Showpo founder Jane Lu discusses sales and the music festival season.
Showpo is aimed at the youth market. How important is the music festival calendar to this?
In the scheme of our product mix, the revenue is a small percentage, however these ranges sell out and some items can have over 1,000 person waiting list. So while festivals aren’t a huge revenue driver, as it’s not part of our core business, they allow us to be relevant over such a highly saturated period. We want to offer our customer products for every occasion in her social calendar, festivals included.
What music festivals have the highest engagement among shoppers?
Coachella is an obvious one - there is an industry wide focus on this event. It is a huge opportunity for us to connect with a highly engaged audience. And it’s not just festival go-ers - as one of the most popular calendar events for influencers and celebrities, our customers are turning to content to get the latest styles from the event. There isn’t really a comparable event that happens in the Australian market. We do reference Splendour in the Grass in our marketing campaigns around July time, but it’s not a huge driver for us.
What kinds of campaigns or products work best?
We design a product line for Coachella each year which has been really successful for us. This year to amplify the collection, we brought American D, Chantel Jefferies on as the face of the campaign. In the lead up to and during the festival, we work on a structured influencer campaign to maximise saturation and frequency across social channels. Content is also a huge focus for us because it’s what our customers are really wanting to see! We run social media takeovers each year at Coachella to create unique and engaging content for our customers.
What has been the most successful marketing or social media campaigns overall?
We’ve recently executed some of our most successful campaigns to date, which have both been successful for various reasons. Earlier this year, we opened our first pop up store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The campaign was designed to build trust with our USA audience.
We took a truly integrated marketing approach to this campaign by coupling an experiential marketing strategy with an aggressive media, influencer and social campaign to extend the reach of our message. We also run competitions consistently through our social channels to build and nurture our community. Last year we successfully ran a campaign to find Showpo’s next ‘girl gang’ to call our community to action, resulting in over 10,000 entries.
For us the most important strategy is to have a clear customer-centric objective and a vision of what success looks like, whether this is across social, marketing, or the many facets that sit within this.
What about top-selling lines?
Our consistently successful products are our core product lines such as casual wear, party dresses, formal and work wear. This is our bread and butter and each week we have 105 new styles land on the website that have all been designed in-house, right here in Sydney.
But if we look at market disruptions we've had continued success in hero products that have had support across our primary marketing channels.
An example of this is our ‘Stunning View Dress in Black Mesh’ which was part of this year’s Coachella collection. Not only was this piece very on-trend for this festival season, we also pushed it through our own channels including social and our email marketing, and seeded to influencers in the lead up to Coachella. As a result, the dress sold out in one week and had a waiting list of over 1,000 people.
What events do you decide to target?
We plan our annual calendar based on both social events and insights from sales data. We never release a new collection without this being solidly backed with data. We launched our first Coachella range in 2017 at the peak of social interest in this festival, this performed well and sold out within the first week, so we grew year-on-year and performance has remained strong.
What are your future plans in this space?
From the insights we're collating internally, Coachella appears to be reaching market saturation. We're still determining how this impacts our customer and whether we need to pivot our marketing strategy around Coachella to be customer centric.
Are there any other key periods that are emerging for retailers in the youth space?
Seasons are of course still relevant, but we're finding we can push seasonality changes more and more. Dropping swim to our Australian audience in July now has a similar sell through rate as dropping it in September.
This is the second year we’ve designed our Euro Vacay collection in response to off-peak spikes in our swimwear category from our Australian customers. The collection includes a range of resort wear to cater to our Showpo girls who are travelling overseas during the winter season.