How Michael Kors leverages social activity to build loyalty

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By: RickFerguson |

Posted on August 4, 2016

Fashion magazine Glossy has an interesting look at how luxury fashion retailers such as Michael Kors are leveraging social media activity to build repeat purchase and brand loyalty. While tying social media spend to ROI remains an elusive goal for many marketers, Michael Kors demonstrates that a little Instagram ingenuity can go a long way.

Michael Kors boasts 8.2 million followers on its Instagram feed, a number that many marketers will envy. The question has long begged, however, about how to monetize those 16 million eyeballs by turning followers into purchasers. Instagram has kept marketers at arm's length by not allowing live links in its photo captions; if you love that new Michael Kors purse that just appeared in your feed, there's no easy way for you to then find and purchase the product online.

Michael Kors solved that problem by following other retailers' lead by recreating its Instagram feed on its web site and then providing the link in the brand's bio text on Instagram. What makes Michael Kors' move notable is that its recently relaunched "InstaKors" programme rewards its followers with soft benefits such as access to special promotions and early notifications of new products. InstaKors followers can see a new product on Instagram, hop over to the web site, and then easily find the product again and purchase it. Money quote from Lisa Pomerantz, SVP of Michael Kors:

"We know that our social media fans are some of our most engaged fans, and we wanted to find a way to give them a little something more. By using the data we gain from our 8.2 million Instagram fans every day, we've been able to not only choose the right product for this initiative, but also shoot it in a social-friendly way that we know our fans will love. We see it as a way to keep them engaged season after season."

The article details efforts of other fashion brands such as Everlane and Nordstrom to turn social media followers into loyal customers. Whether soft benefits alone are enough to reward Michael Kors fans without some sort of hard economic benefit remains to be seen. And without a loyalty identifier, it isn't possible to get a true picture of customer value by tying purchases online, in Michael Kors' brick-and-mortar stores, and through third-party retailers into a single-customer view.

Still, luxury retailers typically have a longer purchase cycle that doesn't necessarily lend itself to a points-based programme, so building one around engagement and soft benefits is a smart play. By centering the programme on its Instagram followers, Michael Kors will also more successfully connect their social media spend to their bottom line. Nothing is more fashionable than success.

Read the full Glossy article here.

-Rick Ferguson



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