Many say that fashion is one of the safest and the most dynamic environments in the retail industry. People will always be in need of clothes and trendy designs to express personality, to stand out and even to self-actualize. However, just as fashion trends rapidly change overtime, so do people’s shopping habits and expectations.
Customers are now seeking for great experiences and ways to connect with brands at different points of their customer journey. They crave for simplicity! It has become challenging for fashion brands to differentiate from others and provide clients with seamless experiences. However, the marriage of digital and physical world seems to do the trick!
That’s when omni-channel commerce enters the fashion battle. Even though “omni-channel” is one of 2016’s buzzwords, it isn’t exactly new! Thanks to the power of social media and mobile devices it evolved rapidly in the past couple of years. Sadly, many marketers still get trapped in differentiating omni-channel with multi-channel strategy! So here is the simplest explanation: your brand may have super effective mobile marketing, brilliant social media campaign, top-notch website or beautify decorated store, but if they don’t work together to provide a continuous experience to customers – they are not omni-channel! They are just multiple channels that provide customers with the access to information about your brand. Remember: omni-channel is all about the consumer. Seamless approach and the greatest shopping convenience are the core of this strategy!
To not get you tired with endless explanations and boring theory, we will better show you how fashion retailers successfully applied omni-channel into their marketing strategies!
1. Nordstrom has a separate section on their website that lists the most pinned items in different categories. As if that is not enough, they took it a step higher by combining digital with offline, displaying their most pinned products in real stores.
2. Brazilian branch of C&A has successfully integrated Facebook into their brick and mortal stores. Every time somebody clicks the “Like” button on a particular merchandise on C&A’s Brazilian website, the number on the screen that is embedded into the hanger in the physical store would increase.
3. Alexander McQueen placed gesture-controlled mirrors in its flagship store in London. It allows customers to browse the collection and photograph themselves in outfits, which they can later share with their friends on social media or via email.
4. Zara’s tags on products have both website URLs and the QR codes that when scanned, opens the home page of the store in the country where the customer is located.
5. Burberry brings the digital experience of its website into physical stores by setting up full-length screens, which changes from displaying content, to streaming live fashion shows and sometimes turning into mirrors. Besides, some of the products in the Burberry stores are attached with a special chip. When a customer enters the dressing room, the chip displays product related videos as he/she comes closer to the mirror. To see this video, customers can also scan the chip with their smartphones.
To conclude, omni-channel is all about delivering the most convenient customer experience by combining multiple channels. To succeed in this ever-changing business environment with omni-channel, think about introducing virtual fitting rooms, help via instant messages, wifi and terminals in stores etc. Remember: simply selling your products online and in physical stores is not considered an omni-channel strategy!