Once we began to praise the fashion world for choosing the right path and adopting digital and social world, he started again to be stubborn and frankly blunt. As soon as brands have mastered the virtual reality, «shoppable» video, augmented reality, magic mirrors and applications like Instagram and Snapchat, they began to shove them all indiscriminately and without further reflection. Nobody, it seems, does not think about the importance of retargeting and customer relations management, the customer data and quantity.

The most clear example was the designer clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger. After the success of the line, created with Gigi Hadid this September; after a spectacular show at The Fashion Week in New York, the brand decided to launch a cheeky fashion chatbot named «TMY.GRL» on Facebook Messenger. With it, users will be able to see things from the last collection before ordering, as well as learn some interesting facts about Gigi. The brand was the first who dared to launch a «smart companion». It found more use of the brand’s most recent fashion show (one of the industry’s most expensive marketing tools to execute) and sent customers to online stores. But when it came to conversion, the brand declined to share any proof that the bot actually drove any. Who, one may ask, will deal with the other purchase-driving marketing tools и customer data that appeared in their lap after such innovations?


chatbot «TMY.GRL»


Some fashion brands like using new gizmos, but they do not understand what to do next, after it starts working. Others choose more simple way: shoot a sexy video with celebrities or posts a Vogue photo. Perhaps, it will hold up. And it holds up, actually, but not teaches the brand anything about the path to purchase.

At the moment, online is the fastest growing channel for luxury goods. According to Bain research, this market is expected to grow by 20 percent in the next five years. However, the entire luxury goods market is going to grow by 2 to 3 percent in the same period. In this scenario, data-driven marketing grows as well. Jason Goldberg, svp of commerce and content practice at the agency Razorfish, said: «The highest-ranking people on fashion marketing teams are old school. They look for reach metrics. How many eyeballs saw it, how favorably did they view it — those are the best metrics they use. When they should be thinking about engagement and call-to-action metrics, did they purchase something».

Luxury fashion marketing generally is addressed to the customer and the aspirational observer in the same way. Luxury goods are only a luxury goods to the people who own it because of the people who want it but can’t have it. That’s why rather than running retargeting campaigns that try to get the customer who recently bought a luxury bag to also buy a luxury wallet, brand will keep running aspirational, brand-driven — not product-driven — campaigns for the masses. Goldberg calls this mindset «the muscle memory for marketers». «It’s difficult to change that, and when they do try something new and data-driven, it usually lands in front of a junior digital marketer and exists in a vacuum,» – he added.

To increase the income derived directly from e-commerce, luxury brands have to start vetting and approaching their existing online customers better. Because exactly these customers are highest-value.


 Neil Kraft, founder and CEO of lifestyle agency KraftWorks,


Marketing in the field of fashion also tied at fashion publications. Neil Kraft, founder and CEO of lifestyle agency KraftWorks, who has worked at Barneys and Calvin Klein, believe that «if [a brand] doesn’t advertise in certain books, [the brand] doesn’t get credit in certain books». Previously, this was only magazines and publications, now in this list are well established bloggers. As you may have noticed, it’s more like a PR, but this is the reality. Everything is done to increase brand awareness.

Without a clear understanding of: how customer data works; why customer made a return, or research related search habits, luxury fashion brands are in danger of getting edged out by faster-moving competitors. Such up-to-date brands are like Tory Burch and Michael Kors, and digitally native brands, like Bonobos or Everlane. Curtis Rose, svp and director of technology innovation at Erwin Penland, supports this idea saying that the same customer is interacting with them on mobile, e-mail, Facebook and Instagram.

Due to the fact that the online space is not native to fashion brands, the gap appears between the tech and marketing teams. «The tech team has ownership of some data, marketing has ownership of other data,» – said Rose, – «and there isn’t a centralized point to bring those data points together so marketing can leverage it and move forward to use as intelligence to go after customers».

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