The entertainment retailer is introducing the platform, previously revealed in Marketing Week, in a bid to cement its position as a multichannel retailer and bring together a number of previously “fragmented” marketing initiatives under a strong branded identity.
As part of the launch it will introduce free wifi at its 270 high street shops so that when shoppers enter an HMV store, My HMV will send an automatic welcome message inviting them to join the programme.
Mark Hodgkinson, HMV e-commerce and marketing director, told Marketing Week that My HMV offers a 360 degree platform that integrates loyalty with online and offline retail, social media and content. It will also allow HMV to offer more personalised engagement with customers than it has previously been able to.
He says: “In its own right rolling out wifi isn’t interesting, but it’s about what we’ll do with it to bring My HMV to life. We want you to be able to access all the value and richness of HMV through it. We want to make the world of HMV much bigger for customers and provide digital interaction alongside stores. It’s a move away from the one size fits all relationship and it’s a more instantaneous relationship than traditional CRM.”
Pure HMV’s two million members will be automatically migrated to the new platform and customers will still be able to collect and redeem reward points under the new My HMV platform.
My HMV will become a hub for the brand’s programme of in-store events so that it can build up a profile of customers attending events and make every interaction with the brand “more rewarding and richer”.
It will also roll out cafes branded as My HMV in its larger stores to act as a social hub with free charging points so that customers can use their devices in store and access content. It introduced its first in-store cafe in Cambridge earlier this month.
The platform will be marketed heavily through social media and in-store signposting of particular areas where customers can use the online platform to access content such as music streaming, movie clips and reviews or product demonstrations to enrich the in-store experience.
Hodgkinson adds that HMV has adopted a “test and learn” approach in a bid to bring marketing and multichannel initiatives to market more quickly and ensure that its efforts start to have an impact on commercial performance.
He expects that this coming Christmas trading season could see a reversal of the sliding sales HMV has reported in recent years because of rolling out My HMV and a host of multichannel initiatives as well as a strong season of entertainment releases such as The Dark Knight Rises on DVD and Blu-Ray this December.
There is no hiding from the consecutive sets of dire results that HMV has posted in recent years but there is a renewed confidence now that its financial stability has been shored up by support and investment from suppliers and the strategic selling off Waterstone’s and other business divisions.
HMV is by no means reinventing the wheel with what it’s doing but it is finally in a position where its marketing efforts will start to impact the bottom line and have a commercial return.
By introducing My HMV as an overarching platform to bring together online and offline retail alongside social media, content and loyalty, HMV is putting a bit more weight behind its marketing and multichannel strategy.
It’s only by having elements such as loyalty, click and collect, social media and in store and online commerce connected and working together that there is any chance of it being effective. My HMV gives HMV the opportunity to really know and understand its customers and put this data at the heart of everything it does.
It’s not dissimilar to the Knowhow brand that was introduced two years ago by electricals retailer Dixons to bring all the elements of its service together under one customer service proposition. Since launch it has grown in importance and is now at the core of Dixons’ business strategy and hailed for improving business performance.