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How a Sale became a Super Sale by Using Social Media

By Sabiha Khan
Senior Account Manager

With hoardings and placards screaming discounts from every outlet, how can you set your brand apart and ensure maximum footfalls when your brand says “SALE”?

It’s the ‘S’ word and it makes most men & women go crazy and weak in their knees. They fight over it, oooh—aah over it and regret missing it. But in an era where its available almost everywhere, how can you set yourself apart? Yeah, you guessed it right (or didn’t :P); we’re talking of a ‘Sale’ – an event that excites most shoppers and shopaholics and is much awaited if one of their favourite brands announces it.

True, but what if there are many favourites who announce a sale around the same time? What would it take to make sure all traffic is directed to your shop when you announce – ‘SALE”?

It’s a question most retailers and brand managers are battling with today. One retailer though, figured that the answer to a great extent lies in the medium of promotion used.

“Super Saturday” is an annual, Flat 60% off, one day only (Saturday) sale held by the brands – VERO MODA, ONLY and JACK & JONES brands. Launched in 2011 in Mumbai and Delhi, the brands collectively generated footfalls to the tune of 42,000 and the “Super Saturday” was termed as a big hit.

This year in 2012, the plan was to announce the sale on a larger scale, across four cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad & Delhi) and with a) improved logistics, b) better collections, c) more stocks and of course d) increased targets. While the first three were well within the control of the management, it was the last one that was a real concern and to address that, they turned towards Social Media.

Traditional media was already in the plan, but they figured that the true challenge lies in not just attracting the attention of the potential shoppers but also in holding it.

And they did just that by moving away from the ordinary.

An integrated social media campaign was launched for all three brands using Facebook, Twitter & YouTube which created buzz, ensured footfalls, induced interactions with the audience and consequently generated tangible ROI from social media which few campaigns can boast of today.

Here’s a peek into the celebrated campaign which made ‘Super Saturday’ unforgettable.

Social Solution 1 – The Virtual Coupon

Sales often bring with them a notion that tends to dissuade shoppers –

It’s going to be a mad rush there and a really long queue, I don’t think I am comfortable standing so long, just to get an entry

To battle this, fans on Facebook were asked to jump the queue using a Virtual Coupon. This was a simple application which asked fans to download a coupon and then bring the coupon along with them on the day of the sale. Those who carried it with them would be allowed entry via a separate queue which moved faster, was shorter and thereby helped them get more “sale” time.

The Virtual Coupon was launched three days prior to the sale and using geo targeting was coded such that it would be only available to people in a particular location, thereby ensuring targeted marketing and reach. Thus it was launched first for Mumbai and then following the success of Mumbai the application was launched for Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

Within the first day of launching the app, 320 coupons were downloaded and in three days a total of 1762 coupons were downloaded for Mumbai, 852 for Bangalore, 626 for Ahmedabad and 1120 for Delhi consecutively.

Cumulatively that’s 4360 coupons downloaded out of which 2848 were actually redeemed on the day of the sales, that means a total of 2848 footfalls generated via social media. Now that’s a 65% conversion rate!!

If we take the average spends per person at the sale to be Rs.2000/- then this translates into a total of Rs. 56,96,000/- sales generated via the Virtual Coupon alone. A brilliant example of tangible ROI generated purely from social media!!!

Not to forget the total fan reach of 2,53,86,004 generated on Facebook collectively for the three brands.

As Rajiv Dingra, CEO, WATConsult (the agency partnering with VERO MODA, ONLY and JACK & JONES for their social media activities) puts it, “The Virtual Coupon App created immense buzz among the users ‘cos it promised quicker entry and not just that it actually set our fan base rolling as people were trying to sign up from the venue via their smartphones.

Social Solution 2 – The Virtual Sale Guide

Research insights showed that shoppers like to know what’s going to happen at a sale beforehand so they can optimize their time at the event and get the most out of it.

As a result, the Virtual Sale Guide was created describing exactly what’s going to be on sale and where. The layout helped direct traffic within the retail outlets on the day of the sale and also helped shoppers awaiting their entry outside the store, use the waiting time effectively.

In addition, the collections on sale were revealed with their discounted prices via Facebook albums and updates, thereby ensuring informed and more satisfied shoppers.

Social Solution 3 – Engagement on Twitter

Taking the campaign forward on Twitter, the hashtag #SuperSaturday was used in all promotional tweets as well as to interact with followers and generate buzz. While Facebook was used to drive footfalls in a tangible manner, Twitter was used to reach out to the target audience using Influencers. More than 50 influencers were engaged with and reached out to for promoting the Sales at each of the locations. Since the sale was held on a Saturday at all the locations, the hashtag SuperSaturday was dual-focused – on one hand it was connected to the brands and the sale and thus ensured relevant and focused interactions, while on the other it had a generic ring to it as well, and the twitterati joined in to talk about how their Saturday was turning Super as the day progressed.

Brands like Radio Mirchi, Godrej, Inglot, were among those who tweeted using the hashtag. Twitter influencer and TV celeb – Rajdeep Sardesai also participated in using the hashtag.

In addition to all this, influencers and twitterati were tagging the brands’ handles in their tweets, thereby increasing not just curiosity levels but also mileage for the three brands – VERO MODA, ONLY and JACK & JONES.

At the event, live tweeting enabled followers to get a taste of the real action and helped boost promotions. Further excitement was generated by shoppers who were at the Sale, via tweets, @replies and friend tagging. A lot of jubilant shoppers showed off their grabs via twitpics and tagged their shopping buddies in the tweets as well. The social media team organized mini contests to further boost the buzz generated.
And the results were fabulous!

The hashtag trended in India at No.3 for the Mumbai event and at No.2 for Bangalore and Ahmedabad, this despite the presence of #Euro2012 on the trends chart.

Campaign Results for those who love Number crunching:

Social Solution 4 – Video Action on YouTube

A picture is worth a thousand words, yes and a video testimonial is worth a million!!

The final Midas touch was the seeding of video testimonials, full of life, entertaining and creatively packaged with foot tapping music to give people a taste of what to expect. These videos were launched very strategically via YouTube and cross promoted across platforms thereby increasing curiosity levels. Pre-event footage included testimonials from the previous year and new footage was shot and disseminated live during the event for each of the brands and cross promoted accordingly. These videos were a powerful element of the content disseminated as a part of the social media strategy and created a huge engagement plug online.

Watch one of them here:

Our objective was to double the hype for Super Saturday and make it legendary and we did it using social media. It was a fresh and unique approach and unlike most fashion brands, who are using social media to just interact and reach out to their customers, we have managed to get our fans to accept our invitation and welcomed them into our retail outlets. This is an achievement that’s tangible not just in terms of footfalls but also in terms of sales”, Vineet Gautam, CEO Bestseller India.

To sum up, in a competitive landscape such as retail, although social is now becoming the most popular medium to drive awareness, for footfalls and sure shot sales, a creative twist is the need of the hour.

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