Shop the Shoot- selling fashion with content

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Guest Post by Bianca Gregg In this ever-growing digital age, it is essential for fashion retailers to consider and enforce strong digital content strategies to enhance sales and presence with consumers. It is integral for all retailers to have engaging content that goes beyond the means of basic sale techniques by simply providing easy accessed product imagery as a sales attempt.

Consumers; repeat consumers for that matter demand and sought after a highly interactive service to fully engage them in the product that is being placed in front of them. Such service is specifically required throughout an online retail experience. It is essential to provide a targeted online platform to reach a broader audience as a retailer under every category; bricks and mortar boutiques, multi brand boutiques, labels, online only boutiques.

Net-A-Porter is one of the largest and most successful online retailers in the world to date. Net-A-Porter provide a bespoke experience for their customer which provides a platform to assist shoppers with their online journey by hand feeding the customers a curated ‘guest’ edit by celebrities/style icons/models/fashion editors, imagery shot to up-sell multiple products, editorial style shots, shop by trend and interactive imagery.

Net-A-Porter are one of the first retailers to create their own online magazine called ‘The Edit’, which engages a vast audience with the pulling power of icons such as the likes of Miranda Kerr. The most recent issue featuring Miranda Kerr is running in alignment with the models products being launched with Net-A-Porter this month. The platform of an online magazine allows site viewers to feel more involved with the products available via Net-A-Porter through interviews with designers, behind

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Jasu is an example of an Australian e-commerce retailer that have achieved and adapted the successful method of integrating guest edits and a curated shopping experience. This has been created with a selection of top bloggers who each have huge followings. Working with bloggers and acclaimed models with a large social media following is a very effective method for retailers to ensure interesting topics on their social media, content for social media, trending patterns, increased SEO and directly receiving benefits from the chosen blogger/model database and platform.  Providing the customer with the exclusive pre-order experience can be highly successful for both the consumer and the retailer. This experience provides the customer with the need to place their order prior to the product hitting the floor or online in high demand.

This also works in providing the customer with the feeling of being on the pulse with the upcoming trends through trunk show shopping. High-end retailer Moda Operandi successfully achieves this. This not only quickly builds databases and a following but also guarantees return customers who want more exclusive and limited edition products. This process favours the retailer to work on a pre ordering system to pre-empt the popularity of pieces, to sell out before the stock is even dispatched or perhaps even before their order is placed if this is an option with a willing designer.

Brands like Rebecca Minkoff have created a bespoke experience for their customers with personalised editorial content that is constantly updated for the website.This exposes the customer to experience the quality of service provided by the label. With such interactive imagery, this illustrates to the customer exactly how the product wears taking it another step away from simple generic flat lay.

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It is highly recommended to provide imagery of product on a model, multiple angles of the product and also the flat-lay imagery to click through. This prolongs the amount of time the customer spends on the site looking through each product, more than likely providing a better chance of committing to a purchase.

-Bianca Gregg --------

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Bianca Gregg is the co-founder and content production manager of OMGBEE.com. OMGBEE is a creative outlet for content professionals in the fashion and lifestyle industries. OMGBEE offer content strategy and production services to brands and labels.

Marks and Spencer create a digital ‘eBoutique’

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This post origionally featured on 'Retail Innovation'  

M&S have opened their first store in Holland in the popular Kalverstraat district in Amsterdam. Within the store, customers can buy food but also explore the full range of clothing products on tabletops in the store and on digital screens.

A 9 panel videowall displays content using a new digital signage software solution, there is also digital signage on columns showcasing the latest fashion for the season in the form of catwalk videos. The stylish touch screen order points allow customers to browse the full catalogue and order for delivery to store or home. Staff are also on hand to assist customers through assisted ordering with iPads. The biggest innovation is the ‘virtual rail’ which allows customers to browse the life sized imagery of the hottest dresses and troussers on a 3 x 46″ touchscreen which imitates a real life clothing rail.

We’re extremely happy to be coming back to Holland in response to huge customer demand. We’re coming back in a new way because Holland is one of the most internet savvy countries in Europe,” said CEO Marc Bolland.

“We are therefore launching our new website – www.marksandspencer.nl – and a brand new e-Boutique as a first step towards rolling out a number of stores in the Netherlands.”

Retail Experience

There is some (a lot) of truth to this but it’s also a mischievous comment: I don’t think that any mobile or online payment system provider claimed to resolve all the problems for all the retailers.

However, it is quite possible that by improving the overall purchasing experience, even marginally, a friendly and cost effective payment system will give merchants a small competitive advantage.

Overall purchasing experience is actually the key issue here and payment systems are just one link in the chain.  PSPs and their client merchants need to focus on the total, start to finish process. The key to this approach is a totally integrated user interface.

Whether we are talking about payments online or in the real world, serious benefits to the consumer, and therefore to the merchant, can be delivered and a revolution in the way we shop is coming.

