Interview with Vicky Zadeh

Face2Face
Vicky Zadeh
Vicky Zadeh
CEO
Rakuten Fits Me
Rakuten Fits Me

What according to you would be major contributors to improve customer loyalty for an online clothing brand?

As I mentioned, we believe fit is one of the biggest drivers of customer loyalty; online shoppers need confidence that what they are ordering will fit them and that confidence results in larger order values and more frequent purchasing. Besides fit, we believe a significant contributor to driving customer loyalty is providing a truly personalised shopping experience. An example of this is only showing items of clothing that will fit and flatter the individual; our Fit Match product allows shoppers to only show those items that will fit and that are in stock. A third contributing factor to customer loyalty is providing a seamless omnichannel; shoppers are more loyal to brands that offer a consistent and engaging experience both in-store and online.

What are the top five ecommerce shoppers' trends of the future?

Here are five of the key trends that we think will influence shoppers in 2018:

1. Real People: It is becoming more common for brands to include 'real' people in their advertising campaigns, driven by the rise in bloggers and social influencers. British brands such as ASOS and Misguided have created campaigns specifically around celebrating the real consumer, which have been very positively received; more realistic advertising makes brands much more appealing to a wider audience. 

2. Individualisation: About 78 per cent of shoppers are happy to provide personal data in return for a personalised shopping experience. Personalising the shopper journey no longer needs to be done in a divide and conquer way, with large buckets of consumer types being categories into sub-groups. In the data rich world we live in, retailers now have the opportunity to personalise at an individual level, making each shopper experience unique.

3. The always-on consumer: Shoppers are always online. It doesn't matter so much when certain marketing communications are sent out any more. A challenge here for retailers is that their messaging is consistent across all the channels that their customer base is interacting with. As previously discussed, offering a consistent and engaging omnichannel experience will become increasingly important.

4. Social shopping: This is something which has risen dramatically over the past few years and set to keep on growing. Brands now often work very closely with bloggers and influencers to help promote their items. It is now one of the most invested-in channels when promoting new ranges. Social channels are also set to introduce 'buy now' buttons, allowing consumers to purchase straight within applications.

5. Size and fit: About 85 per cent of shoppers say that they would remain loyal to a brand if they clothes fit them correctly. Brands can no longer afford to just offer an online size chart to consumers-technology, such as ours, needs to be implemented to accurately recommend customers which size they should purchase in their store. 

Please share details of the last two fiscal years and your expectations from the next two.

In 2017, we launched our core recommendation product, Fit Origin, adding around 100 merchants (+175 per cent YoY), quickly gaining over 2 million first-time users. Over the next two years, we expect to continue to grow at more than 100 per cent YoY driven by launching new products, new major ecommerce platform plug-ins, our new partner programme and regional expansion. At the same time as developing and delivering a bespoke product to Rakuten's Global Marketplace (the 3rd largest marketplace in the world with over 40,000 apparel merchants), the last two years have seen major investment in re-engineering our core product to provide the most accurate, easy to use fit recommendation in the market, and revolutionising the customer experience with the our recently launched product, Fit Match.  We launched our new pricing in 2017 with a hierarchy of editions to suit all sized retailers, while still allowing for customisability and flexibility.

What are the future plans?

Our focus in 2018 and beyond is on improving the shopper experience, both online and offline. We are motivated by providing tools that ensure consumers can shop with confidence and enjoy every interaction. We will continue to capture and share invaluable consumer and product insight with retailers, allowing them to build a relationship with every individual shopper and continually personalise, and improve, their shopping experience. (HO)

Published on: 15/01/2018

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.

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