noun: journey; an act of traveling from one place to another
Most shoppers don’t think of time spent online as a journey, but like any travel from one place to another, clicking around the internet is a point A to B process – by way of dozens of separate clicks. For retailers, the customer journey is a well-studied part of their sales strategy, and success in properly managing this “trip” for their customers often means the difference between winning and losing the day.
While there is no guaranteed way to capture a sale, technology has led a shift away from the transactional race to the “Buy Now” button, to a more personalized approach to eCommerce. Consumers already spend hours each day mindlessly scrolling through their phones, tablets and desktops. Is it any wonder they’re craving a shopping experience that entices and inspires them?
Here are five ways a path to retail success starts with inspiration.
1. The Site Visit:
Let’s list some of the ways a shopper arrives at a retailer’s website: Search engine, social media, promo email, and digital advertising. This first touchpoint in the shopper journey is also the most varied, as where a customer lands from these launchpads forces brands to maximize the content to draw immediate interest.
In the case of a large brand, they might hire a world-famous photographer to create images of Roger Federer playing tennis atop the Vienna Opera House for their splashy new homepage, then wait for the web traffic to deliver ROI on such a big spend.
But what if no one sees it?
2. PDP’s and the Power of AI Bundling:
Many shoppers bypass a brand’s homepage without even realizing it, arriving instead on a product specific page. Perhaps they’ve Googled “best running shoes under $100.” Such a search might lead to an online article from “Runners World” or “Consumer Reports” or a sponsored link, but more likely ends where so many do…Amazon.
Aka. Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Would shoppers say they love shopping there? That they are fully engaged and inspired when they search out a pair of khaki pants or a frying pan? Probably not. Despite this utilitarian approach though, most retailers emulate this customer experience, a no-frills way to shop – low on creativity, light on product discovery and offering little interaction beyond purchasing.
For others, there is a better way. One that centers on offering enhanced product discovery, more styled options, and an easy way for shoppers to see how a fully curated outfit or room will look together.
By showcasing more products, paired together, the shopper’s experience becomes imaginative and inspiring.
3. Building a Bigger Basket:
Inspired shoppers engage more, browse more, and buy more from brands and retailers that create memorable experiences for their customers. These were the findings of Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ study of Stylitics.
Among retailers who previously offered a transactional approach to products but then deployed AI styling and bundling to their product pages, they saw a 10% increase in AOV and 15% greater conversions.
With self-styling hard for most consumers, offering a curated collection of complementary products drives larger baskets and protects margins for retailers.
4. Checkout/Abandoned Carts:
For retailers hoping to turn buyers into evangelists, engaging them at every touchpoint is essential, even after they’ve clicked away from product pages.
Gaining their attention before purchase or even days later in a follow-up email, not only ensures they’ve seen a fuller array of products but also offers additional personalization. This customer-centric approach builds loyalty and drives higher CTR, conversions, and ROAS.
5. The Return Visit:
Building loyalty and LTV (lifetime value) are some of the most important goals a retailer or brand can have. With so much competition among companies in apparel, footwear, accessories, and home spaces, not to mention diminishing consumer buying power over the past few years, bringing return business back to a website should be top of mind. Retailers that create cohesive, personalized experiences across channels deliver more relevance in the journey, showing the full value, versatility, and range of their product catalog.
Creating a better shopping journey really is a marathon, not a sprint. Those retailers who deploy the latest in technology will be poised to build better relationships with their customers and enjoy better engagement, overall sales and profits as a result.
Don’t take our word for it though, Stylitics works with 175 global retailers, 10,000+ brands, and our solutions are used by 200M+ shoppers a month, to take shopping from the transactional to the transformational.
Learn more about Stylitics and Schedule a Demo.