Space NK reveals its secret to multi-channel success

Cosmetics retailer Space NK has revealed its secret to selling in a multi-channel environment: by making sure that “however customers touch the brand, they still get the same stories.”

Speaking at Retail Design Expo, Space NK head of creative services Paul Wilkins case-studied the success of its recent Spring Review campaign - one famous for ditching celebrity endorsement of items in favour of bloggers, brand enthusiasts, and even a ‘real customer’ to review and make stars of products instead.

“We wanted to make the product the real attraction, not the celebrity using it, so we bespoke-photographed the products themselves over a full week,” Wilkins told the audience. “But we were very conscious that this needed to work multi-channel. Before my role changed to include all channels, I used to get very disappointed when I saw email campaigns or the website look very different to what customers saw on the high street. I was determined not to let this happen this time.”

To achieve this goal product images were used at a large scale in-store, to fully fill window spaces, while in-store counter-tops included more of these images, along with product information slides. To ensure cross-channel consistency printed fold-outs (complete with further information) of all the products were also produced, and sent out whenever shoppers ordered online.

For the online store itself, the same image assets were presented on a new home-page, while on the two other main destinations on the site, images were rotated weekly to draw people back. 

“Online picked up the review element of the campaign, pointing people to read the different product reviews,” said Wilkins. “We found this to be an incredibly popular part of the website… It was a four-week campaign, so we made sure there was something different people could read too.”

Running such a coordinated campaign wasn't an entirely smooth process. The biggest learning, Wilkins said, was in the photography. “We actually had to re-shoot all of the products again, because while they were fine for online, when we tried to blow them up for the large window displays, they began to pixelate, so we needed to re-do them to a much higher definition.”

Although this was a problem, it was just this kind of close attention to detail that meant the campaign really lived up to its objectives, said Wilkins.. He was able to report to delegates that his dedicated multi-channel treatment approach was “the most commercially successful colour (make-up) campaign to date, giving us double-digit sales uplift… Each channel really was able to tell its story effectively.”