Fashion is forever changing with trends and styles and continually re-entering seasons in new and different ways. Nevertheless, the sales model for the fashion industry has essentially persisted the same until the acceleration of e-commerce and social media. But what are the benefits of an omnichannel solution?
The digital world has transformed the way customers observe, research, communicate and consume fashion brands and retailers’ goods. Communication with clients goes is a continual one. It goes beyond the traditional brick & mortar presence, expanding to several channels- from fashion websites to Instagram channels, influencer posts and targeted online promotion.
Statistics reveal that over half (55.7%) of fashion sales take place online, demonstrating just how valuable it is to have not only an online presence but one that satisfies consumers’ ever-growing demand for a seamless, ultra-personalized cross-channel experience.
“In today’s world of fashion and lifestyle, a superb omnichannel solution is indispensable,” says Cor Noorlander, Chief Commercial Officer at global fashion fulfilment service provider Modexpress.
A great example of providing omnichannel commerce is the US sportswear brand Nike, which invests most in its immersive and innovative online presence. Through this, they managed their customer base and increased market share. Valued at $35 billion, the omnichannel method appears to be a good strategy.
Omnichannel commerce vs multichannel commerce
Many terms surface on the internet regarding e-commerce, and we’re here to break it down for you.
Multichannel commerce is used to sell your products via different channels, both online and offline. In short, it means you would contact your customers through not only phone and physical stores but social media too. Multichannel commerce applies that brand has created a strong online presence making its business accessible to consumers.
Omnichannel commerce is similar to a multichannel strategy, taking place on multiple platforms. In fact, the prerequisite for a functioning omnichannel presence is an infrastructure of a multichannel experience in place. Getting more technical, the difference between the two is that omnichannel means connecting all the platforms to bring a seamless experience for the user.
The new customer experience
These days, the younger generations have seen it all. Attention span is just about gone, which requires brands to constantly reinvent themselves in a way that surprises the market and challenges the e-commerce status quo through newly-offered immersive virtual experiences that reflect every brand value and create a seamless experience as one moves between a brand’s various channels.
According to UC Today, 9 out of 10 consumers demand an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
Connecting the dots helps break down the walls for the consumer and increases both trust and loyalty.
Personalisation has become a must over time; omnichannel allow brands access to consumer data and behaviour like never before. From online movements to buying patterns to purchase times and spending, access to data is almost endless, allowing brands to individualize the user experience, catering to consumers’ every need and preference, when they are most likely to pull the trigger and make a purchase.
In fact, stats say that 74% of online consumers get frustrated when they are given aimless content advertisements.
Where does virtual reality come into this?
Augmented reality is used to create composite images by overlapping a computer-generated image and the real user’s view. This technology has already been applied to enhance the online shopping experience by important retailers such as IKEA. Using the IKEA app, it is possible to place furniture virtually in your room before buying it.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, is an interactive computer-generated experience within a simulated environment. This has been applied in the real-estate sector by Matterport, used to map homes and show them to a customer without visiting the site. For example, Burberry x Harrods created an entirely digital shopping experience with the help of VR to allow customers VIP experiences, private sales appointments and other perks that made the experience unique when launching their newly released bag.
If up until 10 years ago brands would justify a slim online presence with a lack of ‘personal touch’ or brand cohesiveness, today’s technology has removed any excuses or barriers. Know the benefits of an omnichannel solution It has created a clear demand for an omnichannel strategy that extends one’s physical presence into the virtual realm. The benefits are endless- from logistical savings, removing the need for unnecessary shipping of products, to the instantaneous expansion of a brand’s presence at a fraction of the cost, to the ultra-personalized approach to serving consumers- virtual presence has proven to be a lot more than yet another experimental channel and has become a lifeline to brands looking to expand and reach new audiences.