Thursday, 30 September 2010

Fashion retail goes multi-media with YouTique by French Connection

French Connections' foray into the multi-media world tripped across my radar this morning.

They've created a "YouTique" (YouTube based  boutique) to show and tell their autumn collections and provide some sort of quasi-personal online personal shopping guide (i.e select the event / occasion you need to find an outfit for and it will return a personal shopper suggestion video).

So far so good, but it gets better, the videos are annotated with "buy" buttons that link you out to the French Connection website, which is the first time I've seen external linking on YouTube.
 There's already been lots of great examples of videos linking to other videos and using annotations well, notably the Boone Oakley non-website and one of my other favourites come from Berlei bras in Australia, but this is new functionality as far as I am aware.

I think this approach makes an awful lot of sense, multi-media showcasing of ranges is much more interesting than flat online-catalogue approaches, which is what Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and H&M amongst others have opted for via mobile Apps (read the reviews, pretty mixed!), and being able to close the purchase loop there and then is a no-brainer. I think there's an awful lot more French Connection could have done with it, but we'll award marks for trying, and for doing something new.

Via David Cushman's Faster Future blog I found this link to a social media audit of the UK Fashion retail scene which is quite interesting reading whilst I am on a Fashion theme. I also recently noted that Burberry were loaning out iPads at the new season previews with bespoke iPad apps on  allowing customers to order new season collection items there and then. Nice. Gucci were also using their iPad app to shout about live streaming their catwalks shows...

Rich fodder today, the subject of interesting things being done by fashion retailers:  Uniqlo have for a long time been the pace setters in exploiting technology to create interesting interactions between brand and consumer, such as their Lucky Switch activity making banner ads organically spreadable, increasing reach along the way. Whilst I was looking that link up recently to show someone I discovered that they publish this handy overview of lots of their cool Uniqlo activities.  Be inspired!

Meanwhile I'll be off to talk to my clients about how they can mash and adapt the YouTique approach and push it harder!

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