Ever since the moment brands understood that their stores fulfill a larger role than just a shopping destination, we experienced an evolution in the setup of flagships. Brands such as Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren molded their retail locations into real experiences, increasing traffic across continents and reaching new audiences whose intent might not be to purchase, but solely to experience the brand; a Disneyland for Fashion lovers.
This brand – consumer connection, where experience is the driver for interaction, is something we see increasingly happening in digital space. Consumers engage with the brand and its digital platforms not always to buy, but often just to entertain themselves.
The consumer’s intention to be entertained, rather than to buy, subsequently increases the pressure for brands to create and continuously push engaging content that pulls people into the brand’s world. But how do we turn spectators into real customers?
Take video as an example. While technology develops and means to create video content become affordable, many brands have started to present and communicate their world through intriguing video content; putting campaigns into motion. Video itself is first and foremost a branding exercise. And with shoppable video around the corner, our question becomes, how do we turn video into an e-commerce tool without compromising the entertaining factor meant to inspire users to ultimately purchase our collections?
It once again boils down to user intent.
People’s intent when watching our creative branded video content is still to be amused and motivated. The key to successful shoppable video is therefore not to extract the inspirational power by turning video into a dry and clunky e-commerce tool. Instead, the solution is to present an encounter where entertainment and inspiration are priority (i.e. the film), but functionality exists for users to effortlessly interact with product and ultimately purchase.
The drive to be innovative sometimes results in the integration of new technologies or the adaptation of social platforms without first defining a true purpose and how they fit into our strategies. A golden rule to always consider is that in Fashion & Luxury, customers consume brand rather than product. People consume the fantasy, the story, and use it to enhance their self-image and personal profile.
Technology and the increasing ability to create and distribute intriguing content online should guide our goal of inspiration. Our challenge is then to integrate clever and subtle functionalities into these experiences that allow people to act on their impulse to purchase, triggered by the beautiful, distinctive, even luxurious world we craft in front of their eyes.
Turning spectators into customers.
Photo credits: Jay Blakesberg