Why the best services are customised, not standardised?
For many of us shopping is not only about buying stuff, but it is also about creating an experience. We all have emotional reasons for choosing one brand over another. This social connection, however, fades away with more and more fashion brands getting online and leaving behind the human interaction. In the rush to get online, many brands have built up low-cost equivalents of their brick and mortar stores and forgot about the pure human connection that makes customers loyal to the brand.
In recent years, however, we have seen newer entrants setting the bar high and challenging the more established and traditional retail brands and business models. In the latest wave of omnichannel business models, we can see that retailers try to satisfy not only some functional needs, but also more complex ones – at emotional and social levels. Big brand names such as Farfetch and Matchesfashion incorporate numerous digital features to create seamless omnichannel experience for their customers. Examples include services like mobile apps, which log every interaction with individual customers enabling brands to bring personalisation into the physical world.
Furthermore, a research done by Harvard Business Review reveals that the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations. HBR worked with a major apparel retailer on analysing aspects of the customer journey experience to find out which services and features could drive emotional connection. The list of customers’ key emotional motivators include their desire to feel a sense of belonging, be thrilled by the shopping experience with customised services and be offered personalised alerts on new items.
As competition intensifies, online retailers no longer can be successful just by being cheaper or more convenient, but they should focus on how to engage their customers on emotional and social levels by creating carefully designed and highly personalised shopping experiences for them. “Shaping a customer experience by being precise about the emotional connections you’re trying to build and investing in the touch points that drive these connections is an powerful way to increase customer value, and maximize the return on investment decisions and minimize the risk.”