Retail's Game Changers on Future Technology Investments
The excerpt below is from Total Retail's fourth annual Game Changers issue, sponsored by Emarsys. The goal of this issue is to highlight the entrepreneurs and startup businesses that are disrupting the traditional retail industry, whether it be it through digital innovation, unique product, enhancements to the supply chain, or a multitude of other ways. Below are the answers from some of our game changers to the following question: What types of retail technology are you watching closely and/or thinking of implementing?
Jeanne Foley, Co-Founder, The Groomsman Suit
"With online retail replacing a lot of brick-and-mortar, figuring out ways to recommend the right fit to our customers is critical. Many online retailers struggle with communicating fit, and as a result, they encounter incredibly high exchange/return rates. This is something we’re always keeping our eye on as the industry starts to come out with new sizing technology. We’ve developed our own custom “Fit Finder” based on customer data and sales history that has proven very helpful with minimizing exchanges and providing a great customer experience. We continue to use the data we gather to fine-tune and improve the Fit Finder. In addition, we’re always keeping our eyes out for new technology that we could benefit from implementing.
"In addition to improving size order accuracy, we’re always looking to enhance our customers’ experiences. We’ve become a little obsessed with ways we can make our website more intuitive and easy to navigate. There’s so much we would like to do with our data to make our website smarter. In addition to that, we’re trying to find ways we can communicate with our customers in advance of them even thinking to reach out. We want to stay ahead of their needs before they even know they have them."
Jacq Tatelman, Co-Founder, STATE Bags
"One of the things that specifically works for us is the “try me on” feature that we have. We want to constantly iterate on that. The customer can go on different pages and type in their specs (e.g., height, size), and it gives them a digital representation of themselves. In addition, video on our product pages is something we’re excited about. We want to get the customer as close to the product as possible via the e-commerce site."
Amy Errett, Founder and CEO, Madison Reed
"Artificial intelligence (AI) is something we’re working on. All of our technology is proprietary. For our online business, we built our own subscription commerce platform, and in our Color Bar business, we built our own clienteling software that handles everything from appointment booking to labor scheduling to inventory management to CRM functions.
"So if a customer has been on our website first, and then she walks into a Color Bar, we know everything about her hair. Conversely, if her first experience is at a Color Bar, we hand her an iPad and ask her to take the online quiz. Later on, when she’s back at home and goes to our website, all her information is there and populated, including what color and products we used on her hair. Most brick-and-mortar retailers don’t have a connection between their dot-com business and their four walls. In addition, they don’t have detailed information about their four-wall customers. It’s rare for those two sides of the house to talk to each other like that. Therefore, it’s vital to our customer experience."
Want to check out the full Game Changers report? Download the full supplement here!