Harrods attracts young customers with digital and gamification

Harrods attracts young customers with digital and gamification
on January 17, 2015 in News

Digital content helps boost sales for luxury retailer. Glynn Davis reports from New York

Harrods is increasingly creating digital content to help it drive in-store sales and plans to use more ‘gamification’ this year after successfully launching two online games in 2014
Speaking at Retail’s Big Show, organised by NRF, in New York this week, Harrods’ media sales director Guy Cheston revealed how digital content was bringing great excitement to the luxury retailer and helping boost sales.
Opening new doors
“Digital gives us a new realm to play in and enables us to add excitement through using various digital platforms. It influences how we create content and distribute it. We create what our customers want to engage with,” he said, highlighting how this now involves the content being distributed on tablets, across the store’s 200 digital screens and large video walls, through NFC-enabled screens in the store windows, and also in its paper magazines.
Cheston detailed how the company used these channels as well as social media to target young customers at the launch of its new £30 million ‘Shoe Heaven’ department in the autumn. Integral to its activities was a game accessed from within the downloadable Harrods magazine app.
Driving shoe and Christmas sales
‘Stiletto Wars’ was based on Candy Crush and recorded 1.3 million screen views that helped push shoe sales up by 58% on the previous year as a result of it attracting new customers to the store.
The company then followed this up with a Christmas game, ‘Never Mind the Baubles’ and Cheston is now sufficiently confident of the benefits of such games that he confirmed “we believe in gamification and are now looking to do more games in 2015”.
In-store engagement 
Emboldened by this success with digital and the increasing number of downloads of the company’s magazine app Cheston says he also plans to utilise consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices in-store by creating more opportunities for engaging digitally with customers when they are in the company’s Knightsbridge store. This will begin with a “big investment in our Wi-Fi this year” he added.
Digital platforms have also been vitally important to the ‘store brand takeovers’ in the Harrods flagship, where luxury brands like Chanel, Christian Dior and Prada have been involved in monthly initiatives where their content is shown on the store’s digital screens and awareness has been pushed through also distributing it across social media.

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