It’s 2018. What’s the most revolutionary development in fashion over the past few years? Is it the check and plaid mania? Or maybe the shirtdress or the oversized, lightweight dress? Maybe it’s the apron and baby doll dresses that have entered the summer wardrobe (from the Halloween wardrobe)? The real answer to that question is data or much rather, the explosion of data that fashion houses are exposed to and the millions of ways that data can be interpreted and acted upon over the last few years. Shoppers these days are connected all the time, mobile ubiquity provides them the freedom to browse, research and shop where they want. You no longer need a customer to fill out a survey post their purchase, at a store, to understand who they are or what they like. You are now able to effectively build a profile of a customer using third party data sources like Instagram likes, for example, and get a pretty good understanding of their lifestyle before marketing to them.
If you looked at the fashion landscape and who’s really making the moolah, names like Amazon crops up. This is not right? They are not blue blood fashion retailer? Yet they are able to sell more fashion products than almost 40% of fashion retailers put together? They don’t have Giorgio Armani or a Coco Chanel suggesting what is the right outfit for every single customer? They don’t have a celebrity makeover team that is suggesting what color top a mother needs to wear to a soccer game? What they are good at is collecting data, deriving insights out of that data and acting on that data by putting the right product in front of the customer, at the right time, on the right channel.
You would assume that in this day and age, with all the power that data brings, increasing traffic to the store and getting customers to buy online should be fairly simple. Not really. The top challenges that fashion retailers are facing today when it comes increasing traffic are similar across the board and can be categorized into four main buckets:
To overcome these challenges the basic investment that’s needed for a fashion business is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that gathers information from various sources like POS Systems, Online activity, Loyalty programs, CRM systems, third party data sources, etc. Once you have that in place, here are 5 ways you can exploit the insights and predictions to increase traffic to your store (online and off).
5. Churn management – The last hat tip is to effectively manage the customers that are about to or have churned. The lazy approach, taken by most fashion businesses, unfortunately, is to include them in a newsletter group that regularly gets updates on a sale or some branding comm. At this stage, the business has effectively given up on these customers in my opinion. The first step to effective churn management is to identify customers that are likely to churn based on visit history, purchase/ lack of, campaign response and overall engagement. You can then build rules and logic to entice them with offers and promotions that are most relevant to their micro-segment, and in today’s world, these can be done automatically by the machine!
Santosh Kumar is a senior marketing professional with extensive experience in helping business’ get the very best in BI and Analytics Solutions. If your business is looking to adopt and leverage analytics in any form, he is the person you need to be talking to.
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