At London Fashion Week, a number of retailers cut out months of waiting time by making their latest collections instantly available to consumers.
It’s a great example of retailers in the digital age harnessing their brand power and understanding of consumer behaviour to get closer to shoppers more quickly and effectively.
The ‘see now, buy now’ collections tap into a willingness by today’s savviest shoppers to switch back and forth between physical and online channels as they browse, share ideas and buy. This is driving intu.co.uk’s Shop Insider channel, which has delivered a 200% increase in traffic by offering editorial content in partnership with great brands to really engage our digital audience.
“We’re all overwhelmed by intrusive marketing messages, so why wouldn’t we demand to be seen as individuals and exploit the channels available to us?”
Consumers’ growing desire to take control of their retail and leisure time lies at the heart of these changing habits, shifting the balance of power back to shoppers who won’t wait six months for the latest fashions to hit the stores. Research we carried out with Savills shows direct correlation between consumer spend online and satisfaction with the local fashion offer, with 55% of unfulfilled millennials choosing to shop online instead.
And this isn’t limited to millennials. We’re all overwhelmed by intrusive marketing messages, so why wouldn’t we demand to be seen as individuals and exploit the channels available to us? 75% of shoppers still prefer to try on clothes before buying, and 55% research online before purchasing in-store.
Tech and experience
Today’s consumers are a loyal but tough crowd so it’s important we know how to capture that loyalty by arming ourselves with the right insight. This is where technology combined with the experience of staff steeped in the nuances of their local centre can provide a deeper understanding.
Net promoter scores (NPSs) have been used for years by retailers to improve service, but two years ago we followed suit as the first centre operator to invest in a real-time NPS system that’s helped us to make tangible improvements in everything from seating to other award-winning facilities.
“Italian cosmetics brand Kiko first tested the water at intu Victoria Centre before moving into seven more intu centres across the UK last year”
Our nationwide scale, regional strength and powerful online presence means we understand what is happening on a centre, national and digital level, across multiple categories and demographics. We’ve shared this insight to help British and international retailers grow their businesses, and new brands coming into the UK have chosen to work with us as a result – Italian cosmetics brand Kiko first tested the water at intu Victoria Centre before moving into seven more intu centres across the UK last year, with plans to open more.
While the rules continue to change and the consumer journey becomes ever more complex, we can’t forget about the customer. Because it’s all about the people we deal with day in, day out, offline and online. And at the most basic level they’re looking for the same things: peace of mind, value for money, a great retail experience and that little something extra to make them smile.
- David Fischel is chief executive of Intu