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Urban Outfitters masters social by mimicking millennials’ behaviors

August 12, 2014

uoPHILADELPHIA – Lifestyle brand and retailer Urban Outfitters’ is experiencing social success by catering content to millennials who are overwhelmed by technology, according to a marketing executive at the Social Commerce Summit at eTail East 2014.

By maintaining social presences that mirror the activity of its followers and sustaining a laid-back approach on its app, Urban Outfitters reels in foot traffic to its stores and loads of user-generated content that directly converts to transactions. Through social campaigns, such as #UOOnYou using Instagram and #NormCore that follows lifestyle trends, the brand inadvertently drives sales while still maintaining a close but casual relationship with its customer.

“Everyday, I’m surprised by our customer,” said Moira Gregonis, senior marketing manager at Urban Outfitters, Philadelphia. “Millenials are overwhelmed by the overload of technology they’re receiving.

“They’re surprisingly taking a step back from it.”

Social normalcy
Urban Outfitters marketing team is currently investing in trends using hashtag #NormCore to relate to millennials backing up from technology and has already seen 15,000 uses in a matter of weeks.

Urban Outfitters offers many tech products along with slow living products, providing a balance to shoppers to support this trend.

By posting occasional photos of puppies or other comfort objects, the brand further appeals to consumers. After posting a photo of a staff member’s new puppy, Urban Outfitters saw a response of 114,000 likes.

Another hastag #UOOnYou follows user-generated content posted to Instagram which is combined on the Urban Outfitters Web site for shoppers to reference. The campaign acts as a reference point for fans to view products that have been purchased and enjoyed by other shoppers, enticing them to purchase, also.

Having multiple Instagram accounts, based on location, has also garnered growth and brand awareness for Urban Outfitters. The New York Urban Outfitters Instagram account currently posts to 50,000 followers.

Snapchat is another platform that Urban Outfitters is playing around with. The marketing team is currently deciding whether or not to pursue it fully.

Most of Urban Outfitters efforts have been executed through Philadelphia-based marketing platform Curalate.

App collaborations
Aside from occasional, casual posts that develop brand loyalty, Urban Outfitters believes in-store experiences are crucial when marketing teams are launching a new form of technology and are trying to drive revenue. Therefore, the brand relies on location-based push notifications, check-in incentives and contest promotions to guarantee in-store purchases through its app.

When users check-in on the app five times, they are offered a reward, and the majority of Urban Outfitter’s app users have subscribed to push notifications, which has given the marketing team the ability to deliver promotions quickly.

When users shake the app, they will be provided with an identification profile, which reflects how the user is identified at the register to the brand.

Urban Outfitters has also seen great results from timed rewards, which push customers into the store immediately given a limited time period to reap rewards.

On and off mobile, Urban Outfitters continues to be a leading brand by maintaining an equal balance of both.

“Millennials want to be tech savvy but are also pulling back from it and want to be normal,” Ms. Gregonis said. “However, our core demographic is on mobile and that’s where we also have to be.

“We want to make the experience super fun for them.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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