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Farfetch spurs holiday gift searches via Instagram treasure hunt

Online fashion marketplace Farfetch is kicking off the official start of the holiday shopping season with a scavenger hunt across its ecommerce site.

Hosting on Instagram, the #FarfetchCurates “treasure hunt” depicts ideal gift items against classic international scenes, asking consumers to find the one boutique out of Farfetch’s network of 300 that carries it. This contest is not only a way to get consumers searching across Farfetch’s site, but also a means to let consumers prove their retail knowledge.

“There are an overwhelming number of gift guides out there this season, so the Instagram treasure hunt was created as a fun and playful way for our followers to discover our boutiques’ key picks for the holidays,” said Stephanie Horton, CMO of Farfetch, London.

Search party
Farfetch kicked off the scavenger hunt on Monday, Nov. 16. Riding atop a yellow cab in New York was a handbag with the word “Wild” written across it.

Consumers were told to find the fall/winter 2015 item in the picture and figure out the city. From there, they were to navigate to Farfetch’s boutique’s page, find the country and select the women’s boutique that carries the bag.

Farfetch treasure hunt 1
Instagram post from Farfetch

To enter, consumers simply have to name the designer and boutique name in the comments. In this case, it was Edie Parker’s clutch at Five Story.

The winners are announced later that night, with a random selection from all the correct answers.

In addition to the daily prizes, Farfetch is letting consumers enter for a grand prize by regramming an answer post, tagging @farfetch and #FarfetchCurates. In this way, the ecommerce site may build awareness for the contest and its brand throughout the duration of the contest.

Farfetch Treasure Hunt 2
Instagram post from Farfetch

Other clues included a Givenchy clutch hiding in a picnic scene in Paris, available at L’Eclaireur, and a Valentino backpack across the shoulders of a gentleman taking a selfie in Venice.

“The response to date has been phenomenal,” Ms. Horton said. “We have found real brand enthusiasts on Instagram, some of whom can guess one of our boutiques in a matter of seconds.”

Browsing behavior
Scavenger hunts are a great way to engage a social media audience, particularly around a holiday. They can also be used to incentivize visits to a brand Web site.

British department store Fortnum & Mason hosted a contest that asks consumers to search for a cartoon bunny on its ecommerce site.

The picture of the rabbit was located on individual product pages, so consumers had to browse through merchandise to enter. This contest likely enticed Fortnum’s loyal consumers to spend more time with the retailer’s ecommerce site, and may have lead to a bump in sales around the holiday as shoppers stumbled across items they liked (see story).

In 2012, Department store Barneys New York engaged consumers in its Electric Holiday campaign by giving away gift cards through a mobile scavenger hunt during which clues were sent out through Twitter and Instagram.

Barneys’ Twitter account@BarneysNY tweeted clues so that mobile users can find secret spots where “Mickey Messengers” were located. Mobile Twitter users were encouraged to interact with Barneys through the hashtag #ElectricHoliday and follow the retailer on Instagram to find out additional clues (see story).

“As the treasure hunt is driving people to guess the boutique names we are really trying to highlight and educate our followers on the connection between Farfetch and our boutique partners,” Ms. Horton said. “We hope that the competition will drive more traffic to the site now and throughout the holiday season.”

Final Take
Sarah Jones, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York