On Sunday, designer Roland Mouret commemorated the 20th anniversary of his label with a fashion show at London Fashion Week. Built up as a celebration, it was also a homecoming of sorts; in a statement about the show, Mouret described London as his “creative home” and the heart of his brand, despite the fact that he has been showing in Paris for the past ten years.
As such, fans of his label — and also structured, feminine fashion, in general — stopped to take notice. (According to Brandwatch, social mentions of the label increased by 1,403 percent on the day of the show.) And, based on luxury shoppers’ propensity to shop designers’ collections around show time, retailers stocking his collection braced for the best, Orchard Mile included.
“Roland Mouret is our most expensive brand that does really well,” said Brooke Callahan, director of digital marketing at Orchard Mile (which describes itself as an online mall for luxury brands), who noted that the average price for the label’s styles is over $2,000. “If there’s press around one of our brands — like if Roland Mouret does a show that, say, Eva Chen Instagrams — we see a surge of people looking at the line and a surge in orders that include the collection.”
For Orchard Mile, luxury purchases aren’t usually so hasty — in fact, they often come weeks after an item catches a shopper’s eye. It’s something the retailer has come to expect, based on the data it has collected to inform its partner brands of its customers’ shopping habits. It tracks things like shoppers’ locations, what items they buy from their carts, and their digital paths to purchase. In December, Orchard Mile CEO Jennie Baik shared that one shopper looked at a $6,000 dress 12 times before finally purchasing it.
Recent case studies by TrueFacet, an online marketplace selling fine jewelry and designer watches, revealed like findings: “Big purchasers” enter the site with a specific product in mind, but they take their time before adding it to their cart and checking out. For a recent buyer of a $10,200 watch, there was a 30-day lag between when they discovered it and when they purchased it. Similarly, a buyer of a $12,600 necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels viewed the style on the site 14 times, making the purchase 42 days after first view.
“They think about a big purchase — they see it, and the next day they’ll look at it on their phone while commuting,” Callahan said, regarding luxury shoppers. To cater to their shared habits, Orchard Mile typically takes a less-is-more approach to coaxing such customers along.
“Retargeting doesn’t necessarily push the needle when somebody is a true fashionista and wants, for example, a pair of shoes Bergdorf [Goodman] doesn’t carry,” she said. “However, it does work well when somebody is looking for the best price on something.”
Orchard Mile dedicates a large percentage of its marketing dollars to targeting shoppers of its contemporary brands (think: Joie, Rebecca Minkoff and Opening Ceremony) through Facebook, Instagram, emails and ads. These shoppers typically enter the site through paid media.
Its luxury shoppers, on the other hand, tend to land on the site through organic searches of designer or style names. They come back more frequently and spend much more time on the site, and 50 percent make their second purchase by going directly to the site. There’s no targeting of any kind.
Fashion week is the exception. February and September — when the shows play out in New York, London, Milan and Paris — are some of Orchard Mile’s peak traffic times (traffic on the site varies by 20 percent). In addition to an increase in average order value and number of items in customers’ bags, Orchard Mile sees a spike in first-time purchasers.
Earlier this month, in an interview with Glossy, Jonathan Simkhai president April Hennig said the same is true at her company. “The biggest spikes during the entire year, in terms of the traffic we see on the site and across our channels, happen around our shows,” she said, adding that 75 percent of all sessions are from new visitors. To note: Jonathan Simkhai has yet to adopt the see-now-buy-now model.
Orchard Mile fuels the fire by getting more aggressive in terms of its targeting of featured designers: It will include their looks in emails and Facebook ads, and even dabble in “experiential marketing,” offering previews of designers’ shows to shoppers who have previously purchased the brands.
According to Callahan, shoppers’ buys suggest they’re directly inspired by runway and popular street style looks during fashion month. “Last year, we saw a lot of people buying high-low when they were buying luxury items: They’d buy a Roland dress and a pair of sneakers, for instance.” She said that it was the same time that fashion designers were showing the combination on the runway and the pairing was popping up in press.
“Fashion week is the ultimate party, and everyone’s style is on parade,” said Jessica Navas, chief planning officer at Erwin Penland. “If you’ve been coveting a luxury item for a while, seeing it turn up on your favorite fashionista or in some killer street style pics will certainly help validate and expedite the purchase. Don’t underestimate FOMO.”
Image via yahoo.com.