NEW YORK — Michael Kors is taking its massive Instagram following — the company has 3.1 million fans and counting — and banking that engagement on the platform will translate into sales.
Today will see the launch of #InstaKors, a program that aims to bridge the brand’s Instagram and e-commerce channels.
This story first appeared in the November 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This is how it works: When visitors sign up on michaelkors.com using their e-mail and Instagram handle, they receive e-mails with direct links to purchase any items they have “liked” in the Instagram posts. Any post enabled with the shopping feature will be hashtagged #InstaKors, which, over the course of the holiday season, will comprise 60 products spanning 20 shoppable Instagrams. Products that have garnered the most social engagement to date — handbags, such as the Dillon satchel and the Elsie box clutch; watches, such as the Kerry and Colette offerings; accessories and shoes — will make up the majority of items for sale.
Asked why Kors has chosen to base a shopping program around a platform that inherently isn’t built for shopping —Facebook and Twitter both have buying options right on their platforms — the brand had a simple reason: Instagram is where it sees the highest year-over-year growth and engagement. Facebook and Twitter are instrumental in inspiring fans and helping in the shopping process, but finding a way to “shop” Instagram was a necessity, the company said.
With the social selling space still looming as a black box of sorts for brands — Instagram has yet to incorporate the ability to link out from a post — Kors is one of the first brands to implement an initiative like this. The program is the brand’s attempt to see an ROI from Instagram, which is arguably its most powerful social channel.
Although it’s beginning in time for the holidays, social shopping won’t be a one-off thing for Kors. The brand will incorporate this technology into its overall strategy, calling it an “always-on” service going forward.
The Kors’ program is the brand’s take on the technology offered by RewardStyle’s LIKEtoKNOW.it, the tool that also sends users an e-mail featuring a link to buy a product that was triggered by a “like” on Instagram. The feature is popular, with access to 3,500 retailers and brands. To date, 70,000 Instagrams have been published on LIKEtoKNOW.it, with more than 40 million e-mails sent to fans’ in-boxes.