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Jack Rogers’ Instagram effort to drive in-store sales reaches limited audience

Women’s shoe designer Jack Rogers is attempting to drive in-store sales by asking fans to upload a picture of themselves wearing the brand’s classic sandals for a special discount, but will likely fall short of its goal due to its limited bricks-and-mortar storefronts.

The brand sent out a mobile-optimized email to its subscribers and posted an open call-to-action on Instagram, urging consumers to upload a photo of themselves donning their favorite sandals via the #LoveMyJacks hashtag. While some individuals may be swayed by the promise of a 10 percent in-store discount off all sale styles, others who do not live near a Jack Rogers location may find little incentive to complete the challenge.

“The most logical [strategy] would have been to make it a contest,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, Miami. “The best photo containing #LoveMyJacks will win…pick a prize.”

Driving in-store purchases
Jack Rogers is attempting to bump up in-store traffic and sales with this challenge, while also aiming to stir up social media buzz.

The brand consistently uses the #LoveMyJacks hashtag to post promotional photos and ask users to do the same, which is a smart tactic, as it enables all branded photos to be aggregated in one easy-to-locate spot.

Consumers who upload their sandals photo to Instagram using the designated hashtag may show a store associate to receive 10 percent off their purchase this weekend. Fans living near Jack Rogers storefronts may easily be prompted to do so in exchange for the discount.

However, although many other brands are also unclasping the potential of in-store selfies and customer incentives, Jack Rogers runs into the dilemma of alienating customers who are not able to visit a bricks-and-mortar store.

The brand currently has flagship stores in East Hampton, New York City and Atlanta.

If the offer is extended to any retailer carrying Jack Rogers shoes, such as Nordstrom, a greater amount of consumers would likely participate in the mobile challenge.

This strategy works best for retailers with significant bricks-and-mortar presence across the nation, providing easy access for customers to get to a store in time to shop the discounted offer.

For example, Victoria’s Secret added in-store appeal to the selfie by asking fans to visit a location, snap a picture in front of a window display and show a sales associate to receive a free gift, suggesting in-store selfie activations could be the next big thing for millennial-friendly retailers (see story).

Social media presence
On the upside, Jack Rogers will certainly enjoy a stronger social media presence as a result of the mobile-enabled offer. Followers who spot other individuals uploading their photos may take a liking to one of the sandals styles and become inspired to purchase a pair in the future.

The #LoveMyJacks hashtag typically maintains steady traffic, especially during summer months when customers are excited to show off their outfits and shoes. While the campaign may not result in a surge of in-store sales, it will not detract from the overall branding efforts on mobile.

This past May, Jack Rogers also ramped up excitement for summer, a big sales season for the brand, by leveraging a countdown-themed giveaway on Instagram that offered users a chance to win one pair of its most popular styles each day (see story).

These types of giveaways may be best-suited to the footwear marketer, rather than employing shoe selfies to disperse discounts.

“It sits right on the border of being a paid review,” Ms. Rosenblum said. “Is it smart? I’m not sure.

“Will it be effective?  I don’t think so.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York