New research from Internet Retailer reveals something you may already know: today’s customer wants it all. The 2018 Online Apparel Report investigates how a marketplace that was once fairly limited to physical retail locations has been disrupted by Amazon, Walmart, and digital native brands. Some of the insights shared are quite eye-opening, including:
– Amazon and Walmart are currently the top apparel retailers online. Amazon controls 22.8% of the online apparel market.
– Customers are becoming more comfortable buying apparel and accessories online, but they’re doing so by dealing directly with brands they know and trust. This cuts the retailer out of the loop.
– To counter the direct-from-brand trend, retailers like Macy’s have focused on the experience they’re providing their customer – which begins on the smartphone, long before a customer ever sets foot in the store.
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The Future is Frictionless Retail – and the Future is Now
Internet Retailer reports that customers see no difference between shopping a retailer online and in person: they expect the same merchandise, same level of customer service, and same experience no matter how they choose to interact with a brand. In fact, some of today’s customers’ favorite features – things like buy online, pick up in store – explicitly bridge the gap between on and offline commerce.
It’s also important to note that the things that frustrate customers online – things like a lengthy, involved check out process – also aggravate them offline. That’s why Macy’s is introducing “Scan. Pay. Go.” which allows customers to scan a bar code on the items they’ve selected, pay in an app without ever having to interact with a person, and simply stop by a special counter to have security trackers removed before they leave the store.
While cash-out counters still exist in most retail stores, it’s fair to say that their days are numbered. So too are the days of the store only shopper, Internet Retailer asserts. If you want to provide your customers with the type of experience they want, you’ll have to perform well online and off.
Not Sure If Your Website is Up to the Task?
It can be really hard for a business owner to assess their own website objectively. That’s why we created our digital marketing audit. This comprehensive examination of your online presence reveals what a customer’s experience with your brand is like, including what works, what doesn’t, and what opportunities are being missed. If you’re not sure your website is ready for the upcoming holiday season, this is the time to find out. Contact us today!