While the focus has been at the end of the buying process, this needs to change to the beginning and in fact to every moment of the shopping experience. The process described below applies equally to online or to brick and mortar stores:

The customer enters the store. His smartphone or tablet will greet her:

“Good morning Mrs Jones, nice to see you back at Heavenly Spirits. Is there anything in particular that we can help you with today?”

With speech recognition available on just about every smartphone you respond:

“I need some red wine for a BBQ we are having on the weekend”.

You get the response:

"We have an excellent Shiraz from the Barossa that has just arrived. It’s in aisle 5. Just next door you can also find a Cabernet Sauvignon from one of your favourite cellars,…”

You go aisle 5 and payment is automatic as you take the bottles off the shelf. And there is more:

“We would also like to remind you that it has been a while since you purchased your usual Don Perignon, which means that you’re probably running low”. You pick up your champagne and on it goes.

You finally make it to the check out. Your shopping is already paid for so the attendant just puts it all in a box and offers to take it to your car.

You also get a message saying “235 “Frequent Sipper” points have been added to your account. You current balance is 2,860 points, which entitles you to a free bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label. Would you like to take it now?”

This scenario can be replicated in any store with all the variations and embellishments just limited by our imagination. The point is, payment systems in isolation may not be a big deal, but with a clever start to finish integration they can make a significant contribution to a much improved customer experience.

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Feature image from blog.technet.com

 

 

 


Carlos Piteira- Chairman, QuayPay

Carlos has a career spanning thirty years in Engineering, Manufacturing, Product Development and Business Development.

Two simple tips for in-store mobile engagement

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If you don't have mobile in your retail engagement strategy then you are becoming a showroom for your competition. You only have to look around your store to see how mobile is a big part of retail- even if you don't have a mobile app or website. Without a mobile strategy, customers could be searching for product information from an app or website that you cannot control. Even worse, customers can utilise your store to test or try on an item before they buy it from your competitor's online store. Where these might sound like reasons to be fearful of in-store mobile, in fact it shows us that retail customers are ready for new and exciting in-store engagement processes. If you have a great in-store mobile experience then you lower your risk of losing your customers to your competitors- while still in your store.

One of the most successful retailers for great customer experience is Apple. Their retail stores are seeing record profits per customerand their commerce system is almost invisible. Most transactions are made on the shop floor soon after picking up an item or trying it out. Apple retail staff are empowered by a mobile payment system that allows them to assist their customers make a transaction anywhere in the store. But what if we could take this even further and allow customers to make their own transaction?

If you allow access to online payments in store then you enable your customers to make purchases where and when it suits them.  This could be as soon as they pick it up, or perhaps as soon as they try it on in the change room. We would start to see purchases made when the customer is emotionally connected to the item and excited about owning it.

Retail staff will still be an important part of the customer experience but will be providing genuine assistance as opposed to simply managing transactions. The customer will experience better service as a result and the retailer will have an increased capacity to assist more customers at once.

QuayPay retail

Here are two simple tips to provide a mobile payment solution in your retail store.

1. Provide a great in-store mobile experience.

It is important to create the best environment for mobile payments and for this we must first focus on the mobile experience. You can start by making sure your website is mobile friendly. Following this, provide specific web applications that work well in the physical world. Think of  'digital merchandising' and compare how your customers walk through the store to how they browse through the App. Start the project by asking your customers some basic questions about what information they would like to find in an App.  Finally, make it easy for your customers to discover the App and work QR codes and NFC into key locations within the store to allow a fast way to launch the mobile web page.

2. Use an online payment solution within your App to allow purchases anywhere.

It really is simple. If you embed an online payment solution in your retail App, you can start accepting online payments for your physical goods. This allows your customer to make a transaction on individual items and pay for it when it suits them.

With real time data the sales assistant can make sure their customers have actually paid and offer to package the item once they have seen the transaction go through. Of course you could be using the same system for your online store and eliminate any double handling.

Feature image by Sydney based visual artist James Brown.

 

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Jon McFarlane Co-Founder, QuayPay

'The web is getting physical' and Jon has a passion for helping  clients use web technology for engaging in the physical world.

Twitter: @Jonathanaca Linkedin: au.linkedin.com/in/jonathanmcfarlane/

The Adaptive Retail Experience

PWC has published a number of papers on the topic of Adaptive retail experience. Their research shows that the consumer is expecting more from the retail experience Consumers are increasingly sophisticated, informed and will not wait for local service providers to catch up. - PWC

At QuayPay we try to make payments part of a uniform customer experience in both the online and physical retail space. We can achieve this by streamlining the payment process and providing flexible integration options.

The use of technology is vital to the successful operation of all businesses. Implementing robust, agile systems that are compatible with various business tools will assist in providing a seamless customer experience, while streamlining and simplifying business operations. Consolidation and integration are key to adopting a Consumer Adaptive Retailing model – enabling business to be flexible and fluid in their approach to retailing.- PWC

Below is a table published by PWC that summarises some of the key technologies in adaptive retailing. It is important to consider these in your retail strategy not just for marketing but for flexible transaction processes.

-Jon.

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