Retailers are trying to differentiate their shopping experiences to win, serve, and retain increasingly empowered customers. The first step to adding any website feature is to ensure that you understand your customers, their needs, and their journeys. You’re lost without this step. Here are three examples of smart retail website features making online shopping easier in fashion today and the lessons we can learn from them:
- Using customer and returns data to help customers make the right choice. Fashion retailer ASOS’s Fit Assistant and Patagonia’s Fit Finder ask for inputs on height, weight, body shape, age, and preferred fit. They then use those inputs, combined with purchase and returns data from “others like you,” to make recommendations on what size to purchase.
Lesson: We’ve said this before, but give customers a good reason to give you their personal data, and use it to create increasingly good, tailored experiences over time. Also, treat returns data like the gold mine it is!
- Letting customers “see it in your size.” This trend is catching on. Madewell and Everlane let customers see items on models of different sizes on product detail pages. Good American lets customers choose between various models representing different sizes on both the category and product pages. Fashion brand Universal Standard, whose stated mission is inclusivity in fashion, has a “see it in your size” feature on many of its product pages, which include images for the garment on models in every size that it comes in. Additionally, it includes the unique measurements per each item directly in the product imagery.
Lesson: Think creatively about how to alleviate any reservations your customers may have. In Universal Standard’s case, I’d be willing to bet the extra photography will be worth the cost by boosting conversion rates, reducing return rates, and creating more loyal customers.
- Adding a selection tool in the shopping cart. AliExpress is a marketplace from China giant Alibaba that connects global shoppers to Chinese merchants. After adding items to their shopping cart, AliExpress lets shoppers selectively add items from the shopping cart to proceed to “buy.” Similar in concept to other retailers’ “Save For Later” options but instead of filing items away for “later,” shoppers actively select what they’d like to proceed to buy.
Lesson: You’re never done streamlining online checkout. Think about how you can encourage repeat shopping with the checkout flow. It could be a subtle change, such as rethinking your “save for later” feature to be more action-oriented, like what Alibaba does with AliExpress.
What site features have stood out to you lately? Write me on Twitter; Forrester clients can connect with me via inquiry.