Authored by David Morton, Sales & Solutions Director at Arvato CRM Solutions
The ‘stay-at-home economy’ – the consumption of services and goods without having to leave the comfort of your home – is putting pressure on fashion retailers to adapt.
One factor is abandonment. More than half of all web traffic now comes through mobile devices and these users have a much higher abandonment rate than shoppers using a desktop – up to 86 per cent, according to the Baymard Institute.
Here, we look at how retailers can tackle this through the customer journey
Capitalising on social commerce
As buyers increasingly shift to small screens at home for their everyday purchases, a significant push is needed to optimise and streamline the checkout process.
Social commerce must play a pivotal role in the new product experience. As well as streamlining the customer journey from product awareness to purchase on social media, it simplifies it to remove the drop-off points that can result in abandoned transactions.
Research by the Harris Poll of 1,000 US consumers, run on behalf of Sprout Social, found that 26 per cent are using social media to purchase products – a figure that’s expected to rise sharply. And while only Facebook and Instagram have social commerce features that allow you to purchase directly through the platform, the other platforms aren’t far behind. Both YouTube and TikTok are exploring ‘shop now’ buttons and Twitter is experimenting with a new card format that features a large ‘Shop’ button.
Delivering the right level of personalisation
Adopting social commerce will fit in with a wider hyper-personalisation strategy by providing shoppers with the option to complete orders how and when they want, which supports conversion and cuts abandonment rates.
Consumers want end-to-end customer journeys, with low customer effort, tailored specifically to the individual, but hyper-personalisation doesn’t require that we know every single detail about a customer. It can be built up gradually by prioritising the data that we know can make a positive impact on sales.
Honing product recommendations must be a priority. Recent data from Salesforce found that when shoppers follow personalised product recommendations their average order value increases by 14 per cent. And this can be gleaned from information on previous purchases – the style, colour and price range – what the shopper has had in their bag, what they’ve clicked on and the length of time they spent looking at that.
The key is then using this information to create an Amazon-style buying experience, with real time, personalised recommendations and cross-sells into different types of product depending on what you sell.
Implementing the technology
This predictive engagement needs to be driven by implementing intelligent automation and AI technology to gather the data on each individual and relay it back into the platform as the consumer is either in the basket or browsing products. Engaging with the customer at the right point in the journey, with a holistic view of shopper activity will ensure that customer service agents can deliver a seamless experience as well as reducing customer effort.
The next step will be augmented reality. The days when videos and photos of products will work for consumers shopping on digital channels are numbered. Instead, they will want to see what a product looks like on them, creating a more interactive experience and providing the user with more confidence and conviction to follow through with a purchase.
It’s important to critically consider when to implement new technology. It’s about using it for the right purposes at the right touchpoints to meet your success criteria and deliver a low effort, high quality customer experience. Online product purchasing through social channels is one touchpoint where it can make a significant difference as consumers increasingly turn to mobile devices to shop on their social platforms.
At Arvato, we have extensive experience of helping retailers to introduce new technology across their customer journeys to improve the customer experience and boost sales.
Find out more about how we work with our clients to help them deliver more value for their customers – CRMSE@arvato.co.uk.