The fashion industry tends to dominate multichannel and for good reason, with necessary investment in a superior delivery, returns and customer experience.
In our latest 2019 Fashion & Footwear Multichannel Retail Report, we saw Schuh take the golden retailer status, followed by New Look, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, FatFace, Jigsaw, JD Sports, Marks and Spencer and Whistles. What do these leading multichannel fashion retailers have in common and what can other retailers in the industry learn from them?
#1 – In-store stock check
At the time of research, all but one of our leading fashion retailers had invested in an in-store stock check feature, often with the ability to reserve or purchase for collection in-store.
37% of fashion retailers have integrated their systems in order to provide a stock check functionality, allowing customers to search online. The number of retailers offering this service is growing, and so it may soon be an expected feature and not an added value option.
This integration can be a challenge for many retailers, but this superior shopping experience (which gives customers extra choice and convenience) is worth the investment in time and resources.
#2 – Mobile wallet payments
Whilst not all of our leading fashion retailers offer mobile wallet payments such as Apple Pay, five out of the nine do. Schuh, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, FatFace and JD Sports offer the extra choice for payment during checkout and, as a result, position themselves as strong leaders in conversion within the fashion industry.
Only 13% of fashion retailers offer mobile wallet payments and so there is plenty of room for improvement here. We recommend fashion retailers take advantage of this feature now in order to capitalise on the boosted conversion rates and above average customer experience that comes with the easy and quick payment methods within mobile wallet payments.
#3 – Straight-forward mobile experience
Unsurprisingly, all of our leading retailers embrace features that provide a straight-forward and slick mobile shopping experience. All of our leading retailers take advantage of mobile geolocation, faceted navigation on mobile, intuitive product zoom gestures and input-specific keyboards during checkout.
The vast majority of fashion retailers follow suit and adopt these features too, with:
- 91% of fashion retailers using faceted navigation on mobile
- 71% of fashion retailers using intuitive product zoom gestures on mobile
- 78% of fashion retailers using number-specific mobile keyboards
- 87% of fashion retailers using email-specific mobile keyboards
These features are basic and should be easily adopted by retailers in any industry. Those without an easy to use mobile shopping experience could face barriers to conversion and will likely be missing out on vital sales.
#4 – Easy checkout
Similarly, all of our leading fashion retailers have embraced easy checkout fundamentals. By removing barriers to your checkout experience, you will increase your conversion rates and maximise your existing visitor base. All of our retailers take advantage of input-specific keyboards during checkout on mobile as mentioned above, but they also embrace guest checkout. All but one of our leading retailers also have persistent cart functionality, allowing customers to add to cart on one device whilst logged in and complete the same cart whilst logged in on another device.
84% of fashion retailers offer guest checkout, without the need to create an account and 82% of fashion retailers use persistent cart functionality to maximise conversions.
Again, these features are basic and will be expected by many customers. Retailers need to make sure they have the investment in time and resources to make sure they embrace these fundamental technologies.
#5 – Free in-store click and collect
The vast majority of fashion retailers offer in-store click and collect and 80% of these retailers offer the service at no cost to the customer. Customers expect to be able to shop in-store with no delivery charges, and so your click and collect option should be no different. All of our leading fashion retailers offer free in-store click and collect, with Schuh, New Look, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, FatFace, JD Sports and Marks and Spencer able to offer this next day or sooner.
Whilst customers may be open to paying an additional charge for faster availability, most will expect a standard collection time for free (especially if these retailers are also offering an in-store stock check feature where the customer can easily see if the store has stock).
#6 – Next day home delivery
Customer expectations for home delivery are also increasing, with many of us expecting a faster home delivery option. All of our leading fashion retailers offer next day delivery with Burberry even offering this service for free, and Jimmy Choo offering a same day delivery.
Schuh, New Look and Marks and Spencer also offer a nominated day delivery service, allowing customers an extra choice in their day of delivery.
87% of fashion retailers offer next day home delivery so if this is not a service offered by you, your customers may end up shopping elsewhere for a more convenient delivery experience.
Digital transformation in the fashion industry
The leaders in our 2019 Fashion & Footwear Multichannel Retail Report have not risen to the top of the leaderboard with spectacular innovation or with overly complex functionality. They have mastered the basics. They have understood the fundamentals of multichannel and refined their customer experience in order to offer a superior service that matches ever-growing customer expectations.
Retailers who don’t offer these features are in need of digital transformation, otherwise, they may fall behind.