Moss Bros: the importance of using data effectively (CR15)
Moss Bros has put the emphasis on getting to know its customers in order to try to create a shopping experience that works for them.
“Today’s world is very complex,” says Neil Sansom, omnichannel director at the formal wear retailer and hire company. “Customers do a lot of research before shopping, and there are lots of channels they can shop in – not just the internet but mobile, tablets and in-store. Trying to knit those journeys together to try and create that same brand experience is a real challenge today.”
It’s a challenge the company has approached by over the last three years developing IT systems that collect data centrally, and then feed into a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It’s working towards having a seamless view of the customer, but already the retailer can gain insights into how particular customers prefer to browse and buy, and which suits they buy. When customers use free wi-fi in store, Moss Bros can capture browsing in the shop to see whether they’ve converted at the till.
This isn’t just a sales-led strategy – it’s about making things easier for the customer. We’re giving the customer the highlights, the edits of the products that they would like or prefer.”
Sansom says that understanding behaviour across devices was “a major challenge” but “we’re now beginning to see how technology can cope with some of that”. That’s important because the use of mobile devices in digital commerce is growing quickly. Moss Bros’ view of the customer enables it to understand what customers want and, says Sansom, it now knows the emails it sends are more likely to be opened on a mobile device. “We send ours out at commuting time because we know that customers will look at it on the go, on the train. When they get off the bus or out of the car they’ll check their mobile email, it’ll be a stimulus and probably later in the day they’ll visit the tablet or desktop site and they’ll probably convert.
Having insights into how shoppers buy also enables Moss Bros to attribute sales correctly. In the store, that’s more of a challenge – but the company now allocates online sales to the nearest store so sales staff benefit from encouraging customers to use the internet to see an extended range of items. The company, which is active both on Facebook and Twitter, is capturing some data from social feeds. “I think social is now an element of research,” says Sansom, “particularly in terms of menswear is getting more and more fashionable, stylish, men want to be smart, to be in and have the latest thing. We’re using social to try and convey that. It’s a massive element in terms of how we try and drive traffic.”