Digital lookbooks are the latest and greatest way for retailers to showcase their products across multiple platforms. While a traditional product catalog would have been sent in the mail or made available in physical stores, a digital lookbook is available across all digital platforms, reaching the customer through their chosen channel and remaining accessible wherever they go.
Digital lookbooks help bring products to life, giving consumers the same sense of pleasure, novelty and discovery that they feel when they walk into a physical store and fall in love with an item for the first time. They allow brand owners and retailers to present a curated selection of looks, tell a stronger story about their brand and define styling guidelines and trends for their customer base. We’ve seen social platforms like Pinterest and Polyvore grow in popularity with curated content – consumers love product recommendations that match their tastes and interests, and that’s exactly what retailers can provide through a digital lookbook.
In this blog post, we’ll offer our best tips and advice for incorporating a digital lookbook for your brand.
Digital Lookbooks Support a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
Omnichannel is the new paradigm of retail in 2018, seeking to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they choose to shop online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a physical retail location. As a retailer, one of the goals of your digital look book is to support a thoughtful and engaging omnichannel experience for your customers. This means ensuring that your customers can engage with and reference your look book across several channels. You should also use behavior analytics tools to capture their browsing history and preferences, helping your customer service staff deliver personalized sales and customer support later in the sales cycle.
A digital catalog can support omnichannel retail in several ways. For starters, digital catalogs are accessible across multiple channels and touch points – shoppers can view them on their desktop computer at work, on their tablet while they’re relaxing in front of the television, or on a mobile phone to fill a few minutes while commuting or running errands. Mobile phone accessibility and function for your digital lookbook allows shoppers to bring your catalog with them to a bricks-and-mortar store, where they can touch and hold the products they’ve fallen in love with from your lookbook.
For an omnichannel strategy to be effective, retailers must collect and blend data gathered from customers across touch points, ensuring that the customer’s browsing and purchase history and preferences follows them across platforms. This acts as a service for customers, making it easier for them to keep track of interesting or exciting products, and enables online retailers to personalize marketing promotions and special offers based on customer preferences.
Drive Engagement with Your Digital Lookbook
Digital lookbooks offer several new opportunities to engage shoppers compared to traditional print catalogs. Designing your digital lookbook to maximize customer engagement can allow you to collect more valuable consumer data, deliver on personalized experiences, create a seamless omnichannel experience and build a genuine relationship with your customers that leads to increased brand loyalty.
By today’s standards, print catalogs are a traditional one-to-many advertisement method – they may do a good job of showcasing products, but only at a single touch point and with no personalization and low potential for engagement. In contrast, digital lookbooks offer several opportunities to boost customer engagement through the incorporating of extra features and content:
Tagging – Product tagging helps shoppers search for products of a specific category or type, or to quickly narrow down a large product list into a shorter list of products they may be interested in. Tagging makes it easier for shoppers to compare similar items side-by-side, helping to facilitate purchasing decisions.
Alt Text – Using HTML, digital lookbook designers have the option to display a text overlay when the shopper right-clicks an image or hovers their mouse over it. Alt Text can be used to list items that are present in a certain look, to highlight product categories, or to provide other extra product information. Consider using Alt Text to give shoppers “quick access” to information that might not otherwise fit on a page layout.
Colors – If a product is available in different colors, shoppers need to see that reflected in your digital lookbook. Boost engagement by giving shoppers the ability to easily switch between available color options for eligible products in your lookbook.
Social – Incorporate social sharing functionality into your digital look book, enabling shoppers to share their favorite looks on their social platform of choice.
Leverage Automation While Staying in Control with Stylitics
Stylitics enables retailers to create engaging digital lookbooks with its unique styling algorithm that creates outfits at scale according to specified brand guidelines provided by online retailers. With stylitics, it’s never been easier to create a digital lookbook that delivers personalized, on-brand outfit recommendations to shoppers.
In the past, retailers created lookbooks through a lengthy and costly manual process. Beginning with their seasonal product catalog, they would hand-style outfits, hire models and photographers, and plan an expensive photo shoot just to showcase a fraction of the outfits available to shoppers. Stylitics has automated the styling process, creating an algorithm that turns great products into beautiful on-brand outfits with the click of a button.
With the Stylitics platform, online retailers get all the benefits of automation (cost savings, more outfits, less labor intensive) while retaining full control over what goes into their catalog. Retailers can review the outfits created by our styling algorithm, excluding the ones they don’t want from their lookbooks and other marketing campaigns. They can also edit outfits or create brand new ones using the high-quality product images from their digitized catalog.
Maximize Retention Through Engagement
Online retailers can increase customer retention by allowing their users to easily engage with them across multiple channels. Users are increasingly expecting and anticipating a personalized experience that generates real value for them, and collecting their feedback through whatever channel is most convenient for the user is essential to fine-tuning customer experience and engagement and creating an experience that ensures the customer will return.
Online retailers should also think about retention in terms of staying in the consciousness of their customers. When customers are looking at our digital lookbook, we know they’re focused on our brand, but what about the rest of the time? That’s where things like a post-purchase customer satisfaction survey or a follow-up coupon or discount sent to a customer’s email after they make a purchase can help re-engage them and keep them thinking about your brand and products.
More importantly though, online retailers should look to meet customers wherever they are and be ready to meet them on their terms. That means allowing customers to engage with your brand by mail, being ready to offer personalized customer service through your call center or website instant messaging tool, reaching out via an app, or providing a great in-store experience. When online retailers can engage the customer through their preferred medium, the customer gets the kind of personalized attention that drives brand loyalty.
Incorporating a digital lookbook for your brand is an effective way of reaching your shoppers across new channels, helping them visualize and experience products the same way they would in a bricks-and-mortar store. Digital lookbooks support an omnichannel retail experience for shoppers, ensuring that they can engage with your brand on desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices and tablets, as well as by phone or in a physical store.
Digital lookbooks also offer opportunities to boost customer engagement by offering extra textual and visual information that simply wouldn’t fit into a traditional print catalog. They can serve as a platform for opening new channels of communication with shoppers, encouraging them to shop your brand and communicate with you in new ways and keeping your brand in the forefront of their minds.
WIth Stylitics, brands can leverage automation to create a custom-styled lookbook without the excess labor of manually photographing and cropping thousands of images. Best of all, online retailers retain complete control over the outfits in their lookbook with the ability to edit or review existing looks or create your own.
Digital lookbooks are the new way to drive revenue, customer engagement and loyalty for your brand in 2018 – so what are you waiting for? Book a demo with us today and learn how we can help you win in online retail.