Aishwarya Ramesh

"Our digital presence has helped increase footfalls": Shopper's Stop's Uma Talreja

Their newest digital campaign uses augmented reality to promote their tie-up with Kendall and Kylie Jenner's range of bags.

What would you do if you saw an unclaimed bag? Normally, you'd call the police, but at Shoppers Stop, it was a virtual bag that was unclaimed and many wanted to pose with it! Shopper's Stop has an exclusive association with Kendall and Kylie Jenner's line of bags titled KENDALL+KYLIE, for an in-store launch.

We spoke to Uma Talreja - customer care associate, chief of marketing & customer officer, Shoppers Stop.

"Our digital presence has helped increase footfalls": Shopper's Stop's Uma Talreja

Uma Talreja

"We used Facebook's augmented reality technology for the AR installation in the store. It's an augmented reality activity where the customer is in the real world, but the bag is virtual. We had a lot of influencers come in and pose with the bag. This is the kind of innovation that would make sense for the product because the audience is very new age. Kendall and Kylie already have an aura, but we wanted to make sure it is matched with an appropriate innovation. It is offline-online in a very big way for us," Talreja explains.

Shoppers Stop has been innovating with its messaging and communications since Diwali 2018. Some of its campaigns that have garnered attention in the past include a Wardrobe Refresh campaign for Diwali and a woman-centric campaign called "All About Her". Its newest campaign is titled 'Goodbye Ex, Hello New'; a tongue in cheek take on Valentine's Day.

"The millennial generation is who we want to influence now at Shoppers Stop. What we are trying to do is be increasingly, more contextual to what's happening in customers' lives and their environment and reach new audiences and therefore, change the perception of Shopper's Stop from being for the parents and the slightly older crowd," she adds.

Talreja also points out that Shoppers Stop was one of the early retailers that implemented an omnichannel strategy which includes a mix of online sales and offline retailing. "We're also the first retailer to tie up with Google for virtual store visits. We've launched a personal shopper appointment booking engine; we will soon also be launching makeover engines," she informs.

She points out that even though the brand has an online shopping presence via its site and through an app, it's role is not the same as marketplace apps like Myntra or Jabong. "I think for us, our business agility is offline. And brick and mortar is the key experience that we offer. However, the strategy is that we want to be where our customers are. A lot of our customers want information and they want to shop online. I think the larger play is that when our customers want to do something online, you want to give them the same Shoppers Stop experience."

The brand's digital sales are approximately 2 per cent of the total sales it makes. "We do see an influence on footfall. We see that customers are actually going online, they are actually discovering the product and they are able to attribute that visit, which is not culminated in a sale online, into an offline footfall," Talreja tells us.

She also states that the brand is open to working with Indian influencers in the future. "We're looking at a lot of avenues in terms of co-creating a new collection, whether it is with influencers, designers, entrepreneurs etc. Our efforts on product development are ramped up. We've also got a whole new team on leadership and on the buying and merchandising side who are working on many new things - launching international brands, co-creating brands, movie merchandising or digitally co-created ideas. In the next financial year there will be a lot of new things which one will definitely see from Shoppers Stop," she promises.

The brand's digital efforts are paying off as its business results have been good and footfalls have increased, according to Talreja. "This is encouraging for us and I always value the feedback of the on-ground staff. They're very charged up by the campaign and I think a charged up on-ground staff is always good for sales," she claims.

The idea of an augmented reality setup was in-house and Attero labs had designed the Augmented Reality lens on Facebook for the KENDALL + KYLIE handbag launch in-stores. "The brief to my team was - when you already have an iconic brand, how do we make it participative? One can always do the regular influencer way of posting tweets and leveraging social influence and followers, but we wanted everybody to have a great time with the bag as well," says Talreja.

Talreja states that the execution was fairly smooth. "The only challenge we faced was the weekend we wanted to do this, Facebook was doing the WhatsApp integration and we had to push it by a week. Otherwise, it was fun and I don't think there was really any major challenge. I think people also took to it and they enjoyed taking part," she signs off smiling.

Have news to share? Write to us