rue21 Leverages the Yext Knowledge Engine to Engage Customers at a Local Level
With over 1,100 stores in 48 states, rue21 is the largest fast-fashion growth retailer in the United States. Headquartered just north of Pittsburgh, PA, the company has locations in shopping malls, outlets, and strip centers throughout the country. By working directly with the market, rue21 reacts instantly — producing new trends and must-have styles that don’t exist anywhere else.
“We are a fast fashion retailer catering to the teen space,” explains Joel Layton, VP of Digital Marketing. “Our focus is basically 14-24 year olds, so we make our goods affordable for that demographic.”
The company has begun to expand its attention to online channels. “Now we are ramping up on all these digital channels in new ways,” Layton states. “From paid search to social media, email, display, and so on.” But Layton is also mindful that most sales still come from in-person shoppers. “Let’s face it,” he remarks. “Even in today’s world, as digitized as we are, 80% of the dollars spent in retail are still spent at a physical location. That number is probably not going away in my lifetime. So physical presence is still going to be a huge play.”
In an effort to translate online engagement into offline foot traffic, Layton signed on with the Yext Knowledge Engine. “Due to our physical footprint,” he explains, “we were a natural fit for Yext.”
rue21 Expands Its Online Reach with the Yext Knowledge Engine
rue21 uses Yext Listings and Pages to manage the public facts about its brand. The Yext Knowledge Engine enables brands like rue21 to manage the digital knowledge about their people, places, and products across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire Knowledge Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
In its first year with Yext, rue21 increased its overall listings presence by 105%. 70,000+ addresses and 121,000+ phone numbers have been corrected, 7,000+ photos have been added, and 321,000+ business descriptions have been updated.
“Having the store Pages as an avenue of communication between the store and the customer, has been invaluable,” says Layton. “From an acquisition standpoint, it’s great to have a platform through which I can talk to people who aren’t yet aware of us. The Yext Knowledge Engine helps me to communicate store hours, sales, and event calendars with consumers. That has really been key.”
Layton sees the integration of physical stores with online channels as critical for the retail industry. “The retailers who will be knocking it out of the park will be the retailers who figure out how to leverage their physical presence in a digital world,” he predicts. “It’s the whole omni-channel play. That is exactly what we are embarking on, here at rue21. That’s what Yext enables us to do so well.”