The cornerstone of successful retail is providing customers with great experiences. In today’s digital landscape, the retailers that are winning this battle are more often than not those that are able to apply the same customer-centric focus across multiple online and offline channels.
However, it’s not just presence on different channels that is important, increasingly it’s the integration between those channels that makes the real difference. Technological advances such as Apple Pay have created new opportunities for retailers but also raise the expectations of consumers for seamless, integrated experiences.
In this blog, we share three retailers that not only have great websites but also use these sites as part of an effective omni-channel strategy - good for them!
Founded in 2004, Rapha is a cycling brand that has grown to annual sales approaching £50m, providing cycle clothing and kit to customers including Team Sky (which concludes at the end of the 2016 season).
Alongside the clean design and attractive branding, what struck me about Rapha’s website was the content. Inspirational videos and essays have been a hallmark of the brand since inception. This is replicated across all social channels and it’s this focus on providing content with the customer at its centre that goes some way to explaining the brand loyalty that Rapha enjoys.
The website is fully responsive, with checkout processes and search functions that are as intuitive on mobile or tablet as on desktop. Click on ‘stores’ and you can see another nod to a clever omni-channel strategy. Rather than bricks and mortar stores, Rapha run pop-up cycle clubs as a place for road riders to meet across the world, drink coffee and purchase their products.
Pretty Green is one of the UK’s fastest growing menswear fashion retailers, founded by Liam Gallagher in 2009. A brand famous as much for its straight-talking marketing as its innovative approach to retail.
Pretty Green’s website includes a virtual fitting room function that allows customers to enter their height, weight and other details so that they can have a more realistic view of how clothing might fit them. This functionality is provided through an integration with Fits.Me and demonstrates how smart use of technology can provide a reason for customers to keep coming back to your site. For Pretty Green this is not a new development; as far back as 2012 it offered one tap purchasing from its mobile store.
Pretty Green is constantly investing in technology across all areas of the business to keep pace with consumer demands. This leads to a better experience for customers and reputation for being a forward-thinking brand.
A mention of Liam Gallagher presents a dangerous opportunity for shoe-horning in some lyrics, so rather than fall into that trap I thought I would simply take a look at Oasis’ website. In this context we’re talking about the high street retailer rather than the Mancunian creators of memorable 1990s ballads and hairstyles.
Oasis is one of the traditional bricks and mortar retailers that has successfully adapted to the demands of 21st century retail. The brand is quickly becoming synonymous for a simple and pleasing customer experience across all channels. Its website is at the heart of this; fully-responsive and visually appealing, the site provides a clear path to purchase for customers, regardless of device.
Where Oasis earns its omni-channel spurs is through the use of iPads across its high street stores. This allows customers to gain the best of both online and offline retail, with the ability to try an item on in a store, pay online and ask for delivery, therefore bypassing the queues in shops.