Our era is defined by the explosion of social media. Generations Y and Z, "millennials", are even more representative of our consumption habits. With more than 400 million active users on Facebook and our behavior of spending a quarter of each day on the internet, there are boundless opportunities in e-commerce. The customer's buying experience now spans multiple channels. People call for "Any time, Anywhere, Any device."
Expectations like these should be central to company strategies. This is especially true of the highly competitive fashion industry, which has experienced a slight downturn in business in recent years. The sector, which currently has nearly 130,000 employees in France, is struggling with the challenges of e-commerce and digital change, which can be difficult to overcome. Even though e-commerce represents only 7% of sales for luxury brands and 17% of sales in the traditional garment sector, the buying behavior of millennials when it comes to fashion is 49% influenced by social media and the internet.
Fashion seems to be increasingly driven by social media, and brands can no longer exist purely offline. Today's consumers trust the opinions of their network more highly than official corporate communications. Customers are at the heart of new trends through shares and likes on Facebook and other social networks, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
So how can we understand these customers, who are always on the lookout for differentiation and personalization?
Consumers today are looking for an ultra-personalized customer experience that shows them that brands truly care about their needs and wants. In addition, 78% of consumers would find it normal to receive individualized prices and promotions.
Modern customers know—first and foremost—what they don't want. For example, they no longer want increasingly intense content or complicated processes. Fluidity, speed, and immediacy have become central to the customer experience.
The challenges of personalization
Companies need to focus on finding the right tone for reaching the right audience to build a long-term relationship for deeper customer engagement and better benefits. The difficulty that companies experience in collecting qualitative data on the interests and expectations of their customers is further amplified by data silos. Some 38% report that they have only a truncated view of their customers. It is important to take into account that customers today span multiple channels and are more engaged than ever. If they don't find an item they want in a store, they will order it online. The secret is to bring data together in a standardized database for a single view of the customer.
Next comes segmentation. After data is consolidated and structured, it must be analyzed and interpreted. This involves analyzing each customer's actions, frequency patterns, and affinities.
Armed with a well-thought-out data strategy, retailers can understand their customers better and create better offerings for them. Even still, it is important to process and pinpoint the right data for each consumer.
Let's look at some innovative real-world examples from fashion
Undiz was the first to develop the phygital store, "The Undiz Machine." The store mixes physical and digital commerce. With four kiosks containing the store's entire catalog and stored inventory, customers can choose the item they want and have it delivered nearly instantaneously. This is therefore a cross-channel and multimodal process. It offers a smooth, instant, and interactive way to meet customer needs.
This trend is starting to spread. Several other brands have successfully integrated the concept with secure and efficient customer data management. ETAM, for example, has implemented a digital strategy aimed at moving from a heterogeneous customer experience to an omnichannel experience based on customer knowledge.