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Charlotte Russe exec: Optimizing messaging strategy is critical to drive engagement

NEW YORK – A Charlotte Russe executive at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 said the proliferation of channels with different characteristics means brands no longer have room for misaligning multichannel strategies.

A takeaway from the session, “Charlotte Russe: Push vs. Email vs. Text: Making the Most of Mobile Communication Tools,” was that it is critical to build a strategic framework that optimizes marketing communications based on customer behavior and what each channel is uniquely good at. The presentation pointed to how sending the same message to the same customer across push, email and SMS platforms is not just cost-inefficient; it also annoys and alienates customers.

“There’s a phone in the center, mobile is the center of our strategy,” said Kim Stromberg, head of mobile and omnimchannel for Charlotte Russe, a fast-fashion retailer of on-trend apparel, shoes and accessories at affordable prices based in San Francisco, CA.

The Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 was organized by Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer.

Ecommerce business
Charlotte Russe, with more than 540 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico, targets women aged 15 to 27, in the middle-income, student or full-time employee bracket. With a rapidly growing ecommerce business across desktop, tablet, mobile Web and a mobile application, its typical customer is highly social and browses the company’s line as a leisure activity but still buys in-store.

Kim Stromberg at the Mcommerce Summit.

Mobile is at the hub of the brand’s multichannel strategy, driving loyalty to the brand while developing and leveraging a 360 degree view of the customer. Mobile also allows using digital tools for in-store conversion and removing friction from the shopping journey.

Since the brand’s app was launched in November 2014, it accounts for more than 10 percent of its daily ecommerce traffic.  The typical consumer visits the app at least once a week.

Up to 20 percent of app visitors engage with store related features each day including barcode scanner, store locator and store offers.

The company’s study of email vs. text vs. push showed that email had high marks in terms of being able to handle large files. Text had the highest number of full viewers per send while push created the highest growth.

Text garnered the highest ratings for intrusiveness and perceived spam factor, while email had the highest richness of content and personalization. Push topped the list in terms of ratings for both timeliness and personalization.

Amid the mobile mind shift, today’s consumer tends to be technologically savvy, spurring a progression toward omnichannel retailing.

Since research has shown that integrating a clear and concise message for consumers produces substantial benefits in terms of return on investment, omnichannel strategies have become an essential part of retail success.

Omnichannel strategies allow retailers to engage fully with a consumer through all channels, enhancing the consumer experience while creating brand awareness and improving consumer loyalty.

A mobile-anchored omnichannel approach provides an opportunity for retailers to capitalize on mobile devices’ high worldwide penetration rate.

Multichannel shoppers
A Deloitte & Touche study found that 78 percent of shoppers use two or more channels to research and purchase an item, and multichannel shoppers are worth up to 208 percent more than single-channel shoppers.

Attendees at the forum.

“Sending same messages across three different channels isn’t just annoying – it’s lame,” Ms. Stromberg said.

“[An effective strategy answers the question of] what is each one uniquely good at and uses it for that rather than just spraying everything everywhere,” she said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York