Aside from focusing on social media to engage brands, the future of engagement for retail brands will consist of not only the e-commerce platform, but another platform that informs, entertains, and spreads culture to its target audiences. This article from WSJ elaborates:
“The trend comes as the e-commerce and media industries are searching for new sources of growth. For America’s $140 billion online retail industry, which has largely built itself on convenience and price, adding entertainment and information to the mix offers powerful new lures. Media companies are embracing e-commerce as a supplement to online advertising, whose growth has slowed and which is being spread across a widening number of sites.“
A recent beautiful example is Gilt Groupe, the online flash sale site that has changed the way e-commerce shopping works. Instead of showcasing infinite products for an infinite time period (like Amazon) that relies on the longtail approach, Gilt hosts sales of specific items for a max of 24 hours, and the products manage to sell out. The next day at noon is another sale where there are new products, giving the repeat shopper an incentive to come back ever more frequently.
It’s not only about the uber hot luxury brands they feature on its e-commerce site, it’s about Gilt, the retailer.
Gilt created the Gilt MANual, The Daily Guide for Permanent Style: Men’s Fashion, Gear, Travel to strengthen the retail brand as well as be an authority in men’s fashion, design trends, and a place where guys can seek style advice. This is another way to really engage in the target audience, the blog is not only re-enforcing the retail brand story, but also providing more personality, and ultimately entertaining the Gilt shopper for top-of-mind brand awareness.