For our second event of the semester, two presenters from Macy's came in to speak to us about e-commerce retail, specifically within Macys.com Young Collections Bedding. This was particularly exciting to me because it combines two of my favorite things in the whole world, which are: 1.) the Internet, and 2.) my bed. As you all may have guessed, selling goods on the Internet is very different from selling in a store. We learned that bedding is a very trendy product category within Macy's, and several key considerations must be made when running online promotions. Also, we saw lots of photos of beds, which looked comfy and stylish and totally on-trend (I think a NYFW for beds seems like a good idea for the future...ahhhhh).
As a Buyer within this division, Beth Rudnick showed us how marketing plays a key role in her job and is constantly evolving based on ongoing research. Optimization is key! Email marketing, for example, involves analyzing metrics from various forms of an email message to determine which design variations will help maximize conversions (a conversion involves someone clicking through to the Macy's site and making a purchase). Emails are also moving towards becoming more and more personalized, as advanced technology can track what we've shopped for and tailor the products shown in our emails accordingly. This seems super-innovative, yet also a little creepy (Beth even called it the "Big Brother Idea"). Thankfully, all the information they collect is kept private, so no worries there!
As a side note, a lot of the cool information in this presentation was covered in a course I took last semester called Social Media and Digital Marketing Analytics. I'd highly recommend it if you're interested in learning more about web and mobile marketing.
Also, Potbelly delivered our food late but redeemed itself by throwing in some cookies with our order! Thanks Potbelly =')
Men are becoming smarter about shopping.
A June 2011 survey by Men’s Health magazine and GfK Roper found that men not only check online for the best prices on products and services in traditionally “male” categories such as auto and tech, but they also do a significant amount of online comparing of prices in more “female” sectors like health/wellness and food/cooking.
Men go even further in their research, too, with over half reading reviews of products and services and nearly as many sharing positive research results with friends. Over half of men have even “liked” a Facebook page from a brand in one of the top product categories. When they went to the actual store, they used smartphones to make decisions, such as calling a friend for their opinion on a purchase.
It seems like brands such as Gap, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and GameStop have all opened and closed shops on Facebook within the past year. Why is this phenomenon happening? One explanation is that most retailers have entered the “f-commerce” market by importing app-versions of their online web store, and the experience is so similar that there is no reason to shop on Facebook. Others simply don’t offer enough items on the social platform. Right now, Facebook isn’t built for shopping, but that could change in the future.
On the bright side, brands’ facebook pages have indeed driven a significant amount of traffic to their websites. For instance, 1.9% of traffic to Burberry’s website in September 2010 came from Facebook; a year later, 29.1% of site traffic was from the social network, Mullen wrote in an email to Mashable. Also notable is that half of shoppers are logged onto facebook while shopping online at third party websites!
Glamour magazine has set up shoppable wall in the Meatpacking District, where consumers can scan a 2-D barcode with their phones to buy items and have them sent for home delivery. Officially named the Glamour Apothecary Store, it is powered by C.O. Bigelow and stocks a variety of beauty products from Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, John Frieda, Versace, and more.
This virtual store concept was inspired by U.K. chain Tesco’s virtual supermarket in a South Korea subway station last summer and Procter & Gamble’s in Prague last fall.
Though these consumer good retailers are continually trying to find innovative ways to make shopping faster and easier for their customers, does it translate well to a women’s magazine and with nonessential, and arguably more enjoyable to shop for, beauty products? It makes sense for shoppers to be able to complete chores like grocery shopping while waiting for their daily train, but would you make a trip to the Meatpacking District just for the novelty of shopping from your phone when you could take the time to actually experience the product in a store or save the effort completely and shop online?
Either way, the idea is pretty cool; the store-wall is located across from the Standard Hotel and open until Tuesday, February 21st if you want to check it out for yourself.