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Bruno Berthezene UK Country Manager Solocal Group

How can Fashion and Luxury brands use digital tools to drive footfall?

Whilst the majority of purchases today are still made in-store, buying decisions are increasingly impacted by the online and multichannel presence of the retailer or brand. The main question is, how can fashion and luxury brands best optimise their overall presence across multiple channels, from online to mobile, to drive traffic in-store?

Recent market insights have shown that many brands still do not provide an optimised consumer experience.  Industry trends like ‘Research Online Purchase Offline’, ‘click and mortar’ or ‘bricks and clicks’ widen the field of possibilities for the customer, who can be easily lost. 

A number of brands are keen to reach new customers, but often do not take the necessary steps to improve and perfect the entire customer journey.

Convince to convert

Research has shown that 83%[1] of purchases are made in-store with 88%[2]of customers researching the product or service online beforehand. In other words, around 70% of the purchases can be put in the “Research Online Purchase Offline” category. It should therefore be crucial for brands and retailers to make sure that the customer journey from initial online research to offline purchase is optimised in the best possible way.

[1] Fullsix Retail, 2012

[2] DigitasLBi Global Survey, 2014

 

The rise of e-commerce has made the path to purchase more complex with additional elements which directly impacts the customer’s decision making process. The technical innovations in modern retail can be lacking some very simple but extremely useful features which make life easier for the consumer, especially at a local level. Each obstacle which makes the path to purchase overly complicated or difficult can easily become an argument for not purchasing or purchasing somewhere else. 

As so many consumers are still choosing to make purchases in-store, brands and retailers need to ensure they have the best digital tools in place to direct potential clients to their store. 

Rethink the Approach

According to recent market insights, we have seen that 44%[1]of visitors use the internet to find the closest retail location. It is an indisputable fact that a potential client who cannot quickly find your nearest store online will quickly look elsewhere.

[1] FEVAD (French association involved in the E-commerce Europe), 2012

 

This average tolerance threshold is even lower on mobile devices. According to the IAB UK ‘Mobile Retail Audit 2013’, 52%[1]of the Top 50 UK retailers still do not have a store locator on their mobile site.

[1] IAB UK Mobile Retail Audit, 2013

 

What a shortfall in the conversion rate! An optimised and responsive store or stockist locator is a necessary prerequisite for fashion and luxury brands. New digital solutions exist to increase local consumer traffic and help brands convert this into clients. 

Through SEO minded and customised store locator platforms such as Leadformance, a brand can not only make the customer journey simpler but secure the conversion. Providing consumers with a robust and reliable geolocation platform which will not only locate the nearest store and provide opening times, but also enable them to request an online quote, view product availability and reserve items. 

The same benefits can also be seen when fashion and luxury service providers are able to provide a real-time online appointment bookings facility, such as the Timendo platform, to their clients.

Essentially, in the digital age brands needs to utilise and optimise their presence across the multichannel to drive customers in-store. Implementing targeted display advertising through a service such as Horyzon Media, a brand is positioning themselves in front of the right consumers with the most effective exposure.

For example, if a consumer is regularly looking at shoes online or on their mobile device, a digital solution that recognises this and puts the best offers from local footwear retailers or incentives to buy (coupons, vouchers etc.), in front of them will help secure conversion for the retailer. 

Incorporating the appropriate digital tools into the retail strategy of a brand is vital for driving traffic back in-store and ensuring they are with the customer for every step of their online to in-store journey.