat exclusivity.

“Warby Parker is likely introducing this initiative to test the viability of Snapchat as a compelling commerce platform,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “It’s a win-win, as even if the campaign doesn’t result in significant sales, it will increase social media following and brand exposure to its target market.

“If the social media exclusive spurs additional sales, it is a bonus.”

Read Full Article: Warby Parker focuses mobile sales vision with Snapchat-exclusive merchandise