Yesterday (June 14), brand strategist Liz Bedor wrote a blog post on B2B Marketing Insider about retailers using content to engage with customers online and offline.
"To get ahead, (retailers) need to sync their online and offline environments seamlessly, creating one, cohesive brand experience," Bedor wrote.
Tying online and offline experiences with content will be key in winning 2015.
Bedor identified Warby Parker, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus as leaders in this type of content creation.
Warby Parker delivers tailored, relevant content
Initially a pure-play online eyewear retailer, Warby Parker focuses on customized content for its customers. The company captures actionable data via interactive website tools and surveys and employs themed reading guides (with book suggestions and a nationwide, localized traveling campaign) to engage with customers and local business alike.
J. Crew syncs online and offline communities
Preppy clothier J. Crew connected with fans and bloggers -- many of whom are active Instagram users -- by inviting them into nearby stores for sneak peeks at new collections and for tips from company stylists. Invitees were encouraged to share their experiences via social media using the hashtag #JCrewStyleSessions, which created an online following and hyped up new product releases and looks.
Neiman Marcus reaches its customers via its branded app, Instagram and its mobile look book.
Neiman Marcus uses mobile to bridge e-commerce and in-store experiences
Luxury department store Neiman Marcus uses mobile to reach its customers, either via its branded "NM App," social media like Instagram, or its look book called "The Book" (see photo atop this article). Customers can use the app to customize their customer service (choosing to browse first or to be greeted by a sales associate, messaging and scheduling appointments with associates, bookmarking favorite products, and scanning QR codes for exclusive content). The app also offers users access to content on events, fashion and beauty trends, art and culture videos curated by "The Book" and the company blog.
"The retail industry is always evolving," Bedor wrote. "Leading retailers know tying online and offline experiences with content will be key in winning 2015. Delivering tailored content, syncing online and offline communities, and bridging these experiences with mobile are the three fundamental strategies they are leveraging to do so."