Bewildered by emerging customer experience tech? - Rakuten Fits Me

Bewildered by emerging customer experience tech?

Customer experience, Innovation By Matt Harris, April 20, 2016

Bewildered_thumbNowadays, you can’t go an hour without receiving a handful of emails about the next big digital channel or development in the market, and how you should be using it to enhance the experience a customer receives when interacting with your brand.

Apparel retailers are falling over backwards to offer their consumers the most personalised and individualised experience, and often find themselves running in circles trying out the latest technology on offer, which has been developed to solve these issues.

Since 2014, we’ve seen the rise of mobile, social and internet marketing, much to the detriment of the high-street store, but as the two channels become re-aligned, it’s very easy to get lost in the multiple platforms available to target your customers, as well as making sense of the high volumes of data now available. Most retailers have only recently started introducing an app and with VR, AR, iBeacons and more on the rise, brands are in danger of becoming too overcomplicated and losing sight of their goal whilst competing to have the ‘next must have tech’.

For most, it’s quite simply a question of where to start. To give you a simple answer, we would recommend you should start by using ‘fit’ data which allows you to understand your customers better and enhance their experience through all the digital channels you currently use.

Obviously we’re slightly biased, but we have solid research to back up our thinking. Unique customer and behavioural data are vital elements of personalisation, and comprise a healthy proportion of retailers’ data mountains. This is highlighted by the fact that in research we conducted last year, 60% of shoppers indicated that they want retailers to present fashion that is relevant to them, and 69% also stated they find it annoying to have to search through lots of clothes to find the right thing.  This same research also showed that shoppers are generally happy to share their measurements and fit preferences in order to facilitate a more curated experience. The demand and data is there to help inform digital decisions.

For the apparel retailer, fit preference data is gold, relatively easy to obtain (with full customer participation and permission), well understood and key to developing successful personalisation strategies. In fact, in conjunction with shopper and garment measurements, and other data such as purchase history and location, fit data creates an opportunity for retailers not only to curate every customer experience at all touchpoints, but to fundamentally change the way shoppers search for, discover and buy clothes.

So before you start investing in the latest digital offering, start by looking internally at your data collection system and what type of information you are collating. By ensuring you gathering the correct information around fit and style preferences you can ensure the channels you already have in place are offering up relevant and timely products to your customer base and giving them the personalised experience they so obviously desire.

Author: Matt Harris

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