Harrods will continue to invest in gamification despite mixed results last year as it seeks to tap into a younger audience through digital content.
The luxury department store is designing more games for this year despite its latest digital game failing to emulate the success of the Stiletto Wars game that promoted the opening its Shoe Heaven department.
Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show conference in New York, Harrods media sales director Guy Cheston admits the retailer’s ‘Never Mind the Baubles’ Christmas game “did not quite capture the imagination” in the same way as Stilleto Wars.
He said: “The game was fun but it did not engage as much as Stiletto Wars did. Downloads were quite a lot lower and we put this down to the less targeted approach.
“It was also not backed by a major marketing campaign and did not get vital press pick up but despite this we are undeterred and we are planning more games. We really feel there is something in gamification.”
The Stiletto Wars game, which was based on the popular Candy Crush app, drove 13,000 downloads of the Harrods customer magazine app and reached around 18m people over social media.
Cheston reveals it helped Harrods reach a previously “elusive” customer base of women aged between 20 and 40-years-old.
The game was designed to raise awareness of the opening of the 40,000 sq ft Shoe Heaven department last autumn.
The David Collins-designed Shoe Heaven cost $50m to launch and sells luxury shoes from Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Valentino.
Cheston reveals that while Harrods has recognised the importance of digital content, it has been more difficult gaining the buy-in of luxury brands, particularly those within the fashion and jewellery sectors.
He said: “Where we have been struggling is getting the luxury brands onside, who are quite conservative by nature, which is understandable because they have got an incredible amount of brand heritage and history to protect.”
However, Cheston said Harrods is now recording significant investment in digital content from Cartier, which is pushing the boundaries when it comes to digital.
He concluded: “What we’ve learned is we need to be constantly creative.
“The store has been in existence since 1830s and is more successful today than at any time in its history, we have learned to constantly reinvent and create, you can’t stand still, you need to keep innovating.”
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