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CSA Exclusive: Kohl’s turns associates into influencers

Kohl's associate ambassador Samantha Ward.

Kohl’s Corp. is featuring a special group of social influencers on its livestream channel.

The department store retailer runs an associate ambassador program as part of its livestream shopping and overall broader social media strategy. Since initially launching its associate ambassador initiative with corporate employees in fall 2021, Kohl’s says the program has driven thousands of engagements, connected with new customers, and amplified its presence on social media.

After experiencing success with corporate employees, Kohl’s is also rolling the program out to select store associates in 2023. In addition, the retailer is featuring associate ambassadors on its proprietary livestream platform which it introduced in June 2022, following a series of livestream events it ran on third-party social media outlets.

Our associates have a unique, inside understanding of Kohl’s product and value,” a Kohl’s spokesperson told Chain Store Age in emailed commentary. “We wanted to tap into our talented teams for their perspective on trending products, upcoming promotions, and more through an authentic lens.”

Associate ambassador livestreams include a Father’s Day gifting event scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. According to Kohl’s, live events hosted by its associates are seeing high engagement, and social content from associate ambassadors continues to perform well. 

“The program allows associates to connect organically with their audiences in their own personal voice, and in turn, creates unique content that amplifies the Kohl’s conversation on social media,” the spokesperson said. We’ve seen positive response from both associates and consumers since the program’s launch in fall of 2021. Associate content has driven thousands of engagements.”

Looking ahead, Kohl’s sees continued growth in its associate ambassador program.

We invite associates to be a part of the program and give them the opportunity to choose Kohl’s products they love that showcase seasonal trends, promotions and the amazing brands that we carry,” the spokesperson said.

Kohl’s enhances retail media network

In July 2022, Kohl’s expanded the capabilities of Kohl’s Media Network (KMN), its in-house retail media agency, to provide brands, vendors and partners an extended portfolio of omnichannel media services.

Advertisers can collaborate with Kohl’s Media Network in efforts to create awareness, influence and engagement, and to ultimately drive omnichannel conversions. They can leverage KMN to advertise on Kohl’s digital platforms, as well as through off-site digital advertising.

On-site channels include sponsored product ads, brand pages, email ads, and Kohl’s app push notifications. Off-site channels include paid social and influencer ads, off-site display ads, video, and streaming audio.

In an effort to drive further results, KMN has continued to expand with new enhancements including cross-targeting, omnichannel data integration, and closed-loop reporting.

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