There aren’t many fashion retailers whose moves make news in Women’s Wear Daily as well as TechCrunch. Yet that’s the story of retail trailblazer Ivyrevel, which bills itself as a “digital fashion house” tailored for a digital native generation.
Founded in 2013 with backing by Swedish powerhouse H&M Group, Ivyrevel is an online-only retail brand, running its business on Commerce Cloud, that adroitly leverages social media and mobile to stay acutely in tune with its connected and influential audience. Phones account for 50% of its sales and, astoundingly, more than 70% of its visits, says Fredrik Ostling, Commerce Manager. Both figures are well above the industry average.
From the beginning, Ivyrevel understood the sensibilities of its audience, and geared all marketing, merchandizing and promotions accordingly. One example: it eschews digital display ads in favor of personalized, regular communications with its customers. Why?
“They are not looking for us. We have to go find them,” says Ostling.
It’s the antithesis of the ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach embraced by many retailers.
One key to its success in connecting with customers is knowing where they “live” online. Ivyrevel’s customers are primarily on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. The company enjoys a cadre of brand influencers on social channels, who directly impact not only site traffic but also the styles that customers and potential customers are buying. By understanding what its influencers are doing, it can stay more in tune with the immediate demands of its customers, and shift gears much more quickly than some other brands.
“It’s a different shopping experience,” he says. “Rather than have them browse 600 products, we tell them which product is right for them, based on browsing history. They’re more likely to buy a product if they see it on someone who looks like them, versus a model.”
(To further personalize the shopping experience, Ivyrevel launched Einstein Product Recommendations in October.)
To manage this crucial driver of brand awareness and sales, it employs a team dedicated to influencer marketing. The challenge, says Ostling, is connecting the dots between its external channels – Instagram is one of its biggest traffic driver – and its site. Where exactly do they direct the traffic coming from their influencers?
Ivyrevel’s customers are social – and mobile
Ivyrevel’s customers live on their phones – 80% of its email sessions happen on phones – and the bulk of the company’s development resources are dedicated to mobile.
“It’s our ambition to be a pure mobile player. Young customers don’t even know what a laptop is anymore.”
In addition to a mobile-centric marketing strategy (email and social media campaigns, content) the company is heavily weighted toward mobile development, and is currently focusing its efforts on three main areas:
Personalizing the products that are shown to customers as they arrive to the site from an external social media channel
Streamlining checkout so that shoppers “don’t even have to take out their wallet,” he says. Ivyrevel hopes that one-click checkouts like Apple Pay and shopping possibilities directly in social platforms will change the industry drastically. “We are looking forward to adjusting our way of doing businesses to these.” (Commerce Cloud built support for Apple Pay directly into the platform in September 2016)
Implementing more effective marketing techniques including wish lists and cart abandonment communications including voice and video cart abandonment messages
Ivyrevel is a true 21st century brand, and because it’s so new it has the benefit of building every aspect of its business from the ground up to support mobile, social media and personalization. However, there are some aspects of its strategy that even the biggest brands can learn a thing or two.
“Customers want to engage with influencers and the social community, so we as a brand often step aside to let them speak,” says Ostling. By stepping out of the way a bit, and giving its customers the opportunity to connect with each other, Ivyrevel hasn’t lost any brand equity. In fact, it appears to be garnering more brand loyalty because of it.
If anything exemplifies Ivyrevel’s grasp on the intersection of technology and apparel, it’s Coded Couture, its partnership with Google over an app that tracks all of a shopper’s activity for one week, ultimately producing a one-of-a-kind “data dress” that reflects one’s lifestyle and tastes.
“Magically, art and code working together,” notes Ivyrevel on its website.
This Trailblazing retailer is well on its way to realizing its ambitions; it’s now selling into 80 countries and growing its traffic base by 50% to 100% each month, all on mobile. Even better, more than 70% of these customers are new!
Ivyrevel was featured in a recent deep dive on the online apparel market, the Fashion Shopping Focus. Download it today!