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How Ralph Lauren Leads the Fashion Industry by Leveraging New Technology

Ralph Lauren has been around for a long time.

Its luxury items have been worn by fashion elites since 1967. Decades have passed and the brand still maintains its association with status and prestige.

How has Ralph Lauren stayed on top in the fast-paced fashion industry? In part, through leveraging new technology in its marketing campaigns.

1. Created a 4D Holographic Fashion Show

Instead of a traditional catwalk, Ralph Lauren held its virtual fashion show in Central Park’s Cherry Hill. Viewers witnessed a 4D holographic show projected onto  a large water screen.

The virtual show made models appear to walk on top of the water in various locations—The High Line, The Brooklyn Bridge, and the West Village—in just 10 minutes.

Source: Fashionlabs 

“I really wanted to do something big for the new Polo Women’s brand—something set in the city—that felt modern,” Ralph Lauren said. “We returned to Central Park, a place I love, and captured the spirit of Polo with a truly innovative mix of fashion and technology.”

By leveraging virtual reality, the brand is able to make viewers experience a scenic fashion show.

2. Created fitting rooms that merged digital technology and in-store retail

Ralph Lauren collaborated with Oak Labs retail technology platform to install smart-mirror fitting rooms in their stores.

At first glance, the smart-mirror appears like an average full-length mirror. However, once items are brought into the fitting room, their RFID tags are detected and the item pops up on the screen. Shoppers can then use the smart mirror to view the product’s details, request additional colors and sizes, call salespersons, and view product recommendations.

The mirrors also let the brand determine relevant data  such as conversion rate per item, time spent in the fitting room and conversion rate per visit.

“We know which items are being tried on but not purchased,” said OAK Labs CEO Healey Cypher. “I can tell Ralph Lauren, here’s a jacket that goes into the fitting room frequently but has less conversion than other jackets. The merch team should look at this—maybe the fit isn’t right but the aesthetic is. Data like that can fundamentally change how retailers run their business.”

The unique combination of mobile and retail has led to a 90 percent spike in the brand’s engagement and has tripled its expected clothing sales.

3. Used interactive shop windows to interact with passers-by

Ralph Lauren placed interactive shop windows in the front of its stores to engage with passerbys on the street. Each screen featured images of the brand’s ties, chinos, polo and oxford shirts. Once users tapped these images, they could customize, mix-and-match products, and select from 18 colors.

Source: Instyle

Users can also download an interactive app to unlock exclusive content and  purchase directly from their mobile device.

By taking its window displays to the next level, Ralph Lauren is able to make passerbys do a double take on its stores.

4. Posts Instagram Stories to Publish Behind-the-scenes Content

Ralph Lauren publishes Instagram stories that showcase behind-the-scenes content. It includes fresh footage on the show’s preparations and archival imagery—in order to create hype around its events.

“We are all aiming to grow the business again,” says Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Bottomley, “The role of marketing is to create a real sense of immediacy and currency around the brand and the product that we have to sell, and to create that with a new audience—one that’s going to help us grow.”

By posting behind-the-scenes content of its fashion shows, Ralph Lauren is able to increase anticipation and generate some buzz on its upcoming fashion shows.

5. Ralph Lauren knows that email marketing is a big deal

Ralph Lauren understands that consumers don’t just buy the product after seeing them.

They still need a little push.

This is why the brand creates effective email marketing campaigns to highlight its product’s values, offer sales and discounts, and remarket products.

Here’s an example of the brand’s abandoned shopping cart emails:

This email is a perfect remarketing email!

It displays each item left in the shopping cart and its details. Plus, there’s an array of product recommendations and  an offer for free shipping. It also comes with a simple and noticeable call-to-action in the form of a  “complete your order” button.

Here’s another example of Ralph Lauren’s welcome email:

The  email begins with a clear introduction of Ralph Lauren, and details on what makes it special. It is then followed by an offer for free shipping,  a link to its online store and physical stores.

By sending effective email campaigns to its customers, Ralph Lauren is able to encourage subscribers to get onboard and make a purchase.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve learned from Ralph Lauren’s successes:

  • Leverage virtual reality technology
  • Create effective email marketing campaigns
  • Create Instagram stories
  • Collaborate with tech companies to build interactive in-store features

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Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.