digital commerce

Frank & Oak, Montreal

Canadian menswear e-tailer Frank and Oak has launched ‘In my City’ – a two-week online campaign designed to bring six, long-term bricks-and-mortar pop-up stores to locations across the US. Taking its cues from well-known crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, the brand is asking US fans to cast a vote for their preferred destinations – but not without the rather unusual step of first ‘investing’ in the company. Consumers can only vote by ‘backing’ their request with the purchase of a gift card.

Via a dedicated microsite dubbed Collective Impact, ‘backers’ may choose from six different price levels – ranging from $10 to $3,000 – which are then processed as gift cards. More money doesn’t equate to more of a say on where the store is launched, but it does garner bigger rewards when it does. Investments of more than $50 warrant rewards packages/bonuses such as a free tote bag, the chance to attend a store’s opening event, dinner with the founders, or a trip to the brand’s HQ in Montreal. If the store doesn’t open in their preferred city, the gift card amount is refunded to the backer.

The strategy has garnered interest from some consumers (at the time of writing, Manhattan had 269 backers versus 22 for Seattle – equating to $14,830 and $1,130, respectively). However, it may risk alienating future consumers and potential ‘light-touch advocates/influencers’ – consumers who are interested in engaging with the brand, but resent the need to make a purchase before the brand entertains their opinion.

Echoing the brand’s six existing pop-up stores in Canada, each outlet promises to run for 12-18 months. This gives visitors not only the opportunity to try on and see products up-close, but also to connect with the creative community via talks, lessons, and other in-store events.

Guest post by Alison Gough, Editor & Katie Baron, Head of Retail


How can retailers decode a world of customer data in today’s marketplace? This is just one of the questions that our 2015 London Summit will be asking when it hits Kings Cross on May 20-21. Targeting consumers’ needs across a multitude of channels has evidently become an urgent issue for fashion retailers in the last year, but knowing how to actively engage users through a personalized experience is easier said than done.

One attendee who will hope to clear the mist around using data for customer insights is Kelly Kowal, Global Growth Director at The high-end fashion website has increasingly stood out from the crowd for its advanced strategy in digital marketing. In a year that has seen Farfetch internationally expand into other markets, the company has continually invested in new campaigns and new data collection methods in order to fuel its growth. Just last week, Farfetch was pronounced a rare fashion ‘unicorn’, after raising $86 Million in a Series E round – valuing the company at a whopping $1 Billion.

With a marketplace model allowing users to browse globally and shop locally, the Farfetch customer can buy fashion through an aggregated basket from more than 1000 boutiques. And, with each of these boutiques using the Farfetch software module, sophisticated multi-channel merchandising is in the bag. Furthering the omnichannel experience, Farfetch bridges offline and online worlds by allowing customers who visit the bricks and mortar boutiques to get the VIP experience, receiving personal treatment and localized offers. You can even click-and-collect, as of the end of last year. It’s clear that for Farfetch, e-tailing facilitates multichannel success – but how does data play into all this? Find out from Kelly Kowal on May 20.

Want to hear more from Farfetch and other winners in ecommerce strategy? Book your spot at our London Summit now.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: Farfetch