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How Online Store Locators Focus Guess’ Real-Time Marketing

“Our goal is to expose our local products based on intelligence data of what is happening in and around that particular local market,” says Guess SVP Edward Park.

When Edward Park took on the job of synthesizing fashion retailer Guess Inc.’s online and offline North America marketing two years ago, he decided that finding a way to streamline communication from the continental to local level required a balancing act.

Park needed to bring Guess’ wholesale, e-commerce, and brick-and-mortar divisions, which had been conducting themselves fairly independently, in line together. And the foundation would be recognizing the individual market needs for Guess’ roughly 400-plus North American stores.

It began partnering with retail technology platform Radius8 to tie local marketing conditions that could impact sales — everything from the weather to popular events — to center its digital advertising, promotions, and email marketing efforts.

Understanding Local Is The Foundation

“Radius8 pitched its concept in terms of ‘shop local,’  and taking a traditional store locator into giving the visibility to our customers in terms of a full assortment of our inventory and driving traffic to stores,” says Park, who was named SVP of Retail and Digital at Guess after five years at women’s apparel retailer Zara’s parent company Inditex Group in China, where he served Managing Director.

“I was coming from Asia, so to me, anything to do with omnichannel, online to offline, mobile, was all seamless,” Park adds. “You know, people here looked at me as a crazy guy when I came and said, ‘We have to put all our efforts as mobile-first.’ I can say many great things about Guess in terms of its great 36-year history and the great brand identity it has created. I’ve always emphasized the importance for everyone in the North American team to think of ourselves as a startup company.  Which is one of the reasons we have to be innovative and nimble. We have to be quick.”

Radius8’s Smartbar — powered by Yext’s store locator — in action for Guess.

By using Radius8’s tools like Smartbars, an analytics program that can highlight what’s happening around a store location (weather, events, Twitter trends) and combine it with what an area’s consumers are browsing for online, Guess stores were able to get quick info along with the ability to understand longer term hyperlocal shopping patterns.

“A store manager at the Guess store on 5th Avenue can use our analytics to see what people are and buying and looking at online and then adjust what’s shown to consumers in the store locator Smartbar,” says Harlan Eplan, SVP for business development at Radius8. “It’s interesting to them to know that a red sweater is selling really well on line or people are clicking on it locally, maybe I need to pull that to the front of the store. Or,  perhaps they need to order more if they don’t have it in stock. It all reflects the greater interest from retailers to match up what’s happening online to what is going on in merchandising and how we’re showcasing a product in the stores.”

Expanding The Digital Storefront

In June, Radius8 began working with place-based knowledge management provider Yext [Full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing‘s parent company. More details on that relationship here] to expand the store locator information that Yext powers to Facebook pages and other places where consumers might encounter a brand’s messaging.

That partnership brings together another program Park implemented when he arrived at Guess two years ago, as one of his first initiatives included tapping Yext to power the brand’s store locator. By combining its info with Radius8’s ability to get an overview of what’s happening around store locations, Guess is able to get a better sense of when and where to target and tailor its marketing, Park says.

“Much like our peers, omnichannel enablement has been a big part of our work – with the goal of streamlining the ability to buy and improve operational efficiencies,” Park says. “This is a lot of work and a must have for any retailers today. Radius8 is supportive of this – by giving us a digital storefront – allowing customers to browse the true inventory.”

Jennifer Lopez is the face of Guess’ spring 2018 collection.

In addition, this drives much-needed store traffic and gives Guess a chance to upsell and cross-sell when a consumer is in the store. Before Radius8, a customer would never know what was in the store short of going there in person or calling, Park notes.

“Our goal is to expose our local products based on intelligence data of what is happening in and around that particular local market,” says Park. “Customers who come into the store buy more than those online.”

So with Radius8’s ability leverage local context, content, and trends to engage the customer online and on mobile based on what is happening in the market allows Guess to improve the performance of its Yext pages, Park says.

“Customers going to store pages have local intent, so we are bubbling up local trending product,” he says. “The Smartbars have a high click through and engagement and are driving our online conversion rate with local data.”

These behind the scenes marketing moves are also meant to support Guess’ new creative push. Last month, the retailer unveiled its latest promotion by Guess co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Paul Marciano featuring actress and pop star Jennifer Lopez as the “face” of its Spring 2018 collection. In the meantime, Park is also looking to find ways of using additional technologies, such as voice-activation, to further connect with consumers online and offline.

“Part of our goals of working with Radius8 is to create a centralized source of truth for local data and context in and around the store that can be easily leveraged and put to work to drive customer engagement,” Park says. “The great part of this is that working with Radius8, we can easily connect local with any emerging channel or shopping paradigm that is relevant to our consumer. Whether that is Voice Activation (Alexa/Google/Siri), Augmented Reality, or any other emerging tech, I’m confident Radius8 will be able to help us monetize that with contextual local data.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.