Home  › Marketing › Strategies
gap-sf-party-with-rue

Digital Catalogs Take on Social Role for IKEA, Gap

  |  August 27, 2012   |  Comments

Digital catalogs are evolving into branded content hubs for retailers.

gap-sf-party-with-rueAs catalogs become increasingly digital, they are evolving into branded content hubs for retailers.

IKEA, for instance, introduced its first digital catalog in mid-August, on its website and as an app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The revamped IKEA 2013 catalog, which the brand created with its agency McCann, includes material from the print catalog and entices users to scan for funny and educational videos, photo galleries, and interactive DIY content.

In the case of Gap, its digital catalog Styld.by directly influenced the marketing in the retailer's physical stores.

Crafted by AKQA, Gap's online catalog is a collaboration between Gap and five fashion and lifestyle blogs. The bloggers take clothing from Gap's current collection, style them however they choose, and the look is posted on Styld.by.com. Users are encouraged to comment and share the look on multiple platforms including Facebook and Pinterest.

After the debut of Styld.by in February, Gap wanted to bring the site's experience to life and use it to drive in-store sales, said Courtney Kile, associate media director at AKQA. As a result, on August 16 Styld.by blog partners Refinery29, WhoWhatWear, Lookbook, Rue, and Stereogum hosted in-store events to celebrate the launch of the fall collection.

Held in select stores in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington D.C., each party included food, beverages, games, music, and themed summertime decorations that reflected the style and attitude of the blog partner involved. "The events were a natural extension" of the digital catalog and resulted in "significant spikes in social mentions and reach," said Kile.

Across all channels, Styld.by has attracted more than a million views so far. A large percentage of interactions have happened outside of the catalog experience, per the agency. The catalog's Pinterest page, for instance, has about 10,500 followers.

Gap promotes the catalog with online ads that give people the option to choose where they'd like to view the content. Gap also pays the blog partners to run branded content on their sites.

Gap chose to offer the catalog only as a website and not an app because the company didn't want to create a destination "that the target may go to once or twice but isn't likely to frequent," said Kile. "We're observing only a handful of apps achieving mass scale. By gaining people as social followers we're able to establish a long-term relationship while sharing the latest Styld.by content," she said.

IKEA, on the other hand, has embraced the app approach, which makes its content highly mobile. People can use the new catalog app as "an illustrated shopping list" as they browse in the stores, said Lena Simonsson-Berge, global communication manager for IKEA retail services. The digital catalog contains about a quarter of the products offered in the average IKEA outlet.

Unlike print, the digital material can be updated through the year and each catalog page can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and email. But the idea is not to replace IKEA's widely distributed free print catalogs with the digital version. The company hasn't reduced the press run for the print books this year, said Simonsson-Berge. Instead, the digital catalog is meant to enrich the print versions, she noted.

To promote its new digital catalog, IKEA released a YouTube video on July 18 that gave previews of catalog content. The video was announced via PR and blogger outreach, and within five weeks was viewed 316,000 times.

In mid-August, the catalog app was also promoted on the brand's Facebook page, which boasts nearly 900,000 likes. In one post the company told fans the new print catalog had been slow to roll out, but "rest assured, we are trying our best! Please also check out our online and mobile/tablet versions and enjoy the variety of fun features firsthand."

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan Voight is a Contributing Editor to ClickZ. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has covered online and offline media, marketing and advertising since the mid-1990s for several business publications. She spent nine years at Adweek magazine, where she was San Francisco bureau chief, national senior writer and contributing reporter.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...