Cover Story: Taking the Royal Road to Success
One Kings Lane, like other flash-sale sites, uses a variety of offline and online marketing techniques to get its messages out. For starters, it's enjoyed much success using the media and public relations as a conduit. A quick check of its website shows that One Kings Lane was featured in more than 15 well-known consumer magazines, from Food & Wine to Good Housekeeping to InStyle. The brand also relies on social media, search marketing, online promotions, events and email marketing to reach consumers.
"We've had a great amount of success with social media," Pincus says. "Our members regularly share the deals they're getting on our site with their friends on Twitter and Facebook." After seeing the deals, many of these friends sign up, helping make social media an important acquisition tool for One Kings Lane.
Many One Kings Lane customers are acquired via the brand's "Invite Friends — Get $25" email program. Members invite their friends to become One Kings Lane members, and are rewarded with a $25 shopping credit after their friend's first purchase. One Kings Lane also ran an online treasure hunt during last year's holiday season that allowed members to receive selected items on the site free of charge. Here's how it worked: On Black Friday, golden gift icons — in the shape of One Kings Lane's gold gift boxes — started appearing on merchandise throughout the website. The first shopper to add an item with a golden gift icon to a shopping cart each day — and check out with it — received the item free of charge. The golden gifts popped up all day, every day until Nov. 29.
"The golden gift program integrated a fun and interactive gaming element into the holiday shopping experience, while presenting another opportunity for One Kings Lane customers to access spectacular savings online," Pincus notes.
What's in store for One Kings Lane in 2011 and beyond? "We've had a lot of success in 2010 and we'll continue to build on that," Pincus says. One project that will come to fruition is the launch of a One Kings Lane iPad app.
What's more, One Kings Lane recently acquired top publishing design firm Helicopter, which will bring the online retailer industry-leading design and content capabilities to provide shoppers magazine-like context for items as they browse. In assuming leadership for One Kings Lane's in-house design and content teams, Helicopter will be responsible for broadening the site's scope and depth by developing content that inspires shoppers with new ideas about home decorating, including interviews with leaders in the design industry and features on everything from gift-giving to entertaining.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.