Earlier this week, J.Crew gave a sneak peek of their September 2013 Style Book via Pinterest. While showing new collections via Pinterest is nothing new (Oscar de la Renta “live pinned” one of their bridal shows), J. Crew is exclusively allowing their followers to pre-order from the collection before it goes live on tomorrow, the 21st. (Call 800.261.7422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Typically, this is only done with a brand’s cardholders, or VIP clientele/members. Opening pre-orders to everyone is huge. For customers, if you pre-order a product from a new collection, usually you have to wait anywhere from 3-6 months before you can actually have the product in your hands. With J. Crew’s sneak peek, you now have a better chance to get the items you want, and you’re only waiting 7-10 days (typical shipping time-frame for online retailers).
(My favorite looks from the Style Book. Totally recreating some of these.)
In addition to possibly selling out product before it even hits stores, they’ve also found a way to effectively grow their SM following. So many brands are still behind when it comes to social media (some are literally just starting a FB page), so IMO, this is innovative on J. Crew’s part. In order for a fashion brand to sustain, it’s imperative that you find fun, fresh ways to connect with your customers. You can’t just post status updates and pretty product pics anymore. Anybody can do that. It’s about your level of engagement with you current + future customers, and getting them to fully invest in your brand.
I work in retail and while I’m not at the corporate level, I am in management, so it’s still critical that I pay attention to daily in-store sales, what our online component is offering (it’s not always the same deal in-store), and what our competitors are doing to maintain a competitive edge. Combining all facets of Social Media (Pinners will no doubtfully share this via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, & Instagram), + EARLY online ordering capabilities is a pretty smart move.
Look at it this way: if I follow a brand on any SM channel, it has to be worth it. If it is, more than likely my following will translate into sales. And that’s what it’s all about, no?
To see the rest of the September Style Book, click here.
What are your favorite looks from the Style Book? What do you think about their “Sneak Peek”? Why do you follow certain brands on SM? Comment below.