By  on June 9, 2009

NEW YORK — Charlotte Russe’s new interactive shopping technology is tailor made for its young female target audience.

Raised on social networking, the demographic gravitates to MySpace, or follow a cast of cyber-characters on Twitter, checking on what a tweeting celebrity ate for lunch or wore to a party.

Social networking has crept into their lives so insidiously that it’s changed what they reveal about themselves to friends and strangers. So is it any wonder that this tweeting, Facebooking, MySpacing, blogging generation would appreciate shopping online in real-time with their friends?

Charlotte Russe, which caters to 16- to 29-year-olds, is the first fashion retailer to introduce ShopTogether interactive technology into its Web site. The technology, developed by DecisionStep, allows customers to experience the social benefits of shopping in the real world with friends online. On charlotterusse.com, a ShopTogether toolbar lets consumers send friends a link to a specific product or an invitation to shop through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, e-mail or instant messaging. Once the friend accepts the invitation, ShopTogether connects them for a joint shopping session on charlotterusse.com.

Consumers choose products that appear in something of a bubble, a standard instant message chat box appears when a shopper engages with friends. They identify mutual favorites and share opinions and ideas.

Charlotte Russe has been testing ShopTogether since last summer, when the functionality was limited to two shoppers interacting with one another. Since the feature went live two weeks ago, up to a dozen people can be connected.

“The average order value is higher,” said Craig Gillan, director of e-commerce at Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. “People who use the tool spend longer on the site. We also see people who had no plans to be on our site [but were pulled in by a friend] have made purchases.”

He said the technology works especially well when a student is online at college and her mother is at home with a credit card.

“We want to become a leader in fashion online,” said Emilia Fabricant, president and chief merchandising officer of Charlotte Russe. “Peers are very strong influencers. We have to give shoppers a social shopping network.”

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus