Ralph Lauren is looking to lead the way in new shopping technology. A few years ago, the fashion house innovated with an interactive store window that allowed shoppers to purchase products by simply touching the glass. And now, the company is experimenting with “shoppable video.” Fans of Lauren Ralph Lauren can watch a clip of models walking down a runway wearing the spring 2010 collection, complete with editorial commentary from a panel of fashion experts, and then click to buy any of the looks. And for fall, the company is expanding this technology to their children’s line, debuting Ralph Lauren’s “shoppable storybook,” The RL Gang.
Geared towards elementary-age viewers and narrated by Harry Connick Jr., the interactive experience encourages users to click on the eight characters throughout the video to see what they’re wearing. A pop-up then appears over the video allowing you to buy the entire outfit.
“When we create our advertisements, we are always telling stories,” David Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s senior VP of advertising, told the Wall Street Journal. “I love the concept of the gang. I love the friendship and spirit, the diversity of the clothing, the eclectic-ness of Ralph Lauren style. It shows boys and girls can dress up and down, they can be sporty or elegant.”
Connick Jr. may have anticipated that marketing to such young consumers in this way might provoke some ire from parents — and so the company has added a charity component to the site. For about the first month that the video was live, 15% of sales went to the actor’s charity of choice, the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village.
Still, we wonder: Will parents welcome this new way to shop with their kids? Plus there’s the argument that if children are online, they may be better served by educational apps and videos, rather than high-end shopping experiences. Nonetheless, if the feature proves to be a sales-booster, we’ll likely see other children’s retailers duplicating the model, and fast.