Yesterday the female team members at Objective Digital joined the POPAI Professional Women’s Info-Drinks at the Hilton Hotel, where Stephanie Tam, State Sales Manager of Lorna Jane, shared the best shopper insights and strategies she picked up during her travel around the world as part of the Westfield’s 2013 Young Retail Study Tour.
Not surprisingly, early on in her presentation, Stephanie pointed out that retail experiences should be all about the customer.
“What makes your brand go round? – 360° retailing” (Stephanie Tam)
This should not come as news to anyone in the industry, however, Stephanie emphasised the fact that she found it difficult to find any retailer in Australia performing as customer experience oriented as she found in the rest of the world.
These were a few of the stand out companies Stephanie found during her trip:
Stephanie spoke about her experience in the Burberry flagshipstore in London. When trying on a pair of jeans in the change room, the screen in front of her showed her other items that would go with the jeans. When she selected them the sales person would be waiting outside the change room with those items ready to try on.
Warby Parker – predominately an online company, opened a physical store to allow people to try on different styles of glasses, take photos, post photos and share it on social media and then place their order. In that store there is no inventory, rather orders are placed online and dispatched from a warehouse. Not only did the company successfully increase traffic to their website, this strategic move led to a huge increase in sales.
Taking window shopping to the next level by delivering a “different” experience to the customer, Kate Spade Pop Up window shops display the latest fashion on a touch screen display in front of a nicely decorated window. The customer can choose a product on the screen, which can then be delivered to any address in NYC within one hour. Transaction takes place through an app on the customer’s smart phone.
Other stores follow this same strategy:
“Story is a retail space that has the point of view of a magazine,
changes like a gallery and sells things like a store”
Located in New York, This is Story provides an experience to their customers that changes every six weeks. This strategy is exciting and lures their customers back into their stores on a regular basis.
In today’s fast paced and changing world, it is important for every company to be up to date and provide experiences that are relevant to customers on a daily basis. A successful strategy today might be obsolete by tomorrow. Each and every company has to listen to their customers on a regular basis, test their services and products for improvements and change their offerings accordingly.
Last but not least, Stephanie pointed out the importance of ethical values of a company. Customers are after a great (purchasing) experience, however, they also strive for more sustainable values that leaves them with a satisfied feeling after their purchase. “Giving back” as part of their purchase experience is valued highly, and in today’s world a large percentage of customers are willing to stay loyal to a particular brand, evening spending an extra dollar or two to be apart of the larger community effort.
For example, Stephanie named Toms’ “One for One” programme that donates a pair of shoes every time a customer purchases one. Another great example of giving back to the local community is the Nike+ FuelStation Pop-up, located in a park in London. Nike provides a meeting place for runners, a place to hang out and get educated on all things fitness like running routes and eating plans. This space does not sell any Nike gear, but rather provides a sense of community to its customers.
To sum up, Stephanie presented a good case of the importance of considering the customer’s experience in every business strategies and that adapting to the changing environment in today’s world is key to successful operations.
This makes us proud of working in a company that is specialises in just that: Improving the customer experience from a 360 degree perspective – across all touch points!
Danielle Azar and Jasmin Kollinger