As retailers face the uphill challenge of gaining the attention of consumers, more marketing spend is being invested in dynamic and interactive PR solutions.
Retailers are facing challenging times. Key players are working hard to entice the healthy bank accounts of the emerging markets, whilst at the same time holding appeal to the cash-strapped developed markets to buy their goods.
With online retailing increasing by 14% in 2011, hitting a massive £50 billion mark in the UK in January this year (source: Guardian) many retailers are realising that they need to re-vamp their online offering by adding an experiential and entertaining slant to their e-tail experience. Until now there has been much speculation about how businesses can use social media to their financial advantage, with many believing Pinterest will never make money, and some still disputing the ROI of Facebook advertising.
This murky water of highly evolved marketing and fast-paced technology landscape has left brands confused, or, for some, eager to keep control on their side. As a starting point fashion retailers are taking ownership of a new style of purchasing, evolving from wardrobe websites such as Polyvore and at-home changing room tools such as Schway, moving into interactive video, allowing consumers to see apparel and clothing as it would be worn in real life, moving and in real surroundings just like they would be by 'you'.
Above and Featured Image Credit: Only
'The Liberation' is a really great example of this new method of online retailing. This new approach for Danish denim brand Only has enabled their relationship to the consumer to become closer. With the brand/consumer boundary already fizzling away thanks to micro-blogging sites and 'like' pages this dynamic approach allows the consumer to come into their world, feeling Only's brand essence, vision and style.
Canada based brand S|sense is also playing into the video experience for online shoppers, working with video tagging start-up WireWAX. Although their approach is slightly less sophisticated than Only's, their message is made clear by fusing music, the leading edge and fashion together. S|sense has managed to encapsulate the extremes of fashion - staying in line with their brand vision, selling the best designer apparel and accessories whilst being street smart and ultimately cool.
IKEA In the kitchen by Instinct
Although Ikea already offers a dynamic approach to online shopping via theirKitchen Planner software , they are taking steps to change the way furniture lovers and needers can use their site. Ikea have been working with Russian ad-agency Instinct to create a series of videos that highlight their functionality. Their most interesting proposition is an interactive video, where like S|sense and Only, you can stop at intervals to plonk beloved items into your shopping cart.
As the UK high street thins out and physical retail spaces suffer a bad rep. (bad lighting, loud music, bad customer service and messy stores) this clever take on incorporating the consumer into the brand will evolve and grow, attracting consumers to increasingly aim for the computer mouse instead of nipping over to the shopping centre.