Retailers get creative; engage with consumers through digital media

MUMBAI: Changing consumer trends have got retailers on their toes. The fight for attracting consumers and keeping them hooked has just got fiercer. The short attention span of consumers and return on investment (ROI) are the two challenges that retailers are currently struggling with.

What is interesting is that changing consumer purchasing trend have just made the retailers go more creative. Especially on the digital media front.

Customers even today want to feel the fabric and try the clothes they purchase says Andrew Campbell - Reliance Industries chief brand and marketing officer

“Tomorrow starts today. Are you ready for it?” asks Reliance Industries chief brand and marketing officer Andrew Campbell. The retailers are going big on their social media campaigning. “Consumers even today want to feel the fabric and try the clothes they are buying. This isn’t possible online. But, they do check out the online collection to compare prices and designs,” he informs. Though the channels, scale and technology for reaching out to customers has changed; trust, value, service and growth in retail still remains the same.

“Consumers are energetic and want more out of life. They lead packed lives and are constantly looking for new experiences,” opines Madura Fashion and Lifestyle brand head-Allen Solly Sooraj Bhat Ullal. Allen Solly embraces digital in all its forms. “We recognise that the consumer lives in the offline and online world simultaneously and seamlessly. Hence, from seeing digital as a channel/medium that is peculiar and separate - we need to move to seeing it in an integrated manner with the online world,” he adds.

The marketing strategy for both online and offline customers is same for Allen Solly says Sooraj Bhat Ullal - Madura Fashion and Lifestyle brand head

Digital media has brought consumers worldwide on the same platform. Allen Solly has more than one million fans on its Facebook page. “We are actively evaluating our presence in other social media like Pinterest, Four Square and Instagram,” informs Ullal. The youngsters which Allen Solly targets are screenagers.

“They are all on various social networking sites, making it easy for us to target them,” he says.

Converting a facebook fan into a customer is a function of engagement and relevance. “Our ‘Hot Fridays’ social media initiative, launched in October last year, was a huge success. We had been successful in engaging with the customer,” informed Ullal.

Shoppers Stop has gone way ahead in building relationships with its customers. ‘Perfect for me,‘ ‘First Citizen’, ‘Gift Box’ are the apps Shoppers Stop has launched to engage with its customers. “Our facebook page is interactive. We also keep a tab of what our consumers are doing through their facebook page. We customise our services based on the facebook activity of our fans,” says Shoppers Stop customer case associate and VP, marketing and loyalty Vinay Bhatia.

Our digital strategy has helped us gain a huge fan following on facebook and twitter says Vinay Bhatia - Shoppers Stop customer case associate and VP, marketing and loyalty

Shoppers Stop has also made around 100 YouTube videos which have been widely viewed and its channel has recorded 1.06+ million YouTube viewers. It has increased its fan base from 200,000 in 2011 to 4.6 million+ today. “We have the ‘most fashionable profile picture contest’ which also helps us engage with our customers,” he adds. “We have consumers who visit our website, facebook page and follow us on twitter. But, we are still looking at ways to convert these fans and followers into our loyal customers,” reiterates Bhatia.

Retail brands have gone big in creating a buzz on digital media. How will they get their return on investment? Only time will tell.

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