When an in-store shopping experience is done right, it can be quite the thing to experience; beautifully constructed displays, wonderfully curated garments and attentive sales assistants at your beck and call. So it’s no surprise that one of the goals in online retail – especially in the fashion industry – is to recreate these same immersive experiences on a virtual scale.
Forrester research shows that over 70 percent of retailers are trying to personalize the online shopping experience. In fact, 75% of consumers respond to personalized offers, recommendations or experiences. And with valuable customer data and AI technologies ready to put this data to work, fashion retailers have plenty of opportunities to cater to each shopper’s every need or desire. Think of these brands as personal online shopping assistants: they know what works, what doesn’t and keep us (the shopper) from falling victim to a fashion crisis…
With Fashion Week now underway in Stockholm, let’s explore 4 ways fashion brands can increase customer engagement onsite:
1. Value the top 20% of your customers
The top 20 percent of your customers are typically the ones that generate 80% of your profits. As they interact with your store, use the data that you’ve gathered on those interactions to streamline the types of products shown to them. Much like that precious designer garment you’ve tended to all of these years, these customers are of extreme value – so use each point in the user journey to show them that you value them (or risk losing them to a brand that does this better).
- Display personalized product recommendations based on shared preferences, past purchases, browsing history and product availability.
- Send personalized triggered emails with offers and relevant product content. This can be anything from products the customer has left behind in their cart, to products based on personal affinity and browsing history.
Thread uses their homepage to get to know their customers early on in their journey. The brand asks a series of questions to streamline the products the customer is shown as they browse through the site.
2. Don’t lose track of new shoppers, either.
An Accenture study recently revealed that 40% of customers have left a store because they were overwhelmed by choice. To prevent from scaring away your new potential customers, focus on creating an inviting online store design: tailor your site in real time, based on the behavioral data gathered from these customers as they interact with your site.
- Remove unwanted product clutter: smart tech can fast determine which segment suits you best and do away with inconsequential items from your view.
- Display top product choices based on geo location (and don’t forget to throw in an enticing headline, like ‘Trending now’, to capture the customer’s attention. Fashion FOMO is key!)
- Filter product recommendations by gender; a small trick, but it goes a long way in steering shoppers towards the most relevant products, faster.
ASOS filters their offerings on their homepage to ensure their shoppers are only shown the products they care to browse.
3. Don’t shy away from using fashion influencers.
Social media is deeply ingrained in every modern day shopper’s agenda, so don’t pass up on the opportunity to make a mark in this space. Having evolved from being simple communication platforms, networks like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are powered by advertising-driven business models and used by leading fashion brands worldwide.
Influencer marketing has also become a considerable force to be reckoned with. Nearly 80% of fashion brands state that they’ve embraced influencer marketing. However, while big-star names are probably what most people associate with this kind of advertising, a report by Launchmetrics revealed that 46% of brands actually prefer to use micro-influencers. With an audience of between 10k-100k followers, one of the reasons behind this group’s popularity is the ability to reach a more targeted audience.
While an influencer marketing strategy involves some careful planning (most importantly, assessing whether the influencer in question is prepared to represent your brand), if done right though, fashion brands have much to gain by hopping on the influencer bandwagon.
- Display content from influencers on your store’s website to inspire shoppers.
- Incorporate a “shop the look” style offering onsite – display the products worn by influencers to encourage your customers to browse further.
4. Use user-generated content as social proof and let your products speak for themselves.
The granular level in which you can define your target audience allows for personalization on a whole new level. Combine this with customer data from your store and quality content, and you are set to create an army of brand evangelists.
User-generated content can help not only with establishing social proof for brands, but also to underline a more authentic brand image. After all, referrals are more likely to inform customers’ choices positively than you tooting your own horn. This strategy has gained significant momentum over the past year and several brands have seen business success by integrating user-generated content on their websites.
- Launch a marketing campaign around UGC to start building brand loyalty. Calvin Klein built a successful campaign around #MyCalvins that’s taken the internet by storm. The campaign now features the likes of celebrities and your fashionable next door neighbor alike.
- Utilize your customer base to gather content that will resonate with your audience and show your products in use in real-life.
PuraVida Bracelets cleverly utilizes Instagram photos from their customers to promote their products.
How fashion brands can take online personalization a step further
Leveraging techniques like influencers, UGC and onsite product recommendations can turn fashion brands into the ultimate cyber stylists. But the magic behind delivering entirely tailored shopping experiences is to analyze how these customers interact with your brand across multiple channels – including social and email – as well as tailoring content onsite beyond the onsite journey.
How to tailor the entire customer experience, you ask? We’re due to announce that in just a few short days…
On September 5th, we’re revealing the launch of new AI-powered products in a special live webinar! These products use the power of real-time behavioral data to automatically deliver entirely unique brand experiences to every site visitor. Reserve your spot today!