While many retailers were closing their doors and laying off employees during the pandemic, Ralph Lauren was busy processing orders from more than its four million new customers.
Yep, you read that right - against all odds, the company gained four million new customers during the pandemic!
Although it’s hard to believe that a non-essential business could thrive in the middle of a crisis, Ralph Lauren proved the world otherwise.
According to a report by Ralph Lauren Corporation, the company experienced massive double-digit growth in online sales over the last fiscal year.
So, how did Ralph Lauren achieve such massive success? What did they do differently?
Together with us, your go-to Florida SEO marketing company, let’s examine how the giant fashion company was able to stay on top of the competition in the midst of an outbreak. And maybe you can learn a thing or two on how you can future-proof your business too just like Ralph Lauren.
It all started on November 1, 2019, a month before the pandemic started, when Ralph Lauren announced its partnership with EVRYTHNG, an IoT software company for digital identity and data management at scale. From that moment on, everything started to snowball for the company.
No one could have predicted what the impact COVID-19 would have on the global apparel market, but Ralph Lauren was well-prepared to meet the challenge.
The first step Ralph Lauren took that helped future-proof its business was going digital.
The company took the initiative to move its business online, even before the outbreak and connected its full product portfolio to the web.
This was made possible through its partnership with EVRYTHNG, an IoT software company that specializes in digital identity and data management.
What EVERTHNG did was assigning a unique Digital Product ID on each of RLC’s product items.
How it Works
Every time a Ralph Lauren apparel is made, a Digital Product ID that is specific to each item is added in the form of a stitched-in label with a QR code. This code connects the garment to a product cloud system.
Through the Digital Product ID, Ralph Lauren can access real-time intelligent data insights throughout each product’s journey from the manufacture - to the point of retail, into the hands of the end customer, and beyond.
By digitizing each item, RLC can monitor its manufacturing operations in real-time without having to be physically present in those third-party production locations.
This enables better control of supply chain integrity, inventory, and drives efficiency around orders and operations.
The QR codes allow Ralph Lauren to engage directly with customers and provide hyper-personalized experiences.
Customers can simply scan the code located on the label and they can self-authenticate any RLC product. This helps combat counterfeits, trademark infringement, and grey market items, which can confuse consumers.
The QR code also provides product information and allows customers to engage in digital services and experiences, such as styling tips and recommendations.
Having the ability to gather real-time product data as it travels through the supply chain and into the hands of customers, RLC can use the information to come up with ways to make sure their products and materials are kept in use for as long as possible.
Aside from this, the code allows textile recyclers to know what materials each piece of clothing is made of, making it easier for them to go through the process of recycling.
Modern consumers expect clothing brands to be transparent about where they source their materials and to be sustainable. So, this digital shift by RLC is a ground-breaking move in an era that aims to bring circularity in fashion.
With the help of the ID, RLC can dynamically shape each customer’s experience with every piece of clothing they purchase.
The code notifies the cloud where each item has been distributed for retail, and syncs sales channels, CRM, and other contextual information to help deliver the most relevant styling tips and recommendations to every customer no matter where they may be across the world.
The next step Ralph Lauren took to future-proof its business was to shift from being product-centric to being customer-centric by adopting the connected retail business model.
Connected retail aims to provide consumers a frictionless shopping experience, from physical stores to digital channels. It’s all about providing consumers varied payment options and empowering employees to collaborate with every customer more effectively for a more enhanced customer experience at every touchpoint.
To make this possible, RLC collaborated with Facebook’s client partnership and customer growth teams to transform its customer journey through mobile.
This step allowed the brand to do the following:
By improving RLC’s mobile experiences, such as:
The company was able to successfully connect in-store and online shopping, which provided a more personalized and individualized experience for customers and drove a 34% increase in their mobile orders.
Ralph Lauren has been in the industry for more than 50 years, and one of the things that has kept the company very much alive and thriving up to this day is its willingness to learn and evolve.
The moment the company was able to recognize that the future is going to be digital, it did not hesitate to unlearn, learn, and seek help to make sure that the new vision is achieved.
Ralph Lauren has always been known for its cinematic lifestyle storytelling across every aspect of marketing, from print advertising and traditional media, to in-store advertising. In this digital age, the company made sure to quickly adapt while still maintaining a sense of continuity by mirroring how the company tells its story on the mobile storefront.
With the help of EVRYTHNG and Facebook, Ralph Lauren successfully implemented its new vision into reality.
This goes to show that success happens in developing the right relationships, key partnerships, and knowing when to seek help.
Do you feel like you need help promoting your business post-pandemic? Don’t hesitate to seek help. A Florida SEO marketing agency like Digital Resource might be the key partnership you need to succeed!
They say that the future belongs to those how are prepared. We believe that this is true - Ralph Lauren is the proof we needed.
We also believe that just like Ralph Lauren, you can defy all odds by having the right mindset, being willing to adapt, and making the right collaborations.
Prepare yourself and your business for what’s to come by strengthening your online presence and developing a solid SEO strategy. At Digital Resource, our SEO experts can help you future-proof your business and generate the leads you need to make more sales and grow your business. Contact us today!