A paradox of modern retailing is that the growth in online sales has come at a time when customers are expecting even more from their in-store shopping experience. Next is undergoing significant digital change to reconcile the increased pressure being exerted on its once superior supply chain. In addition, the industry is predicting less than stellar performance from its annual results. These challenges are then exacerbated by competition from online competitors, such as Amazon which is really upping its private label fashion credentials. As such, multi-platform engagement is essential.
The Next website is well laid out and functional, mainly focusing attention on the homeware ranges rather than clothing lines. It is quite dated and lacks any eye-grabbing material, either through promotional lines or catalogued trends for the SS16 campaigns.
Alongside its uninspiring website, Next is consistent in delivering an equally practical but somewhat boring mobile-platform. It has an in-app locator and barcode scanner but these features are no longer exciting for customers. The layout facilitates a straightforward customer journey which at least makes the purchasing process easy to follow. The prices online are consistent with the store offering, however, they could do with linking this to a spring lookbook or combining with a well thought out up-selling process.
The in-store experience on the high street is typically best described as a “let down” for many retailers and Next is no exception. Although it does have large screens advertising product there is no way for the customer to interact with these, nor do they have a way for Next to interact with customers via its app. Next is doing well as a conservative British retailer but with the right digital strategy, it could increase its reach beyond its current demographic.
Digital Review – Score 14 / 25:
Collection in-store: 4
Mobile app: 3
Mobile web: 3
IPad app: 4
In-store tech: 0