One of the biggest challenges facing fashion houses today is meeting the rising demands of digitally native customers at each point in the customer journey. Customers expect you to know what they want and deliver personalized experiences tailored to them. Is it a uniquely crafted offline experience they’re looking for, or a quick, convenient online exchange? Fashion retail CX is a whole new walkway to be navigated.
The key is to be prepared for both (and everything else in between).
To succeed, fashion retailers need to move beyond a retroactive approach and start anticipating – and delivering on – customer preferences at every touchpoint. But how?
By collecting customer experience data, retailers can gain valuable insight into their customers’ preferences and patterns, and allow them to improve their overall customer experience at every stage of the shopping journey.
Data-driven insights for experience-driven retail
In the words of management consultant Peter Drucker, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” To deliver an exceptional shopping experience, it is crucial for organizations to measure their customer experience across the entire journey.
A 2019 survey of over 5,000 shoppers about their experiences with various fashion brands (from luxury brands, to fast-fashion, to sportswear) identified several key experience gaps in the fashion retail industry. For example:
- 75 percent of consumers have high expectations for digital shopping experiences, but only 63 percent believe brands are delivering.
- 73 percent of consumers expect brands to go above and beyond for delivery and pickup, while only 59 percent believe brands are performing.
- 57 percent of consumers expect reward and loyalty programs as part of the overall experience, and only 47 percent of brands are fulfilling these expectations.
This gives fashion retailers vital information about where they can seek to improve their customer experience. The brands that are able to close these experience gaps will see increased customer loyalty, and a direct impact on their bottom line.
In fashion retail CX, one size does not fit all
CX data is the guidepost for experience management. It gives brands a clear path for improving their customer experience by delivering on customer expectations. But just as with everything else, one size does not fit all. Interpreting the context of your CX data is critical for truly delivering the shopping experience your customers want.
For example, 85 percent of survey respondents rated outstanding customer support as critical to the customer experience, but good customer support can look very different to different people. For someone shopping online, customer support may look like honest reviews with customer photos, or accurate size charts. Whereas those shopping in-store at a high-end retailer likely expect more involved guidance from the sales associate, along the lines of a personal shopping experience.
Once a brand identifies an experience gap, they must look to the data – customer demographics, preferences, and expectations – to determine the best way to close it.