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Victoria’s Secret taps convergence between mobile messaging, commerce

Victoria’s Secret is using an interactive mobile chat solution to allow users of its Pink Nation application to socialize with others and a messaging feature to provide exclusive access to the brand’s annual Fashion Show.

Frankly, a messaging app that taps into interactivity, is powering the chat solution, which is part of a larger update to the Pink Nation app that also includes exclusive holiday offers as well as more badges, filters and stickers. This year, Victoria’s Secret mobile strategy has involved repeated uses of in-app communication, including messaging and chat, which seems to work well with its core audience demographic.

“Allowing app developers to build Frankly into their apps using the SDK toolkit, creates engagement with their fans and helps build a human connection to the brand,” said Harrison Shih, vice president of product and marketing at Frankly, San Francisco. “This approach can drive deeper investment from consumers into the community and gives fans an incentive to come back to the brand’s app for more information on their products.”

Continuing conversation
Through Frankly’s capabilities, the Pink Nation app will offer ways for users to engage interactively with the brand, which include access to insider content from Victoria’s Secret supermodels and an all-access feature for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

To chat, users can reference to the Show using the hashtag #VSFashionShow and key in branded emoticons. When users have unread chat messages, the app alerts them. Users can receive chat messages from other app users or from the brand.

The messaging aspect will allow Victoria’s Secret to share updates about the Fashion Show and introduce new products.

Frankly executives believe Victoria’s Secret Pink label is the perfect first partner as the company tries to expand its chat offering to additional platforms.Frankly Chat has garnered 1.5 million downloads and hopes other brands will integrate the solution in their own apps.

Pink Nation is a free app available on iOS and Android devices.

In addition to the new chat function, Pink Nation app users can shop Pink products, apply filters and stickers to photos uploaded to the app, check the weather with the weather mini dog brand mascot, get information on all Pink bras, search for a nearby store and earn badges that prove users’ love for the brand.

The Fashion Show will air on Dec. 9 on CBS.

Knowing its demographic
In-app messaging and push notifications have played a significant role in how the lingerie retailer brings back repeat traffic to build sales. Earlier this year, Victoria’s Secret played up a message center where the brand continuously pushed out content through its mobile application.

While these kinds of features may appear to be small changes, the overall effect has a much bigger impact on how Victoria’s Secret is lining up its app to be a key part in its mobile, digital, social and in-store strategies (see story).

Also this year, Victoria’s Secret continued to lead the pack in retailers leveraging mobile applications for more than just shopping with a spring break campaign that layered image recognition and games on top of commerce features.

The lingerie retailer launched a campaign within its iPhone and Android app in the weeks before spring break to drive sales as well as engagement through games and activities. Victoria’s Secret’s effort pulled together several of the elements that the brand has been steadily building into its app over the past year (see story).

“The integration of Frankly chat into a brand’s app gives customers a platform to talk about the brand they love, as well as creating a uniquely direct line from the consumer to the brand and vice versa,” Mr. Shih said. “Frankly’s seeing a lot of Gen Z consumers wanting to create a conversation with people who have similar interests, and the Frankly chat platform can cater to that need perfectly inside a relative brand’s app.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York