In seeking to further its reach and relevance with its Millennial audiences, online bridal jewelry retailer James Allen partnered with media and entertainment company Buzzfeed to develop a YouTube video focused on building an engaging experience.
The video, titled: “Couples Take The Engagement Ring Challenge,” generated more than three million views on YouTube and Facebook within two weeks of its launch on Aug. 23. On the launch day:
The video caused a web site traffic increase of 270% to JamesAllen.com, according to SimilarWeb;
Consumers spent an average of 10 minutes and two seconds on the site, compared with the 28-day average visit of five minutes and 24 seconds;
Consumers visited an average of 19.57 pages per session, compared with the 28-day average of 8.67 visits per session; and
Site bounce rate — shoppers leaving after one page visit — was 11.28%, representing a massive decrease from the 28-day average of 42.17%.
On top of the Buzzfeed partnership, James Allen has tilted to a mobile-first online strategy — including a mobile site redesign — that has resulted in a 466% increase in mobile sales and a doubling of the mobile conversion rate over 2015.
“Although we’re very pleased to get more than three million views, what was more interesting was that a very large majority of those viewers then came to our site and performed certain actions that were highly predictive of sales,” said Johanna Tzur, Chief Marketing Officer at James Allen. “That for us is key in evaluating metrics and deciding whether we keep supporting the content with paid advertising or marketing. One of the biggest opportunities is to remarket to the people who’ve come to our site who haven’t bought, but that are showing great purchase intent. The second is understanding more about their demographic so that we can use insights about those targets to try to mimic those audiences, and find incremental traffic that looks like that.”
Building On Buzzfeed’s Popularity
The combination with Buzzfeed, which hosted the video on its “BuzzfeedYellow” YouTube page, enabled the retailer to work with a channel that is wildly popular among Millennials, and also to extend itself further into interactive content creation.
“The goal here is to figure out where we can naturally insert ourselves into a process of where that target shopper is spending their time,” Tzur said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Gone are the days where we’re trying to redirect them to find us. We are trying to understand the big places where they consume all their news and information, and they’re all the usual suspects…Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest. A growing piece of that is making sure that we have great content to be able to engage them.”
The video promotes the retailer’s “design your own engagement ring” feature, which shows real couples using the feature to design their ideal ring, or the ideal ring for their partner, and then revealing the choice to their significant other. The inspiration for the video’s production came from the difficulty men often have in picking out an engagement ring for their fiancée-to-be. With the couples showcasing their ring designs by the end and the emotions stemming from the choice, James Allen aimed to convey an authentic experience for its audience.
“We found that concept to be right for producing on video…something that would be relatable for people, to actually watch real couples going through the experience rather than creating a fictional story,” Tzur noted. “You can often look at proposal stories, but what you don’t often see is that pre-magic moment of the anxiety and tension that precedes that special, romantic proposal. We decided to go a little earlier on in the process and highlight what’s going on in the purchase decision in a way that was realistic.”