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With London Fashion Week (LFW) fast approaching, apparel and footwear retailers can be sure of one thing – fashionistas will be in a frenzy to update their wardrobes this September.
Interest in the latest looks and style innovations revealed at the iconic show generates excellent opportunities for retailers to increase sales. But to do so they must move fast with product trends, and have the technology in place to meet shopper needs at every customer touchpoint.
Feeling the love for LFW
London Fashion Week may not be easily accessible to everyone, but in the age of social media and connected commerce, the average consumer can enjoy the showcase in many ways. From Burberry live streaming catwalk shows via their social channels, to Tommy Hilfiger’s famed ‘see now, buy now strategy’, fashion fans are more connected to the event than ever before.
Instagram has leapt on the LFW bandwagon, and since the launch of last year’s shoppable posts, consumers can directly purchase from the app. Leading brands that have committed to Instagram should enjoy a spike in spend by brand-loving shoppers, if they are offering customers access to their collections immediately after catwalk shows. Even London’s fast fashion stores can expect visitor numbers to swell if they are participating in the LFW buzz. It’s imperative that they make the purchase journey as frictionless as possible so that opportunities aren’t missed.
Facilitating sales on the shop floor
Fashion brands are increasingly aware that they must be technologically literate to meet the needs of shoppers who want instant gratification when they fall in love with a new season’s look. Producing and supplying the garments are one thing, being able to serve and sell in a host of convenient, connected ways is another big challenge. Events like London Fashion Week make the promises of omnichannel retail all the more alluring in the eyes of eager shoppers.
Cegid’s recent eBook, In the Luxury Universe: Focus on Global Proximity, Service and Selling Ceremony, examines how customer touchpoints can be managed to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty across channels and how optimising this needs to become a key business priority in luxury and fashion retailing.
As discussed in the eBook, the vogue today is for software systems that underpin unified commerce – the buy anytime, receive goods anywhere ideal. A key consideration is that Millennials and Gen Z increasingly expect tailored, personalised, memorable shopping experiences, wherever in the world they happen to be shopping.
Tailored service at store level
With unified commerce IT capabilities, a wealth of customer insight — including product preferences, past purchase history and personal data — can be made available across the network. Fashion and luxury consumers’ wishes can be anticipated and fulfilled. Store colleagues with the right tools can be in the best position to facilitate sales, even if that means ordering in store for later home delivery, for example.
Assisted sales or ‘clienteling’ then paves the way for future engagement. After all, ongoing relationships matter greatly when it comes to fashion. With a fully-functioning unified commerce strategy, each time new customer information is entered, it can be immediately uploaded to the cloud, where it’s ready for the shopper’s next visit.
Be ready for the LFW rush
Fashion weeks trigger conversations about brands, models, influencers, technology, sustainability and the wider fashion world. This should benefit smart, innovative retailers who can be ready for the inevitable pique of interest. Having social and sales channels primed for action will be key to driving all-important conversions and building lasting customer relationships.
So bring on London Fashion Week! With the right omnichannel proposition fashion retailers should be able to enjoy the halo effect of this much-loved celebration of style.
By Alan Holcroft, Country Manager of Cegid - Northern Europe
Cegid’s latest eBook, In the Luxury Universe: Focus on Global Proximity, Service and Selling Ceremony, explores how customer touchpoints can be managed to drive sales across channels and how optimising this needs to become a key business priority in luxury retailing.