eCommerce is always evolving to improve the buying/selling experience, and believe it or not, the fashion world is a great example of how sales are making increasing use of data and technology.
Imagine that online shopping is still as simple as popping down to your local shop to take a look at what’s on offer except that now you get to stay at home, curled in an armchair with a glass of pinot and your favourite cat (*coughs… sorry, lager and Xbox controller).
What the customer wants will depend on a few criteria, but basically, they’re looking for a bargain price, a new style, something to suit the season or occasion… that kind of thing. Physically wandering around the store allows browsing to be a purely personal matter, or possibly a reason to engage with a sales assistant. Either way, the chances are the browsing experience is a bit of a one-off.
Meanwhile, back with the chilled white and a purring Tibbles, (*pint and kebab) the eCommerce setup is not only allowing virtual rails and hangers to be browsed, it’s also recording choices and preferences that help to streamline the future suggestions sent. It’s like a sales assistant with an obsession for tracking and recording your every movement – not just clothes tried on, but the trail has taken through the store and the time spent in one area rather than another. This info, my friends, is eCommerce gold dust.
But now let’s take that up a gear. Armchair shopping has its pros and cons, but if all your computer or tablet does is to throw up the results of your previous searches, fashion shopping feels like taking along an over-helpful primary school maths nerd with a spreadsheet and a calculator. What you really want is a friend who is into fashion, really ‘gets’ what it is you’re looking for and has the inspiration to stumble over the purchase you know you want the moment you see it. That’s where things like wish lists, favourites, and social media likes can help tailor the choices based on a discovery of trends and subtleties that not even the customer knew they felt strongly about.
Fashion is just an example. Other Magento eCommerce business metaphors are also available.