Social Retail: Snapchat Exclusives
As brands continue to embrace social media as a transactional retail opportunity (see Monetising Social Media, 2016), the fleeting nature of Snapchat has pushed it into the spotlight this summer as a powerful platform for promoting exclusive products and services.
- Warby Parker – Sunglasses Flash Sale: NY-based eyewear company Warby Parker made a range of limited-edition sunglasses available exclusively through Snapchat Story – a stream of videos and images viewable for 24 hours.
Having advertised the sale the night before via a teaser image on its Instagram page, the brand’s Snapchat followers saw brief images and videos of Warby Parker staff wearing the frames and a unique link to an e-store. These had to be copied from the app into an external mobile browser in order to purchase. Following the 24-hour stream, the brand announced that a variation of its bestselling Haskel frames had sold out.
- Birchbox – Chat-Focused Service: Tapping into the value of more seamless and personalised service (see Personalising E-Tail and Concierge Commerce), US beauty subscription retailer Birchbox has been testing the app as a new customer service platform.
In July, it posted a Snapchat story inviting its followers to call its customer service team through the app’s video chat feature, where an associate would be active for one hour. It received 30 calls, with an average duration of five minutes per call – fielding inquiries about recommendations and more general brand info and concerns. Birchbox has stated it’s now planning to conduct Snapchat video call-ins on a weekly basis.
- Kit and Ace – Form Bonds with Episodic Content: Canadian performance clothing brand Kit and Ace took a similar approach with the launch of its own customer service account this summer, @AskKitandAce. The channel, exclusively dedicated to service rather than showing product, is active during business hours and weekends.
But beyond customer service, the label has also been increasing its content production on its main Snapchat channel – regularly posting stories in an episodic format, with regular recurring themes. These include ‘What the Well(ness)? Fridays’, where staff members try out new wellness innovations, and ‘Truth or Dare Tuesdays’, where followers can dare the team to do tasks such as previewing new pieces or taking users on a remote tour of the showroom.
For more on the value of episodic content, see the section Modern Media: Embracing Video Power in Retail Week Live, 2015.