London Fashion Week SS15 was cited as being the most digitally innovative yet, with 60% of the shows live-streamed, bringing luxury fashion to a wider audience than ever before.  As the embodiment of trend pioneering, it’s exciting to see that this prestigious event and digital are becoming more integrated, with fashion retailers understanding that the consumer shopping experience is a complex one that takes place across a range of channels.

Looking to high-street retail, the term ‘omni-channel’ is fast becoming a hot topic.  Omni-channel refers to a more holistic view of the consumer shopping experience than ‘multi-channel’, with all channels offline and online integrated instead of working in silos.  With the majority of us rarely ‘offline’, it is important not to think of online and offline as separate, but rather see the two as blended.  As consumers become savvier with digital they expect to see brands carrying consistent messages across all devices and platforms.  Ollie Bath, co-founder of CloudTags, points out that: “Research has shown that shoppers using multiple channels are nearly four times more likely to make a purchase than single-channel shoppers.”

Have you ever been browsing a shop online and been frustrated to discover the item you want is out of stock?  High-street chain Oasis have devised the ‘Seek and Send’ service to search through stores to find the item and deliver it to the customer, thus retaining the purchase, increasing brand loyalty and improving customer experience.

Another great example of integration between channels sits with Topshop.  During London Fashion Week, Topshop democratised its Unique catwalk by allowing the customers into their ‘exclusive’ world in real-time.   Customers could view the Topshop Unique catwalk on social media channels and immediately purchase products from the show.  The brand also brought social and in-store experiences together by inviting customers to share their outfits on Instagram using the hashtag #TOPSHOPWINDOW, which were then visually displayed on screens in the flagship.  This not only allowed the customers to express their fashion style, perfect for this type of consumer, but also gave them a sense of inclusive appreciation from Topshop.  But did this actually help conversion rates?  According to Way to Blue, 27% of people talking socially about Topshop were expressing an intent to purchase.

Understanding Your Customer

2.7 billion people around the world are on social media, which equates to 1 in 4 of the world’s population.  Social platforms allow brands to tap into conversations and inform, educate and refine strategies.  American fashion retailer Nordstrom has an incredible 4.4million followers on its Pinterest account.  The brand uses its most pinned products to dictate its visual displays in-store.  This not only puts the customer at the centre of the conversation, but also shows how much the brand wants to use its customer knowledge to influence its strategy.  Furthermore, this bank of knowledge can aid its decision making in which products to push through its paid search advertising, knowing which products already create high engagement levels and are in demand.

By using social media to understand your customer base, brands segment and create real-time consumer profiles.  This in turn can create better informed decisions based on who the customer is and what it is they want.  Understanding who the customer is helps to tailor product design through to visual merchandising, paid advertising and on-site content.

We are never truly offline so it’s time we capitalised on the breadth of opportunity to engage and excite our customers and bring them the best experience possible, irrespective of the way in which they access it.

4Ps isn’t just another London SEO agency. To discuss how SEO, PR and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction all over the world, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.