User-Generated Video Helps Make The Sale For This Seasonal Summer Retailer

InThePinkVivoomEven superfans need incentives.

In the Pink, a regional Massachusetts-based retailer and the largest operator of Lilly Pulitzer affiliate stores in the US, wanted extra engagement during the busy summer season among “Lilly Lovers,” a term In The Pink founder Gordon Russell affectionately uses to describe his target demographic.

“Lilly Pulitzer is to females what Harley-Davidson is to males,” Russell said, referencing the vibrant pastel prints and resort wear Lilly is known for.

In this case, Russell wasn’t concerned with brand recognition or awareness – he was looking for sales. Lilly Pulitzer is one of the main brands on offer at In The Pink, which opened its doors in 1997, but it’s not the only one. The shelves are also stocked with items from specialty women’s apparel brands like Alice & Trixie, Shoshanna, Sail to Sable and Camilyn Beth.

“In our case, the brand is not our brand, it’s Lilly Pulitzer’s brand,” Russell said. “And while of course we’re happy to support a really cool branding opportunity for Lilly Pulitzer, that doesn’t float my boat as much as getting new customers in the store to buy stuff.”

In other words, capitalizing on existing brand passion to boost foot traffic and sales during In the Pink’s peak season.

“As you might expect, there’s not a lot of business in February in Cape Cod,” Russell said. ‘We wanted to take advantage of the summer and see tangible results.”

To do that, In the Pink turned to Vivoom, a mobile ad platform that allows brands to co-create video content with their consumers. The two collaborated on a summer 2014 campaign and a second campaign this year, which started in July and is slated to run through early September.

It works like this: Users are directed to a download the Vivoom app by clicking on a link shared with them via email and/or social channels. Once the app is installed, users are encouraged to “shoot your summer in Lilly” by using Vivoom to film a brief video on their phone showing off their love of Lilly clothes and culture, to which Lilly Pulitzer brand assets and theme music are automatically added.

Users can share the video on Twitter, Facebook, by text or by email, after which they’re awarded a $50 gift certificate and the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at In the Pink. Friends, family and followers who view the video to completion are also given a gift certificate to redeem in-store.

But content isn’t the only thing that’s user-generated. Vivoom CEO and co-founder Katherine Hays sees the act of sharing as a form of user-generated “microtargeting.”

“The video is authentic because it’s a real consumer story that’s been co-created with the brand, but it’s also shared peer to peer,” Hays said. “It’s ultimately their story shared with their friends.”

Although the 2015 summer campaign still has several weeks to go, initial results are on track to beat last year’s numbers, with a view-through rate of over 65% and more than 10% of people going on to redeem the gift card made available at the end of the video.

The average purchase value of customers that come into an In the Pink store to use the Vivoom-generated coupons is between 30% and 40% higher than regular tickets during the high-volume summer period, Russell said.

These same customers are also more likely to put their coupons toward full-price items rather than discounted fare in the sale section, a fact that was particularly agreeable to Russell, who also serves as CEO of Springboard Retail, a cloud-based POS and retail management platform he founded in 2013.

“We’re not a large company with a large budget for advertising and marketing,” Russell said. “We spend our budget on our locations, we spend it on real estate – and we always want to make sure that we’re ringing the registers.”

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