There was a time when supermarkets just sold food, but with competition as fierce as ever, we’ve seen them rapidly expand their repertoire of stock. From opticians and fashion to furniture and cookware, they’re becoming a one-stop-shop for every aspect of our lives.
In a rapidly growing multi-platform shopping market, it’s important that all retailers offer a seamless shopping experience for their customers across all devices and channels. In a survey conducted by Kurt Salmon last year, the results highlighted that supermarket fashion brands F&F, George and Tu were below average across a lot of retail measurables. With their in-store experience being their biggest challenge, closely followed by mobile, this could highlight the need for a more comprehensive multi-channel approach to their digital marketing strategies.
That’s why we’ve put together a few short points to help them on their way to truly capitalising on their multi-channel strategies.
Taking an early lead in 1990 as the first British supermarket to have engaged with a fashion label, Asda’s George label is still the brand with the biggest supermarket clothing share. Brand director, Fiona Lambert says, they aim to achieve durability rather than disposable fashion and that may be the case, but is their quality product reflected through a quality cross-channel strategy?
George integrate their social channels into their website fairly well. When you click on the ‘view our Instagram’ link however, they haven’t utilised the monetising element of the social platform. Implementing a ‘like2buy’ link would create an easy transition for social users to purchase the products showcased on their Instagram account. There are many brands currently utilising this feature, including Forever 21 and Next.
Tesco’s F&F clothing brand has gone from strength to strength in recent years with sales reaching £1bn in the UK in 2014, placing them second best with 30% of the supermarket clothing share. New F&F CEO, Richard Price, brings many years of retail experience to the team with past roles in Next, BHS and Marks and Spencer. But, does the F&F clothing strategy translate across multiple channels?
F&F’s in-store and online channels marry together nicely with the implementation of order online and collect in-store the next day. However, their store locator, even though it’s a handy tool for opening times etc., doesn't show what clothing is in stock in which stores. This is something fashion brands, including Topshop, are currently embracing with the creation of their innovative bar code scanning app, Topshop are encouraging all customers to interact with their stores with ease.
Sainsbury’s fashion label Tu, launched in 2004, is also a star performer. According to last year's figures in an analysis conducted by Retail Week, the brand has become a massive £750 million-revenue business.
Attempting to combat the multi-platform challenge, Tu encourage social interaction with the use of their hashtag #TuClothing across Twitter, however, they don’t fully integrate their social platforms with their website across devices. Engaging with the Tu brand online via desktop is fine, their social links are present in the website’s footer. However, when a user interacts with the brand on a mobile device, the social links are nowhere to be seen. With Mashable reporting that a massive 65% of time spent on social networks happen on a mobile device, Tu should consider integrating their social links and/or icons into their mobile site.