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Fleur du Mal Dresses Up Customer Shopping Experiences with Mobile

Multichannel may not be every brand’s style. But lingerie brand Fleur du Mal is pairing mobile with in-store shopping to create a truly seamless ensemble with the launch of its mobile pop-up stores.

The fashion brand partnered with Usablenet, a multichannel platform provider, to create a pop-up experience that uses geo-location to deliver exclusive, targeted content and offers to people who are near a physical pop-up location. Once a consumer on the Fleur du Mal mobile site approaches a physical pop-up shop, the mobile site will send a notification asking to use the consumer’s current location. The consumer will then receive another notification asking her if she would like to visit the mobile pop-up shop where she can view clothing, product offerings, live social feeds, and images from the physical pop-up location. Consumers can then purchase directly from the mobile site or visit the physical pop-up to browse the racks in-person.

Fleur du Mal launched its first mobile pop-up shop with the brand’s debut in New York last November and hosted another mobile pop-up experience this past February in Los Angeles. The brand is planning to host another pop-up experience in New York this summer and one in Tokyo this fall.

Jennifer Zuccarini, founder of Fleur du Mal, says the mobile pop-up shops model the modern customer’s shopping habits. “You still want to go touch and feel and try things on, but you might not want to buy it right there. You might want to go back later, go online, and try and find it,” she says.

Currently, Fleur du Mal sells its clothes primarily online; in the brick-and-mortar world it sells exclusively to the department store Barneys—except for these new pop-up shops. Zuccarini recognizes the pros and cons of living mainly in an online world, having founded luxury and lifestyle brand Kiki de Montparnasse and previously served as design director for Victoria Secret, both of which have brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presences. For example, while she says mobile pop-up experiences allow Fleur du Mal to expand its international presence more quickly than it could with brick-and-mortar stores, she acknowledges that having a physical store allows customers to experience the brand’s quality firsthand, which can be hard to replicate online. In addition, she says the complexities of driving customers to a website as compared to a physical store are unique to each.

“It’s a completely different challenge to drive traffic to a website versus a flagship store,” she says. [With e-commerce,] you’re targeting the world and trying to get people to find you online. It’s definitely a learning experience for us, and we’re figuring it out.”

Additionally, Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, says that the pairing of the mobile pop-up shops with the physical locations allows customers to reap the benefits of both worlds. For example, consumers can browse, put  items into a basket, and transact solely on the phone or choose to try on the clothes or speak to a Fleur du Mal employee at the physical shop if desired. However, she says many luxury brands heavily invest in just their mobile applications, leaving their mobile sites to feel “fairly underwhelming.”

“We believe that mobile is and should be a consumer’s first go-to place,” Vuuren says, adding that a luxury brand should have a mobile experience that has luxury qualities.

Zuccarini says Fleur du Mal is promoting the mobile pop-up shops via public relations, social, and direct mail. She also notes that even as an online retailer Fleur du Mal shouldn’t rely solely on email marketing to drive sales. “You think about online brands connecting to their customers through email, but email has become so cluttered that it’s hard to stand out through email campaigns,” she explains. “I love the idea of incorporating something that’s tangible [like the pop-up store].”

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