Our Victoria's Secret Tune-up
Most guys love to go to Victoria’s Secret. At least they love the idea of going to Victoria’s Secret. Because deep down every guy thinks about sex, and to guys that’s what Victoria’s Secret is all about. But the experience of going into the store can be uncomfortable. And it’s not because we’re surrounded by skimpy women’s underwear or huge oversized posters of half-naked supermodels. It’s because this isn’t our world. We’re just visitors. And we don’t know what we’re doing.
When it comes to the shopping experience we don’t know what things are called. We don’t have a good understanding of sizes or an appreciation of styles. We find it uncomfortable to explain things to wave after wave of attractive sales women. And the worst part is that even though we like buying these things for our wives or girlfriends, we hate when the stuff we buy is put in a giant pink pervert bag that we have to carry around the mall.
We don’t think we’re the only guys who feels like this. In fact, we think that if Victoria’s Secret tuned the experience they could make a whole lot more money. And it wouldn’t be that complicated. Here’s what Victoria’s Secret should do.
Victoria’s Secret needs to make better use of the “Lovelist” system. It should allow someone to use an app to scan items and add them to the Lovelist. Treat it like a wedding registry. Scan the bar code, enter the item into the Lovelist, and then the system would update the list and send it to “friends” of that list. The scan could pick up size, style and colour and be used to build a better consumer profile that would then be used for re-marketing. This data could then be better integrated into the emails so that the content is timely, relevant and used to help move key products.
The Lovelist should also allow a woman to set things like style preferences, sizes, favourite colours. This would allow a friend to shop “off the list” and still be able to buy something that would be appreciated. And it should be used to help profile what people buy to determine bounce back patterns.
- If someone buys value tier or multi specials, upsell based on that.
- If she buys 'practical' garments then push seasonally themed / fashion colored garments.
- If she buys sets, always show new or popular sets.
- And if she bought part of a set, suggest to buy the matching piece.
And in this way, the email that the owner of the Lovelist gets would be completely different from the version that a spouse or boyfriend gets. That opens up a world of segmentation opportunities and possibilities to target completely different shopper motivations and interests. Price alerts on specials or time sensitive sales could also be integrated into push announcements. And lastly, the Lovelist should have the ability to split a list (for him vs for her) so that he sees the most desired items and not the everyday undergarments. And when it comes to a split list, both people would benefit from a running record of what was purchased.
Stop with the one size fits all approach to email. Right now, when a guy signs up for email he gets the exact same email that a woman gets. This doesn’t really help. Send him emails that help him buy more. Tie his account to his partner’s Lovelist - and use that list to create messages, offers and content that are relevant.
And email registration should also allow me to subscribe as a guy. Currently, all emails are the same. There’s no reason that the message to a woman about a Valentine’s Day sale should be the same as the message to a guy. This is simple CRM strategy.
Every guy wants a reason to go into Victoria’s Secret. But few guys want to be there once they get there. And for some CSR’s that’s fine, because it allows them to quickly help select a few pricey items, get the guy to the cash, have him on his way without any objections. He gets something quickly. The embarrassment is over. The CSR gets a larger commission on that sale. But the sales could be even bigger if the customer experience was improved.
Make a customer experience tailored to the guy. What if a guy could schedule a retail visit with an “Angel Ambassador” and when he arrives she’d have all the items from a Lovelist ready for him to look at. He could go to a special section of the store and simply pick up the items. And it would be an excellent opportunity for an upsell. Best of all, his items could be put in a special black and gold version of the icon pink bag. It would transmit to others that he had a special Victoria’s Secret experience.
This could be extended beyond the immediate product purchase experience, to special events and offers. Think of these as invitation only, after hours mini fashion shows - just for guys. Once a guy goes through the experience once he’d be familiar with the process. That could become a seasonal activity triggered by special days like Valentines day, birthdays, anniversaries or even a “new” fall event around the annual angel fashion show even
Don't rely on giftcards
And lastly, telling a guy to give a gift card isn’t helpful… it’s simply not what a guy actually wants to give. He wants to be the hero. He wants to be the type of guy who knows how to make his partner feel sexy. The purchase process and the gift giving is considered foreplay - so allow that to happen in the best way possible. An email that contains a message that says, “don’t know what to give her? This always fits” is a miss. Because what a guy wants to give is something she can put on immediately. Not the gift of another thing for her to do. The Lovelist would help eliminate this and actually be a great way to get someone into the process.