Rinascente, the Italian retailer that provides high-end fashion, accessories, beauty, homeware, design and food brands, launched its personal concierge service on WhatsApp last year, which helped increase its sales worldwide. And it hopes it can replicate its success with WeChat. Through the app, users are able to search for and request information about products in the company’s Milan flagship store from anywhere in the world.
As half of Rinascente’s total revenues are attributed to foreign customers, it has sought to better connect with them. In particular, Chinese customers are among its top consumers with average spending per person reaching $286 (€250), and that figure continued to grow in the first half of 2018. Rinascente processed more than 275,000 transactions from Chinese customers in the first half.
Now it has added its concierge services via WeChat to better serve that growing customer demographic. With a billion active users per month worldwide, 83 percent of whom shop online, Rinascente seeks to extend similar services to its growing Chinese customer base on WeChat and adapt specifically to the app’s functionalities as it does with consumers on WhatsApp.
“Have you seen a special accessory or hot item in a magazine? Just send a WeChat message and one of our personal shoppers will find the product for you in the Rinascente flagship store in Milan. If it’s available, you can then proceed with the purchase and the product will be sent directly to your home or wherever you prefer,” the company offers.
The new WeChat service works in the same way as it does on WhatsApp, but with an additional layer of marketing. WeChat allows Rinascente to send out more product information and promotional offers to customers. It also has added in-store touchscreens and QR codes for further interaction. To aid with the roll-out of the WeChat service, the company has hired six Mandarin-speaking concierges to help customers during the onboarding in the store.
Rinascente launched this service in September and, as of September 21, sales had already surpassed the monthly average with a record high 28,000 transactions. Average expenditures also rose to a higher level with more promotions and offers being used by customers.
What can other brands learn from this specific campaign?
Make your promotion 7/24 online – Giving far-away customers the ability to access its exclusive offers at any time is a tremendous opportunity for Rinascente. With the on-demand store on WeChat, Chinese users can feel as if they could see the store promotion live in Milan or Rome. Whenever users open WeChat, which is an app some use hundreds of times a day, the promotions will pop up as long as they subscribe to Rinascente’s account.
Know your consumers – What’s great about Rinascente is that it knows its target users well. Those customers are mostly international, and a large number of them are Chinese with major buying power. Thus, repositioning its department store towards both premium and affordable luxury has enriched and diversified Rinascente’s customer portfolio. The introduction of WeChat On Demand demonstrates how Rinascente is not only a business that offers a unique and gratifying shopping experience, but also a company committed to meeting the needs of all segments of the market.
Learn from your victories – Rinascente first launched its on-demand service on WhatsApp in 2017, and the service was immediately popular, with users calling it “new, easy-to-use and so convenient!” Although WeChat is different from WhatsApp in many ways, the nature of the two apps is still very similar. Thus, it makes sense for Rinascente to take advantage of its success on WhatsApp and transfer the key elements to its WeChat service.