Brexit and the continued uncertainty about whether the UK will leave the EU in coming weeks continue to dominate wider headlines, but, since it’s not yet possible to say what the export and import arrangements will be for traders from mid-April, we’re staying focused on how retailers are focusing on ensuring something just as important - how they cam improve their customers’ experience.
In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as retailers from H&M to AO.com and Made in the UK, and in Europe, Galeries Lafayette, rethink the customer service and experience that they offer online, in their stores – and beyond. For H&M and Made, it’s about bringing digital into the store, integrating the online and offline to give the customer a better experience. H&M is integrating its store and online experience from the customer’s point of view, and it’s also taking the use of AI and advanced analytics to the supply chain. We hear from Made head of showrooms Jamie Bennett, in an IRX preview, on in-store digital innovation. Bennett looks at how digital can transform the in-store experience, while stores also have a transformative power for digital-first businesses. Meanwhile, AO.com looks at how it can improve the in-home experience that it offers.
What unites all is the importance of getting it right for the empowered customer who can now so easily choose to move to another retailer or brand, while ensuring that operations remain both efficient and profitable. It’s a challenge that many are taking up, as no doubt we’ll see at next week’s IRX 2019.
We also report as Sports Direct’s takeover interest in Debenhams appears to be over, as Shop Direct says it will rebrand to The Very Group as it looks to attract more staff, and on research that suggests email ROI has improved since GDPR legislation came into force.
From our European coverage, we include the news that Galeries Lafayette is offering personal styling in its mobile app, while its new Paris flagship store features a smart hanger that can automatically tell customers what other sizes are available.
Today’s guest comment comes from Steph Heasman, director of customer success at Feefo and Simon Stirling of Direct2Florist, who take a Mother’s Day look at the power of reviews and ratings.