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CASE STUDY H&M: engaging with customers

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As a global fashion brand, H&M aims to reach existing and potential customers around the world, both online and through its stores. From its website it offers customers a range of ways to engage with the brand as it works towards a strategy of doubling its sales by 2030, while reducing its emissions to zero by the same date. 

H&M is the original brand in an H&M Group that now includes eight brands and turned over SEK 198.97bn (€19.02bn) in 2021. H&M itself was founded in 1947 when Erling Persson opened a womenswear shop called Hennes in Västerås, Sweden. Now H&M, ranked Elite in the RetailX Top1000 Europe, takes a multichannel approach to selling clothing and footwear for men and children as well as women, with 4,157 shops in 76 markets and 56 market-specific local language and local currency online websites.

Building customer relationships

From its home page, H&M offers shoppers the opportunity to sign up to its newsletter, while also linking to its social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram YouTube and Pinterest. The retailer has more than 40.4m followers on Facebook, where it shares fashion advice and inspiration. H&M’s demographic may be more likely to want to engage via mobile – the retailer offers both iOS and Android apps. Signed in shoppers can save items to a ‘favourites’ list, or in their shopping bag for later. 

The retail brand encourages shoppers to become a member of the free H& club, in exchange for special prices, exclusive discounts, free click and collect and free delivery when spending £20 or more. Shoppers collect points by joining, shopping and once they have collected 300 points they qualify for free delivery and returns as well as surprise offers and early access to collections. All of these approaches are part of developing a data-driven relationship with customers, that enables H&M to send more relevant messages and discounts to shoppers. The retailer also shares features from its customer magazine on the website, with recent features covering Pride 2022 and the crochet trend.

Shoppers can browse the website using a comprehensive navigation that filters by clothing type, by current trends, named occasions, by brands and by rental and sustainable shopping options.

Delivery and payment options

From the checkout shoppers can see reviews, delivery options, and also have the option of finding the item in their local store, using a stock checker.

On H&M’s Swedish website, standard delivery, in two to four days, is free when shoppers spend at least SEK 200, or costs SEK 39.90 for smaller orders. Collection and locker delivery are also available. A variety of express delivery services which deliver in one to two days are available for an extra charge. Payment methods include Klarna – available to registered members – PayPal and Apple Pay as well as credit and debit cards. Returns can be made within 30 days, and are free to a shop or for members, but cost SEK 39.90 for returns via a courier or a locker service. 

In the UK, the cost of standard, two to four day delivery or collection is £3.99, while next day delivery is also available on orders placed by 7pm for an extra charge. Returns are free and must made within 28 days. Standard fulfilment services are free to members.

This first appeared in the RetailX Top1000 Europe. Download here to see the full listing and analysis of Europe’s leading retailers

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