Profit companies

Here’s how brands and retailers are leveraging collaboration for profit – Sourcing Journal

Whether working from home, commuting to the office or school, attending events, or simply wanting something new, American consumers have continued to buy new clothes to the point that first-quarter sales rose 8.6% from a year ago, driven by gains in apparel. , groceries and, furniture. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any issues online or in-store. Industry experts say brands and retailers should think about how collaboration can improve customer experience and boost sales.

Trevor Sumner, CEO of Perch Interactive, an online marketing platform, says collaborations between brands and retailers can happen through in-store digital platforms.

“I’m amazed at how little data we have where 85% of transactions take place,” Sumner said during a recent webinar, referring to the fact that the majority of retail still takes place in physical stores. He says retailers are now creating the “malification” of stores. “The target is the ultimate example. You go to Target and they’ve made these partnerships to have stores within the store – almost like a mall, right? They have a Disney area for babies and children. They partnered with Levi’s to create a specific jeans experience center. On top of all that, they’re creating a set of private labels that reinforce key categories to drive trips to the store. And so as a brand, you ask yourself, ‘How can I stand out?’

More than three-quarters of all shoppers (83%) say they have started shopping for clothes again in physical stores since the start of the pandemic, according to the Cotton Incorporated Coronavirus Response Survey (Wave 11, May 11, 2022). When shopping for clothes in the future, 48% of consumers say they will buy all or most of their clothes from a physical store, 24% said they will buy about half from a physical location and the other half online, and 28% said they would do all or most of their shopping online.

“So let’s talk about how some brands are trying to stand out,” Sumner said. “We’re seeing a lot of digital tools coming to the store. We’re seeing a lot of technology and custom fixtures. You can start building these beautiful experiences with a fixture where the moment you pick up a product, the [digital fixture/sign] informs you about the different products in this range, it gives you ratings and reviews, it helps to sell different products together. Gone are the days of traditional merchandising and the four-point reading essay. »

Retailers that connect with consumers in more meaningful ways are doing well, as 63% of consumers say they expect to spend the same (30%) or more (33%) money on clothing in the future , according to the Coronavirus Response Survey (Wave 11). About 8 in 10 shoppers (79%) said they expect to buy more online during this time, while 74% expect to buy more from physical stores.

Glassbox’s Asim Zaheer, chief marketing officer of the digital experience analytics platform, said in a CommerceNext webinar that most companies prioritize digital experiences. But, he says, there are always issues that can lead to the loss of not just a sale, but also customer loyalty. He says collaboration between a retailer’s departments and IT teams can solve problems and improve experiences.

Zaheer described a situation with a retail client where e-commerce customers were trying to log in to make purchases, but a password issue was holding them back. Additionally, customers didn’t have an easy way to let the company know they wanted to reset their password. So, customer support reported the issue occurring, the analytics team analyzed what was happening, and notified the user experience team to make the change that mitigated the issue.

“Things like this have a significant impact on your user experience and can drive your customers or prospects to your competitors,” Zaheer said.

In another situation, Zaheer described a retail client who was rolling out a campaign for a new denim jeans product. Unfortunately, when customers clicked on the jeans in the promotion, the garment was unlinked, so shoppers were unable to simply browse and purchase a pair. The retailer was able to analyze customer journeys to see where they were struggling. From there, they identified the cause of the frustration and edited the page.

“It was a simple but very meaningful example for the bottom line of this business,” Zaheer said. “Companies need to look at their technology stack. Do you understand the interactions and journeys of your users or potential customers on your digital platforms, wherever they are? And can you determine where the problems arise and where the struggles take place? It can be difficult if you don’t have the right processes and the right technology.

Whether through an in-store kiosk or a great online user experience, fashion retailers and brands need to be able to reach and connect with their customers in multiple places. Nearly 3 in 10 shoppers (28%) say they get clothing ideas from in-store displays, while 27% cite brand/retailer websites and 11% say brand or retailer emails, according to Cotton Incorporated’s 2022 New Year’s Survey (January 12, 2022).

Sumner says e-commerce customer data is driving physical purchases and retailers are investing heavily to make in-store customers more traceable. Conversely, he says, while store locations offer better navigation and discovery, the rich content of products found online is lacking. He says in-store kiosks can enroll shoppers in loyalty programs, provide interactive retail displays that tell shoppers about a product the moment they touch it, and offer discounts that can be redeemed in-store via coupons. QR codes.

“It’s an exciting time for retail,” says Sumner. “It’s an exciting time where things are changing quickly and I think the way we work together will change quickly. I think people who are bold and step up, get ahead of the game and align their needs with those of their retail partners are going to be in very powerful positions in 2023.”

The Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ is an ongoing research program that measures consumer attitudes and behaviors around clothing, shopping, fashion, sustainability, and more.

For more information on the Lifestyle Monitor™ survey, please visit