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Selfridges bets on Google+ to spur in-store engagement

Mobile plays a key role in British retailer Selfridges’ biggest beauty event and issue-raising initiative ever with in-store digital signage and installations.

Selfridges’ Beauty Project is being rolled out in the retailer’s three British locations in London, Manchester and Birmingham as well as online. The hashtag #beautyproject is being used to trigger in-store and online engagement.

“We work very closely with Google and as beauty is one of the most active communities on Google+, it made sense for us to work on a 360-degree campaign that crossed social, digital media and in-store via our windows and photo booth,” said Claire Higgins, head of digital marketing at Selfridges, London.

“Hashtags allow us to curate and be part of relevant beauty conversations, as well as lead debates around the beauty project,” she said.

Mulitichannel beauty
Selfridges has partnered with Google+ on an in-store digital photo booth. Consumers can have their photo snapped in-store for the chance of being featured in an advertising campaign within the windows of London’s Oxford Street store or online.

Additionally, the digital photo booth lets consumers share their in-store photos via social media.

The hashtag is being promoted on Selfridges’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. Additionally, a section on Selfridges’ Web site is dedicated to the program.

There are also a number of different in-store events being used as part of Beauty Project. The department store will host discussions and workshops on topics including the changing perception of beauty or how to look beautiful at any age.

The session and in-store events will be streamed on Google+, YouTube and Selfridges’ Web site so that consumers can tune in real time from a desktop or mobile device.

Beauty Project runs through June 12.

Selfridges’ Google+ page

Boosting in-store engagement
A number of different brands and retailers have experimented with digital in-store activations to elevate the shopping experience.

For example, British retailer Ted Baker tied in-store selfies to digital signage to lure in foot traffic during the holidays (see story).

Victoria’s Secret also recently ran a digital and real-world scavenger hunt that linked the two different shopping experiences together through an app (see story).

In this case, Selfridges is trying to take advantage of an increase in mobile traffic to make the bricks-and-mortar experience a bit more exciting.

Selfridges reports that 50 percent of traffic now comes from mobile, and 50 percent of emails are opened on a smartphone or tablet.

“All our social media plays a complimentary role with one another, just sometimes the platform and audience responds to content slightly different,” Ms. Higgins said. “It [is] also multi-layered, so social is key to kickstarting the campaign’s talkability and customer interaction.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York