More people will buy clothes online in 2019 than ever before. It’s a fact, and that means that the opportunity for apparel retailers to see strong growth from their eCommerce business has never been better. Of course, as we’ve seen over the years, most of that growth goes to the companies with a strong focus on innovation and a clear understanding of how their customer, and their shopping habits, are changing. For many brands Millennials have moved from being a market segment to being the largest segment of their customer base.
February 2018 research from Pymnts.com showed millennials make twice as many annual apparel purchases than boomers. The amount spent per transaction rose with age: $101.1 for millennials, $160.5 for Gen X and $172.6 for baby boomers, yet boomers spent the least annually ($1,389), Gen X the most ($2,367) and millennials in the middle ($1,950). (Source – eMarketer Retail)
So what does this mean for apparel retailers when it comes to nailing the customer experience in 2019? It means that there’s a good chance some changes will need to be made to make sure the customer experience meets customer expectation. We talk with apparel shoppers constantly to keep our finger on the pulse of what they like, what they don’t like, and most importantly, why they buy. Here’s what shoppers are looking for in 2019:
- A better experience around fit and sizing – if you’re still using size charts, know that your consumer experience is lacking when it comes to helping customers find the right size. Shoppers don’t have measuring tapes handy and home and size charts often don’t do a good job of differentiating between how fit varies between style. Too often brands will have one size chart for “Bottoms” when they carry skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, and a dozen other varieties, all that fit slightly differently. When a customer doesn’t know what size to buy, they often just don’t buy at all.
- Pixel-perfect mobile experience – most of the top brands made this move years ago, if you haven’t yet you’re going to feel the impact more this year than ever before. While there’s been a rumor going around that consumers prefer to browse on mobile and buy on desktop, that’s changing. Many consumers said they didn’t buy on mobile because the customer experience wasn’t there, for innovative brands like EXPRESS, Bonobos, American Eagle, and many more, they’ve designed exceptional mobile experiences and consumers are buying.
- Leveraging loyalty – the apparel brands that have done the best online have also done the best when it comes to loyalty. Incentivizing your best customers to come back and buy again is critical and consumers are now expecting great perks by being a loyalty customer. Your loyalty program should be connected to your mobile experience and using key tools like notifications to keep your best customers engaged, excited, and coming back for more.