Schuh took the top spot in our 2019 Fashion & Footwear Multichannel Report, leading the charge as our golden retailer in the report. The retailer has always scored highly in our reports and is a consistent top performer in many industry leaderboards, so what can fashion retailers learn from Schuh’s mobile and multichannel strategy?
In our recently released 2019 Fashion & Footwear Multichannel Retail Report, we combined our leading scoring mechanisms for our respective mobile and multichannel reports for the first time to create an updated algorithm for online retailing. But how did Schuh manage to score so highly to become the fashion and footwear gold retailer?
#1 – Invest in a strong mobile UX
Schuh scored full marks in the mobile section of our algorithm, with mobile geolocation, mobile faceted navigation, intuitive product zoom, input-specific keyboards and mobile wallet payments. The retailer has a smooth mobile experience and whilst they did not reach the top in our 2019 Mobile Retail Report, they did end up joint second with Hollister Co., Warehouse, and Oasis.
As we now see mobile conversions catch up with, and sometimes exceed, desktop conversions, it is a must to invest in your mobile experience and ensure you have a conversion rate optimisation strategy in place for this. The leaders in online retail are now simply forcing a desktop experience on mobile, but they are making sure that the customer journey reflects specific behaviours for mobile.
#2 – Refine your navigation and filtering journey
Schuh also scored full marks for our navigation, browsing and search criteria. It is clear from using the Schuh site that it is easy to find products quickly and accurately. This includes the use of faceted navigation, clear breadcrumbs and signposting, and the removal of intrusive pop-ups.
By refining the steps needed to find products and purchase them, Schuh is improving conversion rates site-wide. The vast majority of fashion retailers follow suit, with 94% of retailers using faceted navigation to improve the customer journey on-site. However, this means that the small majority who are not taking advantage of a simpler filtering system may be losing out to the competition, including the likes of Sock Shop, Smythson, Dr. Martens and more.
#3 – Have a clear multichannel proposition
Once again, Schuh also scored full marks in our multichannel UX criteria. Schuh landed joint first in our 2019 Multichannel Retail Report across all sectors, and for good reason. The retailer has invested in functionality for an in-store stock check, easy to find store opening hours, a prominent store locator link, and both mobile and desktop geolocation.
37% of fashion retailers have an in-store stock check tool, allowing customers to search online but see real-time stock availability for their nearest store. For many retailers, this can be difficult. However, investment in multichannel functionality is how Schuh and other leaders in fashion retail have climbed to the top.
#4 – Invest in your product photography and info
Schuh is known for their slick product page design and as a result, they scored full marks once again in our product information criteria. Schuh have always invested in high quality product photography, video and even have recently developed their 360 degree view of certain products for added visibility.
Schuh’s product zoom, multiple product images, scannable copy and product reviews have all accounted for a product page UX that empowers customers with information, and as a result, likely boosting conversion rates. By removing any shred of doubt in customers’ minds about quality, value, size, colour etc. you can make sure they don’t have any questions or reservations.
Only 47% of fashion retailers show product reviews on their product pages, and whilst many retailers choose not to use these for various reasons, it’s no doubt that review tools add credibility and accuracy to the conversion process.
#5 – Offer both in-store and non-store click and collect
Not only does Schuh offer both in-store and non-store click and collect, but it can also offer both with next day delivery. It offers in-store click and collect for free, and also offers non-store click and collect for free after a £50 minimum spend.
41% of fashion retailers offer click and collect to non-store locations such as convenience stores or lockers, and only 27% of these retailers can offer it next day or sooner. In order to provide a superior click and collect service, It is likely that Schuh has needed a comprehensive warehouse management system and/or PIM that integrates well with both their ecommerce platform and delivery provider. This can be a complex integration project, but one that provides a shopping experience that gives the retailer’s customers extra choice and convenience to choose when, where and how they receive their purchase.
#6 – Offer next day and nominated day delivery
Schuh is one of the many retailers offering next day delivery, at a significantly reduced cost of £1. However, it is also one of the rare retailers offering nominated or named day delivery, again at a significantly reduced cost of £1.
Whilst the majority of fashion retailers (87%) offer next day delivery, only a handful offer nominated or named day delivery, at 19%. It is clear that Schuh is amongst the leading retailers that have managed to integrate their systems well with their delivery provider in order to provide an experience that allows retailers more choice and flexibility.
A fantastic multichannel retail experience
Congratulations to the Schuh team for ranking first once again, and continuing to provide a fantastic multichannel customer experience. The team narrowly missed out on full marks with their limited returns options and delivery costs, however even these offerings are above average and there are many retailers not even offering the basics.
Whilst many fashion retailers have invested in a flexible ecommerce tech stack to climb the leaderboard and rise on top, there are many still locked into monolithic old platforms with no room for change. The high growth retailers featured in the report have taken a strategic approach to technology and it has paid off, with new freedoms to embrace the latest in mobile and multichannel features and functionality.