There is plenty of talk about digital innovation and disruption in the retail sector but TFG's Sportscene brand walks the talk. The brand's app includes a media channel attracting up to a million views a month and a livestream radio station offering a selection of SA music which is reaching over 180,000 listeners a month.
“Sportscene is seeing significant growth in brand loyalty from SA youth through its app,” says TFG group director Donald Gedye. “Weekend Turn Up
, a show on the Sportscene Studio media channel, can reach over a million views per episode while its livestream radio station has hundreds of thousands of listeners with an average listenership of 25 minutes.”
Gedye says digital transformation is a key business objective for TFG, which has invested substantially in this area and Sportscene is at the forefront of this transformation.
“The most important communication channel for our youth audience is mobile and their purchase decisions begin there,” says Gedye. “Our Sportscene customers are spending an average of three hours on their phones and two hours streaming music each day. So, Sportscene built a channel that is not simply a platform to shop but connects with SA youth in an emotive way through music and content.”
The app builds on the connection with the customer through music and artist collaboration. Building a relationship with this audience ensures an emotive connection and significant growth in brand loyalty.
Central to this success is the Sportscene Studio, a unique media channel and content hub. Customers collaborate to create shows and content. With Sportscene Studio now operating in Johannesburg and soon to launch in Cape Town, customers can engage in creative and community-based masterclass programmes.
Besides the radio station and media channel, customers can also use the app to access a sneaker release calendar, as well as browse and shop their favourite brands.
Sportscene is also building a meaningful following on social media with 3.85 million followers across its platforms. Its popularity among SA’s youth aged 16 to 21 was confirmed when it was named Coolest Clothing Store 2020 in the Sunday Times
Next Gen Awards.
“The brand attraction has evolved. It’s not just about product and price but rather about an emotive connection,” explains Gedye.
Gedye says Sportscene is consumer research data-obsessed and this helps to develop a deeper understanding of its customer and to react to their needs quickly. As Sportscene has evolved its approach, it has seen online contribution sales go from below 2% of total revenue to over 10% of total revenue and climbing.
The Click to Collect method of delivery is a firm favourite among Sportscene’s customers with a year to date growth of 11% and averaging 32% of total orders.
The success of the digital transformation drive has also impacted brick-and-mortar stores.
“Our research shows that even in our stores, customers are looking at their phones and so in every new store we’ve invested in digital. Rather than having traditional visual merchandising materials in our windows we now have 6x9 inch screens to draw customers in. We’ve also implemented RFID (radio frequency identification) and Yoobic in over 2,000 stores across our group.”
With RFID, every product tag emits a tiny radio pulse and allows stores to generate rapid stock data, minimising lost sales and reducing shrinkage. Staff use a scanner to do a stock take in minutes turning every TFG store into a warehouse.
TFG has also introduced Yoobic, a digital communication, training and task management system, to free up capacity and manage visual merchandising in stores.
“Sportscene’s success supports our vision to transform our business through digital tools that meet our customers’ needs. We are seeing digital drive up desire and traffic, online and in store,” concludes Gedye.About TFG
With 31 retail brands that trade in fashion, value, jewellery, accessories, sporting apparel, cellular, homeware and furniture, TFG is one of the leading retail groups in South Africa. Besides South Africa, TFG Africa also has a presence in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini through various retail brands. TFG first entered the UK market through the acquisition of the premium womenswear brand Phase Eight in 2015, followed by the acquisition of Whistles in 2016 and Hobbs in 2017. TFG’s presence in the Australian market was strengthened through its acquisition in July 2017 of Retail Apparel Group Pty Ltd (RAG), a leading Australian menswear apparel retailer. TFG’s vision is to be the leading fashion lifestyle retailer in Africa whilst growing its international footprint. TFG has over 4,300 outlets in 31 countries, and employs more than 34 500 people with over 16,1 million customers (RSA).
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