The fashion industry is constantly evolving: from small online boutiques to hauls and styling tips plastered all over social media. So, as new technologies emerge, brands must adapt to meet the changing needs of their customers. A new way for fashion brands to communicate with their consumers is conversational commerce. This enables them to connect with customers in real-time through personalised conversations, creating a more convenient and seamless shopping experience.
But how are brands leveraging this emerging form of communication, and what results is the fashion industry seeing?
In this article, we will cover the following:
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce allows brands and retailers to engage with their customers in real-time through a number of online conversational channels such as live video shopping, messaging apps, and social media channels. Conversational commerce is important for e-commerce as it builds relationships between retailers and their customers by way of communicating with one another.
Conversational commerce also gives e-commerce brands and retailers a one-on-one sales channel to provide personalised customer service. This transforms what can be a stagnant online shopping browse into an immersive digital experience for customers; in fact, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question.
Importance of conversational commerce in the fashion industry
“To limit customer frustration during online shopping and buying as much as possible, while enriching their digital experience, brands in the fashion and accessories industry are investing in conversational commerce. The world of fashion has been experiencing a digital transformation, which comes with its share of challenges. Easy access to a wealth of information has brought about change in customer expectations. More and more, they expect a relationship built on trust with their favourite brands and place emphasis on transparency” (iAdvize).
One of the key advantages of the fashion industry implementing conversational commerce is its ability to provide personalised recommendations and advice based on a customer’s individual needs and preferences. When it comes to selling fashion, the industry is highly personal, and customers often have specific concerns and preferences when it comes to the size, style, and fit of their clothing.
Fashion customers are looking for credible and real-time advice that caters to their individual tastes, and conversational commerce allows brands to gather information and curate such personalised recommendations. By leveraging conversational channels, fashion brands and retailers can offer educational resources and advice that builds credibility with their customers, who can ask questions, get recommendations, and make purchases without leaving the platform they are already using. This can lead to increased engagement and sales for fashion brands and retailers.
According to a Salesforce study, 88% of customers think that a company’s experience is just as important as its products or services; this shows how conversational commerce can help create an immersive and memorable experience.
Moreover, conversational commerce provides an avenue for brands to showcase their values and missions, whether that be their commitment to sustainability, ethical sourcing, or use of natural materials. By offering these educational resources and advice, fashion brands and retailers can create a strong emotional connection with the customer, ultimately leading to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
That being said, all of these advantages are seen to drive revenue, conversion rates, and average order value in the fashion industry. Conversational commerce allows fashion brands and retailers to sell across multiple channels, including both online and offline, offering a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers. A report by Juniper Research found that conversational commerce will be responsible for $290 billion in retail sales by 2025, highlighting the enormous potential of this approach.
Fashion brands and retailers embracing conversational commerce
Many fashion brands and retailers are implementing conversational commerce as part of their virtual clienteling strategy. Below are just a few examples of this:
- Private White is a Great British luxury clothing brand crafted from the finest yarns and fabrics. They use Confer With’s live one-to-one video shopping platform to connect with their online customers and create an immersive digital shopping experience, as well as offering personalised styling advice.
- To a select number of customers, online retailer of shoes, fashion and activewear Zalando, is launching their own virtual fashion assistant powered by ChatGPT. The chatbot will allow customers to ask questions using their own fashion terms and words and provide them with relevant suggestions.
H&M is a multinational clothing company that have created a virtual assistant which shares styling advice with customers on their website.
- Multi-national retail clothing chain, Zara, offers customers the chance to chat with their virtual assistant via messenger on their website. Customers can select whether they need help with selecting the right size of a product, alongside other customer service queries.
Live video shopping in the age of fashion e-commerce
Live video shopping can take two forms: one-to-one and one-to-many. In terms of the fashion industry, one-to-one live video shopping is the best form of conversational commerce, ideal for considered and larger purchases. Let’s have a look into why this is the case.
One-to-one video differs greatly from a traditional live chat service as it can often be difficult to convey the right information over text, particularly if the customer is struggling to explain what they are looking for. However, by using live video, customers can interact with brand ambassadors in real-time and receive tailored recommendations based on their unique needs and preferences.
For example, a customer interested in purchasing a new outfit for a wedding can connect with a personal stylist through a live video conversation. The brand ambassador can then ask the customer about the context of the purchase, as well as their individual style and size. Based on the information provided, they can offer personalised product recommendations, showcase the products available, and provide real-time feedback to ensure that the customer is satisfied with their purchase.
Live one-to-one video shopping is also a valuable tool for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By providing a higher level of customer service and attention, brands can create a unique and memorable shopping experience that sets them apart from other fashion brands in the market.