Fashion E-commerce: The Role of Data in Designing, Manufacturing & Marketing

How do you make your customers fall in love with your brand? Before we get into answering this question, let’s remind ourselves that these customers we are talking about are all humans. To make a human fall in love with you, the most important thing is to make them feel that you know them. The same rule applies to your business. This basic human nature of the desire to be listened to, largely dictates the success of your brand. If you want to make your customers fell in love with your brand, you must make them feel that you know them.

This is where customer data comes in to play. As a Fashion retailer, you need to deeply understand the importance of collecting customer data,  related to their experience with your products and overall shopping experience. Ordinary businesses are built on hunch; and if you want to build a truly amazing brand, you have to master data. You can’t be relevant to them, until you know who they are. There is only so far you can go if you’re feeding them content, marketing messages and offering them to buy your products based on your hunch. You will find yourself riding too much on your luck.

This data is what can help you compete against giants like Amazon & Ebay with whom you can’t compete with otherwise because of their almost infinite infrastructure. These businesses were started with the objective of closing transactions and convenience shopping. They have always been driven by search, whereas Online Fashion today is driven by browsing and discovery.

Data helps you in building a ‘unique’ emotional connection between your customers and your brand and gives you a unique advantage that no competitor can take away from you.

This data also helps you in building a community of taste makers quickly; a community that can tell you, what goes with what? What is hot? What doesn’t fit? This community in turn gives you more focused and higher quality customer data. You can use this data to build stronger relationships by offering personalized user experience, marketing messages, content and product selection.

I agree, it’s indeed about closing a transaction, but what has changed in last few years is the path to closing transaction. Understanding this path requires you to know your customers. The great fashion retailers who have a strong relationship with their customers know exactly who their customers are, what they love and what they don’t. To collect this data, they use instruments such as: Quiz, Customer Reviews, Contests, Customer returns, Customer Feedback, Social Media, Vendor feedback forms etc. While selecting instruments for data collection, you should remember that you can collect right data only when you know the objective and you’re looking to close the loop. When planning customer data gathering, you should know why are you collecting the data. Where will you use this data?

Apart from the marketing benefits, this data can also play an important role in inventory management. You can use this data to make intelligent inventory buying decisions. You can feed this data back into your product’s design and manufacturing process and take a more calculated risk while investing in mass production of certain products.

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TrueandCo Ilovefashionretail

True&Co: One of the retailers doing an excellent job in collecting and using customer data is True&Co. They are providing direct-to-consumer, tailored lingerie at about half of Victoria’s Secret price. True&Co collects customer data in the form of quiz and based on the response of the customer, they send them 5 items. Customer buys any one and returns the rest. Then they take customer’s feedback on what the customer didn’t like about the products they have chosen to return. They ask what did the customer not like about their products. They collect specific data related to customer’s feedback on the product’s fitting, color quality etc by asking questions like – how well it fits, how does it feel, which color they liked most etc. And then they use that data to manufacture products on a larger scale.  

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