What trends will develop the e-commerce industry? Which are the holdups in this sector? What is your experience on return policy? How much social media do you use to promote yourself? Do you rely on apps?
Three trends that will develop the e-commerce industry in the next five years will be: Personalisation of user experience; algorithmic curation (With 4 million+ SKUs in the market, it is paramount to curate top products so that the user does not feel like buying from a catalogue); experience like trial room.
Currently, online fashion sites show the same catalogue to everyone. It does not matter if it is a quirky teenage girl or an elegant lady or a corporate woman. All get to see the same products. This results in highly suboptimal user experience where every user sees a lot of not-so-relevant products. The solution lies in the system capturing and understanding every individual's fashion taste through her activity on the site, quizzes or other sources. This personalisation needs to keep improving so that suggestions keep getting better.
Product discovery, sizing issues, inability to see how the product will look on the user are the major holdups in this sector. In offline retail, customers try on the SKUs before buying. There is a huge value in this process because the look of the clothing on the wearer is determined here. In online shopping, this important part of the fashion shopping experience is missing, leading to a significant percentage of the population not buying online. E-commerce players need to offer a liberal return policy as well as COD to circumvent this problem that leads to huge costs.
One of the biggest challenges that apparel e-tailers face is of returns. We see 25-30 per cent returns on all transactions routed through us.
We are using Facebook and Instagram to promote ourselves. Response on fashion is good on both platforms. But Facebook provides a limited reach to your target audience so you need to spend to get paid reach as well.
We do rely on apps. Since people cannot be installing apps for every brand in the market, so a lot of brands are now focusing on their web experience. We are also focusing on our web presence.
Published on: 24/02/2017
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.