Let’s cut straight to the chase…the retail landscape is ultra-competitive and continuously changing. To stay relevant, more and more retailers will be implementing these 8 shopping features in 2019.
Encourage Customers to Recycle Old Textiles
Last month, I attended REMODE 2018. The content focused heavily on the hot topic of sustainability the fashion industry. Research shows that the Gen Z consumer in particular is passionate about sustainable products, and smart brands like H&M and Madewell are incentivizing customers to recycle old textiles by offering a discount on future purchases.
Rate Your Customer Service Representative
Consumers like to provide feedback, whether they’ve had a wonderful or not-so-good experience. Everyone deserves a pat on the back every now and then – especially if top notch service is provided. However, I’d much rather offer feedback on my own time vs. an automated phone survey post call. See this great example from Lululemon.
Deal of the Day
Nothing captures my attention quite like seeing “Weekly Wow” or “Today’s Golden Deal”. Why? Because its typically a better offer or discount than a standard sale. Since we’re all trying to save a buck, offering your customers a daily or weekly deal on a specific item will keep them engaged. Here are two examples from J. Crew and Sephora:
Shop for a Purpose
I’ve been seeing a lot of the “shop for a cause” trend and I LOVE IT. There’s nothing better than a little retail therapy and doing a good deed. Am I right? Along with sustainability, Gen Z shoppers prefer shopping with socially conscious brands. Most recently, both DSW and Everlane ran such campaigns over Black Friday.
Pre-Order for Special Collaborations
Brand collaborations are nothing new but differentiating your branded shopping app is a Must Do. One of the best ways to promote app downloads and customer engagement is by offering special collaborations that are available in-app only. Bloomingdale’s is definitely perfecting this trend.
See How It Looks in Other Sizes
As a woman with an athletic build, this is by far my new favorite shopping feature. Dear brands and retailers: Women are sick of seeing clothing on size 25 models. A majority of the US population does not relate to sample sizes. If you want to capture a greater audience and significantly lower your return rate, it’s imperative to change old habits. Slowly but surely, we’re beginning to see a wider range of body types in retail catalogs, but we have a long way to go. Rather than only using one model per product, use three. One that may have a waist size of 26, another with a 28 and a third with a size 32. Madewell recently implemented this sizing practice and I couldn’t be happier.
Free Clothing Swaps
Sometimes you have to think outside the box when it comes to gaining customer loyalty. According to Universal Standard’s exchange policy, if a piece from their Fit Liberty collection doesn’t fit within a year of purchase, the brand will replace it with a new size – FOR FREE.
Price Drop Alerts
I don’t always have time to monitor items on my wish list to find out it goes to the sale rack. But chances are, if I didn’t just pay my bills and I have some extra cash, I’m going to spend it with a brand I love. That is, if I happen to receive alert about discount on a particular item I’ve been eyeing. This feature seems like a no-brainer, but only a handful of retailers are doing it consistently.
While I don’t expect every brand and retailer to implement the entirety of this list, I do hope to see more of these offerings pop up in the new year.