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Sep 18, 2019
Does your Fashion E-commerce Business Feature a Personal Approach?
Just about any industry in the modern era has been shaken up in recent years as a result of advances in technology and innovation. Industry "disrupters" have upset the status quo enormously, and the fashion industry has been no exception.

One of the biggest disrupters in the fashion industry has been e-commerce. Many traditional brands have had to shutter their bricks and mortar stores because they have lost customers to online shopping. And even more brands have gone out of business altogether because they were unable to compete in the new world.
Having a website and selling fashion items, however, isn't enough to be successful in this space anymore. Brands need to embrace innovation in order to remain competitive and viable… or risk getting left behind entirely by the competition.

One of the biggest drivers in this space is personalization – where fashion-conscious consumers feel their online shopping experience has been tailored towards them.

Personalization is much more than just offering customized products – although this is definitely a strategy that many fashion e-commerce brands are offering

It is about retailers using the customer's shopping experience to get closer to them. 
Retailers can use a range of technological solutions to use purchase and browsing history to get to know the customer's preferences and make targeted recommendations to them. 

Not only does personalization result in increased conversion rates and customers trading up for a more expensive item, it gives them a good feeling about your brand and they will likely return for more, or tell their friends and families about their shopping experience with you. 
Recent research by Deloitte revealed that consumers are willing to pay for more personalized products and services and predict that in the future businesses who do not embrace elements of personalization will risk losing both revenue and customer loyalty. 

Deloitte also found that offering mass personalization to customers gives an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate to them that there is value in their personal data being used, while at the same time businesses gain a deeper insight into customer behavior and can then simplify their product and service ranges meaning lower marketing and production costs but with increased demand. 

If you are ready to invest in the personalization so your brand doesn't get left behind, Deloitte suggests you need to also ensure you have the right analytics technologies in place. This lets you get to know both what your customers want, and what they don't want, so that you can respond to their wants appropriately. 

These are some of the ways that other brands around the world are adopting personalization to boost their sales and improve the experience for their customers: 

Incorporating Video Chat

Women's clothing brand Baukjen has improved its personalization by offering a free eStylist service – a personal shopper service that is delivered via a live video chat.

This same concept can also be implemented with text-based live chat, but the video service gives it something extra. The idea behind it is that the eStylist gives the customer a boutique experience while they are shopping online. 

Customers outline what they need help with before their session with the eStylist and that gives them time to select clothing that they then show the customer via a live video chat. The customer can tell the eStylist exactly what they want and ask questions, and also receive recommendations from the stylists. 
 
ACCORDING TO BAUKJEN, 94 PER CENT OF CUSTOMERS WHO USE THE ESTYLIST WILL MAKE A PURCHASE, WITH THEIR AVERAGE ORDER BEING 28 PER CENT HIGHER IN VALUE THAN THE CUSTOMERS WHO DO NOT USE THE ESTYLIST SERVICE. 

Tapping in to Big Data

More than 200 global retailers use True Fit, a data driven personalization platform for sellers of fashion and footwear. 

Consumers register with the service to help solve one of the biggest problems people have with shopping for apparel and footwear online – being sure that the clothes that are purchased will fit when they arrived despite not being able to try them on before the purchase.
True Fit matches data of clothes already purchased to those that the customer is considering buying – this increases confidence that the clothing will be a successful purchase and reduces returns. The high cost of returns is a barrier for many people purchasing clothing online. 

It has now expanded to capturing more data about its customers in order to make more personalized recommendations and drive more sales. 

Create an Air of Exclusivity

Rewarding loyalty is a great way for brands to increase sales and build their reputation. There are several low-cost ways to do this just by being aware of your own data and analytics and knowing who your best customers are.

This can include reserving special offers for your most engaged guests. If someone has purchased from you before and is back again, you can provide them with an offer to prevent them from abandoning their shopping cart and increasing the likelihood of a successful sale. 

You can also treat your customers like VIPs and offer them exclusive invitations to private sales online – such as by giving them a coupon to enter at the checkout – so they get the feeling of being part of an exclusive club. 

Offering an air of exclusivity is a way to curate an experience that immediately has an effect on purchasing as well as brand loyalty. 

Don't just sell single Items – sell the Whole Outfit

When you sell individual items – such as pants or a skirt – you can use SuitApp to increase sales by providing suggestions of other items that would match to create an entire outfit. 

People want to know how something would look with other items, and being shown at the point of purchase saves them from having to do the hard work themselves and find things they can wear with their purchase. 

SuitApp combines AI, data science and algorithms to provide customers with a great new experience while shopping online

The number of outfit suggestions that can be made are limitless, and you are more likely to sell the matching items – around 85 per cent of customers have indicated they would purchase at least 1-2 items in a single transaction if they are shown matching items.