US lifestyle brand Urban Outfitters is endeavouring to convert fan engagement into sales (gathering valuable consumer data on the way) with a social-media integrated version of its Urban On app. The new app rewards users for both purchasing via the app and promoting the brand among their friends.
Targeting the teenage market – a demographic that’s especially highly engaged with photo-sharing platforms – users create a personal profile from which they can share photos of themselves sporting Urban Outfitters merchandise. They can sync the app’s content with their existing Instagram and Twitter accounts – instantly maximising the sharing potential. This is particularly pertinent as when the user mentions/shows an image connected to the brand on any synced network, the app will be alerted – earning them points that count towards benefits such as sale previews, early access to new pieces and concert tickets.
Urban On also offers discounts for responding to in-app promotions – a ploy to keep shoppers in the app, where activity bolsters the brand’s social media presence, unlike shopping via its e-commerce site. In addition, all purchases made through the app are delivered free of charge; purchases under £50 via the e-commerce site incur a transit fee.
While shoppers get discounts, Urban Outfitters gets access to a wealth of consumer data. While privacy is still a key watchword in this field, research shows that most consumers are amenable to sharing data for discounts, access or a more relevant or personalised service. For more, see Data Tracking from the Future of the Store industry trend, publishing in October.
For more on retailing to the youth sector, see Store Concepts for Teens and Social Media Seduction. For more on using social networks/communities to drive sales, see The Social Sell and New Brand Ambassadors. See also Consumer Loyalty: Rethinking the Rewards System.