Who's consumer-centred?


26 January 2019

Who’s customer-centered today?

Since my mind is into AI and machine learning in the fashion retail sector - I-Dylic demands it and I personally find it fascinating -, Mireille and I wonder what is actually customer-centered and what is not in terms of e-commerce and personalized service.

What are the big issues for fashion e-tailers today?

  1. Returns: The biggest issue for merchant sites is the high percentage of returns: wrong size, wrong color, wrong shape, all these things you would see in a physical store but not online.

  2. Too much information: Merchant websites have hundreds of thousands of items (Amazon, millions), with a set list of attributes to make navigation easier, but who pays attention if what you buy isn’t suitable in shape and color?

  3. Size: Many merchants are now integrating tools to help people buy the size that corresponds to their actual body measures, and that’s great news, but does that mean we will actually look good in it? Is it the right cut or shape that will make us look our best?

  4. Speed: E-commerce site are increasingly quick in delivering packages around the world in a couple of days or even hours, via delivery men in cars, on motorbikes, on bicycles and soon with drones. What is the degree of happiness we get in return for having our pulsions satisfied immediately. What about our planification, or “sleeping over it” before buying something, or if I can’t wear that dress tonight I can pick the one that fits like a glove in my wardrobe, even though it isn’t new.

In the end we are rushing online for a better price, a better size, a quicker delivery, but seriously do you shop fashion like you shop groceries? Is that the idea?

Where’s the rush?

I sometimes get in a frenzy when sales are on, I start looking on all my favorite retail platforms and brand sites, and I feel if I wait too long everything will disappear. Then eventually I calm down. I don’t need everything, but I might desire something new, but it’s important that I enjoy the ride, not that I feel like a victim or compulsive shopping.

I think we should always remember the sensation of a physical store where you come out happy about your purchase and want to get home to try it on again, or else remember that time you told the salesperson you would wear your purchase immediately.

Get this straight, the fashion industry is worth 3 trillion $ and there are clothes for everyone in every size and color, unless you are searching for a vintage Yves Saint Laurent red velvet suit of the 70s in your size. It can be more tricky, though not impossible.

The thing is the more you know what suits you, helped or not, the easier and more pleasant your shopping experience will be, and the more easily you will navigate in the big sea of the internet.

So if retailers aren’t customer-centered enough, center yourself. Define your priorities and objectives, know yourself and take pleasure in what you do, even if it means loving yourself better.

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©I-DYLIC. Article by Eleonore Vadon