Many marketers are yet to gain sure footing on either social app but it looks like Burberry could soon claim otherwise. On the conference call for its first quarter results yesterday (15 july), the fashion house’s chief financial officer Carol Fairweather said mixing up its content mix with short-form and streaming features had spurred “record customer engagement”.
The performance stems from two key moments in Burberry’s latest quarter; a fashion show in LA - its biggest brand moment in the period - beamed live into the fledgling apps delivered over 100 million impressions, while last month its use of Periscope and Snapchat to promote a menswear show generated what Fairweather claimed was “the best we’d ever had in terms of digital engagement”.
While the feedback focuses on softer brand metrics, it’s interesting to note that it’s Burberry’s top money person giving the latest social apps on the block a shout out. It suggests Burberry sees potential in Snapchat and Periscope to help push fans farther down the path to purchase.
And it’s hard to doubt the company’s ability to make the social apps pay when it has such a strong mobile offering. A fifth (20 per cent) of Burberry’s digital sales are now collect-in-store and a quarter (25 per cent) are made on iPads, statistics that support Fairweather’s claim that the “penetration of mobile sales as percentage of total digital sales” actually “trebled” in the quarter. “I think we had more sales in total via a mobile device in this quarter than we did in the whole of the festive quarter last year”, she continued.
“In terms of digital, mobile is absolutely becoming increasingly important, I think 40 per cent of the traffic now to the site, or digital traffic, comes from a mobile device. And I think in terms of the penetration of mobile sales as a percentage of total digital, we said those trebled in the quarter and I think we had more sales in total via a mobile device in this quarter than we did in the whole of the festive quarter last year.”
Burberry’s well-documented integrated customer journey is proving particularly potent in the US where Burberry generates more digital sales than anywhere else in the world. Asia also offers untapped sales opportunities for the fashion company in China where last year’s relaunched mobile site saw strong visit numbers in the quarter, while in Korea its digital business experienced strong albeit at a smaller base.
The fashion retailer’s digital triumphs were not enough to kickstart slowing sales, particularly in Asia. Despite expanding its digital sales channels, low demand in Hong Kong saw first quarter sales slip below previous quarters’ growth of 9 per cent or above, with like-for-like retail sales up just 6 per cent.