Can Smart Leggings Push Better Customer Experiences?
As competition across the e-commerce landscape continues to heat up, retailers must quickly adapt to the fluid nature of customer expectations. Research from Monetate revealed that more than 83 percent of customers expect brands to deliver a personalized experience. Retailers that fail to do just that run the risk of alienating a significant portion of their customer base. The race is on to provide more connected and integrated shopping experiences, while also staying one step ahead of competitors across multiple channels.
It’s no secret that using customer data and insights can be a powerful competitive advantage, especially as personalization continues to outweigh price and product as a key brand differentiator.
Retailers are using these insights in new ways to meet the growing demand for convenient, seamless and personalized user experiences. Look no further than LikeAGlove to see how customer insights are being used to transform the denim retail experience. The company’s Smart Leggings capture a customer’s shape and measurements, then send the data to an accompanying mobile app, where they can shop for jeans that truly fit from a catalog of denim brands.
Not only can customer insights drive a more efficient shopping experience, but retailers are also harnessing the power of this information to simplify fulfilment, sizing and even payments.
The speed and convenience of obtaining products can make or break a brand’s image in the eyes of consumers, making fulfillment options a necessary part of a retailer’s competitive strategy. In fact, a study from Shutl found that 95 percent of consumers would consider choosing an alternate retailer if their first choice wasn’t able to provide a suitable delivery time. To ensure fulfillment is a differentiator rather than an inhibitor, retailers can integrate customer data within their omnichannel approach.
By capturing and leveraging shoppers’ personal information (e.g., shipping address, previous purchase behaviors), merchants can deliver omnichannel offerings that meet the fulfillment needs for each and every one of their customers. For instance, a retailer could offer a customer who lives less than five miles from a brick-and-mortar location the option for “click and collect,” helping to save the shopper both time and money.
One aspect that continues to keep customers coming back to physical store locations is the ability to try on items before purchasing. Accurate online sizing remains a barrier to shoppers feeling uncomfortable not being in-store. Item sizing can also vary drastically from store to store, making shopping for apparel online even more complicated and inconsistent.
However, sizing data can help to alleviate the concerns of consumers and improve the shopping experience itself. Online retailers can look to previous orders to provide suggestions on what size dress or shoes in a new style may fit the customer best. Similar to the concept of LikeAGlove, relying on customer insights to provide smarter recommendations on products might help shoppers pull the trigger online without having to go into a store.
Easing Payment Pains
Though customer expectations and demands for retailers may change, one thing remains the same — payments are still a major point of friction in the checkout process. According to FuturePay’s "The Big Ticket: What’s Stopping Shoppers?" study, 26 percent of shoppers said their biggest concern online was that the payment option they were looking for wasn’t available. The efficiency of payments must be improved to help customers get from the “Add to Cart” option to the “Thank You” page quickly, easily and securely.
Luckily for retailers, customer insights can help to speed up the payment process as well as address some of the biggest pain points. Leveraging a customer’s payment history and saving their preferred payment details enable merchants to automatically pull up convenient payment methods during checkout. With this type of offering in place, customers are no longer forced to search for their desired payment method or re-enter their information for every purchase. Streamlining the payment process during checkout can also help retailers build loyalty with customers by saving them valuable time.
Now more than ever, retailers need to use all of the tools at their disposal to satisfy customers and differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded space. When used the right way, customer data can provide powerful insights for more personalized and meaningful experiences.
Denise Purtzer is the vice president of business development for FuturePay, an e-commerce financing solution for the omnichannel shopper.