With the popularity of online flash sales, it’s natural to wonder what retail categories are going to be the next big trend. Amazon’s MYHABIT is leading the charge in offering something special for REAL, American women. As you may or may not know, the average dress size of women in the US is 14, so targeting women dress sizes 14+ could potentially be a very smart move.
From my personal experience knowing more than a few plus sized women’s personal struggles, this could be a very worthwhile option. Typically speaking, there isn’t much selection even at regular stores that caters to these sizes, leaving women to either shop online or only at specialty stores like Lane Bryant or JJill. Additionally, there’s nothing worse that trekking out all the way to a shopping plaza with the few stores you can find options at only to come back empty handed and frustrated. That said, what will likely be key to the success in this market is having an inexpensive shipping option and a flexible return policy, since it’s often difficult to judge fit when you are both unfamiliar with the brand and purchasing online. Their 360 degree views seem helpful, though.
What I’m really impressed with, however, isn’t the broadening of the offering but the positioning and stylish nature of the e-marketing. The first image above shows a women in what looks to be a sleek black dress that speaks to the campaign’s mission, “We celebrate our commitment to diversity in the shopping experience with flattering styles for our favorite labels in sizes 14 and up.” Some superlatives that come to mind when looking this are sultry, sexy, comfortable, and stylish; something all women want.
The dresses by Taylor Dress are a wardrobe essential for office life, parties, and upcoming holiday gatherings. The Z from Zenobia pants and suit coats would be great for work attire and more formal occasions, allowing for a bit of professionalism as well as comfort. Finally the CJ by Cookie Johnson jeans and nice teal shirt speak to times in which you’re wanting to look stylish and casual.
The right side of the email was also interesting to me, in that they chose to feature two other items out of three that would also appeal to plus sized women; jewelry and shoes.
MyHabit’s e-marketing is not only savvy in terms of its content, it’s effective! In September, 19% of MyHabit’s traffic came from our E-mail category, up 29% since August. Gmail referrals experienced a 79% growth from the month prior, totaling 8% of all referrals to MyHabit.
Their “plus size” approach seems to be particularly helpful as an overall marketing strategy, as I see indications of some “plus sizes + cheap + dresses” keyword activity in their search referrals over the past 3 months. The one thing that I think could really benefit them in this area (and others) is complimenting the events with a content focused SEO strategy, e.g. blog. Since many of these flash sale retailers want to prove to brands their campains benifit them via brand awareness, what better way to promote them than to write content linking back to their site and building out SEO in front of the sign-in wall? That way, the retailers wouldn’t have to pay as much for traffic because they’re engaging the audience on another social touch-point, and they’re promoting the wonderful brands they carry.
Do you feel there’s a strong market for high-end plus size clothing? What would you have done differently? What do you think of this e-marketing approach?
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.