How the global shoe and accessories brand is redefining how to engage and meet customers in the fast-changing world of digital and social commerce
Canadian-born retailer ALDO has offered the everyday shopper fashion-forward products at an accessible price point for more than 45 years. With close to 2,000 stores across 75 countries, ALDO is a worldwide fashion experience. Rooted by their values of love, integrity and respect, it’s no surprise that when met with the challenges of 2020, the brand rose to the occasion to quickly adapt to fast-changing consumer behaviours.
Sophie Boissinot-Tremblay, Assistant Manager of PR and Social at ALDO Group, shared with us here how her team worked tirelessly to deliver the most positive, empathetic and safe experience possible for their customers – and the greater community.
Like many fashion retailers, ALDO experienced brick and mortar store closures across regions in 2020. With one door closing, another opened – quickly. In eight short months, ALDO experienced an influx of online shoppers, mobile browsing, and overall digital consumption that looked more like a six-year growth pattern.
Sophie and team embraced this here-and-now opportunity, and immediately increased support and activations across their digital channels. The messaging strategy and imagery also shifted to fit the mood; visuals of partywear and heels were paused for new content around casual attire and sneakers. One example highlights this shift well. As the holiday season fast approached, the team looked to their customers to create a campaign that would really resonate. Like with everything, the holidays also looked a little different. And ALDO didn’t want to miss the mark.
Surveying their clients to tap into consumer insights led to a campaign plan with an uplifting appeal: finding little moments of joy, wherever we can. Sophie shared the vision of the campaign: “Find little pockets, little moments of joy. Be very relatable and as engaging as possible. That also means showcasing the moments they’ll actually be living.”
Activations included showing zoom parties, ‘above the keyboard’ dressing, and intimate gatherings rather than big family parties. ALDO worked to be relatable and engaging in tone. “That also means accepting the last year has been hard for people at many different levels and that we are there for them,” she said.
For store locations that remained open, ALDO implemented strict and thorough safety measures to protect their staff and customers. They launched an in-store appointment program in the US and Canada that allowed customers to pre-select products they were interested in and book a time online to come into the store. An associate would be there with their chosen items out and ready to assist in their personal and safe shopping experience.
For consumers who preferred to shop from home, ALDO ramped up their customer care program, including a robust help center accessible from their social platforms with live chat and more. The future of social commerce was now.
They also relaunched the ALDO Insider, a series of help videos that replace the conversation the customer would normally have with store associates. Product leaders talk through the different features of new items and give tips on how to style the piece and more. Sophie shared how customers really appreciate the flexibility, and love these nice touches from the brand that make their overall journey easier.
In times when all of us could use a little more fun and a lot more connection, ALDO continued to step up their game with a refreshing, truly video-focused audience-first campaign: the Step Into Love TikTok challenge. The challenge emphasized the importance of expressing yourself and having the courage to connect with others. The aim? Engagement and connection. With more than 5 billion views of the contest, audience engagement soared too, confirming just how powerful user-generated content is. Sophie breaks down how ALDO monitors and measures campaign activation:
We built a robust dashboard that helps shape and re-engineer our social strategies week after week, and month after month. We rely on Socialbakers to analyze our content performance from all sides.Sophie Boissinot-Tremblay, Assistant Manager of PR and Social at ALDO Group
Using analytics and benchmarks, ALDO also tracks their content in comparison to competitors. To keep this analysis actionable and forward-thinking, Sophie shared her preferred metric. “I really enjoy Engagement per 1K Fans. It level-sets everyone. You can really see the true engagement, and not be biased by how many followers a brand has,” she said.
While the future of retail is still up in the air, the impact of digital is in clearer focus. For brands who want to remain close to their customers, it’s crucial to embrace digital activations and social media as tenets of a customer-centric strategy.
Looking to ALDO and their experiences, digital growth is not just an operational shift. It also requires deep understanding of your consumers and what they want, so you can continue to deliver on their expectations, no matter the touchpoint: a holiday campaign, a TikTok challenge, a social commerce, or in-store appointments. It all counts. To learn more about how ALDO and other retailers are approaching these times of change, check out the webinar The Most Unusual Time of the Year: Holiday Marketing in 2020.