Fashion Pros Restyle Digital Ecommerce
The fashion industry not only dictates trends in retail and pop culture, it has also emerged as a hotbed for tech innovation. We’re seeing more startups, apps, and gadgets that are dedicated to merging the worlds of “geek” and “chic” — creating exciting new possibilities for all to enjoy. I’d agree with Huffington Post in that, “the line between technology and fashion is starting to blur.”
Big things are happening in fashion tech, from bespoke DIY design, to hyper-functional wear, to white-glove shopping assistance from your living room. LivePerson’s Founder and CEO, Robert LoCascio, recently spoke at the Fashion Tech Forum (FTF) in New York City, on the topic of transforming digital shopping to be even more exciting than a 5th Avenue experience. How can we leverage innovative technologies to make shopping more personalized and more human?
Digital engagement actually brings a much needed human touch back into e-commerce to challenge the automated “vending machine” model that the Amazons of the world have established. Forward-thinking retailers and fashion houses are looking for ways to up-level their digital brand presence by implementing rich, customer engagement capabilities and to give their customers and fans an experience worth Instagramming.
Fashion industry remodels e-commerce
For some, shopping is a fun pastime while for others it borders on obsession. Regardless of your level of dedication, the online experience should never feel tedious, lonely and transactional, yet it often does. Why can’t we expect a fun, dynamic experience when we visit a website or mobile site?
We’re seeing a hunger for change from both brands and consumers alike. Everyday we’re seeing more brands challenging the e-commerce status quo with features like 360 runway videos, virtual-reality, and on-demand stylists. What’s better than having a professional at your fingertips, available via live or video chat to address your latest fashion requests? You’d never go for dated fashion, so why should a consumer settle for out-moded websites.
Shopping is an emotional experience; it’s not just about price points, but how you “feel.” Tech can help fill the emotional gap in the online world. Through rich engagement tools and data, online agents can make personalized recommendations and reassure the shopper that they are making a good choice for the exact occasion. Other cool features like the virtual fitting room are also filling the in-store vs. online divide.
LivePerson powers digital engagement for leading e-tailers
A number of leading retailers have chosen LivePerson to deliver a more innovative and exciting online shopping experience through live digital engagement. The list includes Gilt, Nine West, Lancôme, Inkkas, Moosejaw, Ted Baker, among others.
These retailers understand the growing importance of digital channels to their brand strategy. Nine West looks to its website as the “digital flagship” where consumers can “research and engage with the brand;” Lancôme emphasizes the importance of adding “a human factor into the digital experience;” and Ted Baker insists that the personality of the brand shine through on digital.
It all comes down to one commonality: each wants to deliver on consumer demand for more intimate, one-to-one online experiences.
It’s clear that these retailers are able to create more meaningful experiences through a few turnkey digital features. Here’s what’s working:
- Real-time support from an expert. Customer engagement is a top priority for Moosejaw. So, when offered live chat, it was an easy yes. Since deploying live chat, Moosejaw has realized benefits beyond improved customer experience. Chat proved to be much more affordable than voice, which is key considering that 40 percent of customer support happens via live chat. Plus, 21 percent of online sales happen through chat.
- Proactive engagement through rules-based targeting. Nine West targets high-value visitors through a set of pre-determined rules. Those who meet precise criteria are identified and proactively engaged. The result: Nine West has increased the average order value by 10 percent through live chat (compared to those transactions done without chat).
- Targeted content. The user experience on the Inkkas website is based on the individual—tailored to behavior and preference. In one campaign, a shopper who visited a set number of product pages would receive a personalized offer. This type of targeted content promotion has already driven 23 percent of Inkkas’ online purchases. Plus, these specific orders have a 29 percent greater average order value.
- Mobility. Lancôme uses click-to-chat on mobile devices. As with many retailers, Lancôme continues to see more and more traffic from mobile. On-the-go shoppers can chat with an agent via mobile, without navigating away from the current screen. One Lancôme representative told LivePerson, “Smartphones allow the entire research process to be done in a compact time frame, and it is often done while people are approaching the store.”
Check out what your retail experience might look like with innovative customer engagement capabilities implemented on your digital assets:
How to increase AOV and build brand love with digital engagement
E-commerce generated $231 billion in 2012 and $262 billion in 2013, according to Forrester. That number is only going up. And, what’s more, these customers are demanding personalized services through digital channels.
Innovative retailers responding with live digital engagement are winning. We’re seeing big business impact with our own customers:
- Inkkas experienced a 100 percent increase in their average order value (vs. self-service).
- Ted Baker customers are four times more likely to purchase if engaged via chat (vs. self-service).
- And, chat has the highest conversion rate of any channel for Lancôme.
Consumer preference is clear: shoppers want to engage in real-time, in a more meaningful way. Retailers moving to digital engagement can likely expect reduced cart abandonment, reduced cost per acquisition, reduced returns, and an increase in online sales.
Digital engagement is a one-size-fits-all approach; it looks good on any customer. These experiences are the future of digital e-commerce.
Are you in fashion? How does your e-commerce team accelerate sales, and make lasting connections with online shoppers? Please feel free to share in the comments below.