Michael Hill is a leading global jewellery brand and is named after its founder, Sir Michael Hill, a New Zealand entrepreneur. He and his wife Christine opened their first store in 1979 in Whangarei, New Zealand. Today, the company operates nearly 300 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, Michael Hill remains one of the few jewellery retailers with an in-house team of master craftspeople.
Customers look to the brand for exclusive rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, watches and more, and increasingly they’re spending more time online first, researching and shopping before they come into the store.
A lean digital team supports traditional and online retail sales in each of Michael Hill’s four geographic areas. The brand maintains five different websites and is active through social channels as well. Often times, rich content such as video needs to be customised for each of these websites and regions, with the goal to engage prospects and showcase in advance the products they’ll experience directly in a store. Video brings the jewellery to life, telling its story and displaying the beauty and craftsmanship along with size and shape in all dimensions. Moreover, Michael Hill can present the jewellery in a fashion context, highlighting the artistry and versatility in many different settings.
In 2013, Michael Hill partnered with Brightcove and began to use the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform to host, manage and deliver its expanding library of product and video content. Standard features make every aspect of video management easy, and the platform delivers high quality video to any device or destination. For Michael Hill, Brightcove also worked closely and integrated with ecommerce partners Demandware® and Amblique to create a premium shoppable video initiative.
Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform.
“Thanks to Brightcove Video Cloud and its integration with our ecommerce platforms, we’re able to provide high quality video experiences to consumers across a range of devices and screens.” – James Johnson, Group Digital Manager at Michael Hill.
Between October 2013 and February 2014:
– 85 per cent increase in site visits
– 97 per cent increase in mobile traffic
– 500 per cent increase in transactions
– 290 per cent increase in sales
Generating Awareness, Increasing Engagement and Driving Sales
“The product range we offer includes everything from 30 dollar charms to 1 million dollar earrings,” states Johnson. “It’s a high engagement, high touch business segment with a big consideration cycle. Video plays an important role in the customer journey.”
Michael Hill uses video in three ways, the first of which is showcasing the product, allowing customers to see and research a potential purchase before coming to a store. “When people are spending thousands of dollars on an engagement ring, they generally want to see it and touch it in store, but they also do a big piece of their research online,” notes Johnson. “We want to cater to that experience and make our content stickier, more enjoyable and all encompassing.”
Communicating brand messages is also critical, particularly around the company’s heritage and quality through produced vignettes about the Michael Hill brand promise. The company leverages video content to reach its audience with specific campaigns or promotions.
But perhaps the most innovative and recent use of video for Michael Hill is through ‘shoppable’ video, requiring tight integration of multiple platforms in addition to Brightcove’s. Video content delivered by Video Cloud works seamlessly with Michael Hill’s ecommerce systems to drive engagement and traffic to online stores. Customers can directly interact with shoppable video, clicking straightway to the point of purchase.
“The ability to reach new audiences and engage in new ways with customers is imperative to the success of any retailer,” notes Johnson. “With shoppable video, we now have the ability to tie video to key online retail metrics and understand the impact of video on conversion rates and other key indicators.”
In a shoppable video experience, customers can click directly on a video when a product is featured, taking them to that item in an online store. There, in-depth product details provide more information along with retail availability, and many products can be purchased directly, in particular jewellery from Michael Hill’s newest brand extension, Emma & Roe. Brightcove Video Cloud makes it fast and easy to continue adding new products to Michael Hill’s ecommerce platforms.
Johnson explains, “By using Brightcove Video Cloud, what we’re doing is reusable. We upload a video, associate a product SKU with a time stamp and it’s shoppable. Our approach is integrate once and integrate well.”
Brightcove Video Cloud integrates with Demandware on Michael Hill’s four ecommerce sites. Three months after the initiative began, Michael Hill had experienced an 85 per cent increase in site visits and a 220 per cent increase in conversion rates. Amblique, a Demandware LINK olution Partner, was a development partner and helped create a highly interactive experience that includes a ‘build your own charm bracelet’ feature in addition to the shoppable videos.
“Thanks to Brightcove Video Cloud and its integration with our ecommerce platforms, we’re able to provide high quality video experiences to consumers across a range of devices and screens,” concluded Johnson.