Online videos that simply show off a retailer’s latest fashions are so last week.
Montreal-based Le Château has teamed up with Spotful to launch six “shoppable” online videos on LeChateau.com. Each video showcases Le Château’s new summer fashions, including dresses, footwear and evening looks, with small icons appearing next to the outfits. When users click on an icon, the video pauses and shoppers are brought directly to the ecommerce page of that particular item. They can then order the product or return to the video.
“We’ve been doing high-energy, high-fashion digital videos for a while now. Under the old model, you could watch the video and if you saw something you liked, you would have to exit and go to the [ecommerce site] to find it,” said Franco Rocchi, executive vice-president at Le Château. “Now, it’s all one experience—you can shop while you’re watching.”
Debra Rosenthal, Le Château’s lead e-commerce marketing strategist, said in today’s omni-channel world, Le Château is “responding to the way consumers are shopping and what their path to purchase is in order to remain innovative and relevant, and be customer-centric. [Shoppable videos] allow us to do that.”
The move into shoppable videos comes as Le Château shrinks its brick-and-mortar footprint, while its ecommerce business grows. In April, the retailer announced it will close 40 stores over the next three years. While same-store sales declined 1.9% in the 12 months ended Jan. 31 2016, e-commerce sales grew 34.8%.
“Like every retailer, the strategy has always been to bring your brand as physically close to your customer as possible,” said Rocchi. In that past, that led Le Château to opening stores that, in some cases, were 15 minutes away from each other. For example, Rocchi noted that there were six stores on Saint Catherine Street in Montreal. “We don’t need that anymore because [our brand] is in consumers’ pockets.”
Rosenthal said Le Château will roll out more shoppable videos—its partnership with Spotful takes the retailer right through its third quarter “and most likely beyond,” she said.
Le Château is driving customers to the videos through social media, search engine marketing, email marketing and display advertising.