Once reserved exclusively for those "in the know" and living in major fashion hubs, sample sales have now gone mainstream. Over the past year a number of online sample sale sites have popped up, such as, ruelala.com and gilt.com. Both Rue La La and Gilt Groupe operate using similar models — both are invitation only, meaning that you have to be invited by an already existing member to take part in the action. They feature premium designer clothes and accessories in private sale boutiques that are only open for a limited time. Members receive reminder emails when new sales are about to open —driving interest and visitors to the online boutiques before coveted items are sold out. Over the past year the word has clearly spread and the secret is out that these sites exist. This is evident from the chart below which shows that Unique Visitors to both sites have been steadily rising.
The increasing traffic to these sites show that in these times premium brand shoppers are looking for deals too, even if it is on a $300 pair of jeans. This becomes even more apparent if we look at the Daily Reach metric displayed in the chart below.
As you can see, Rue La La gets a major spike around the time of December 30th. At this time they were having a sale offering even larger than usual discounts which can account for the rush. For the most part Rue La La has continued to beat out Gilt Groupe but it will be interesting to see if they can remain on top as the space grows and competition increases.
Kristen Renda serves as Marketing Manager for Compete. Since joining the company in 2008, she has been fully immersed in all aspects of Compete’s marketing programs; developing and executing both online and offline campaigns. Most notably, she plans and manages all company events including the annual Digital CMO Summit.