Customers are increasingly connecting online and offline channels when shopping for products. With this, companies are also catching up to make the customer’s experience seamless when transitioning across channels. You can read more about the market here. Increasingly, companies across industries are developing integrated online and offline presence. According to a research, even now, offline stores account for 82% of global sales.Hence, several businesses that started off as e-commerce companies are taking actions to be present in both the channels, in different categories such as furniture and home furnishing.
E-commerce in the apparel industry has grown in its own right. There are different categories in the online apparel industry, and different players have found their niche in them. The apparel industry has seen its own problems with the fit, colours, and returns.
Zivame Introduction and Context
Zivame is an omnichannel brand and marketplace, having both an online medium (the website and the mobile app for Android and iOS) that caters to the entire country and offline stores in more than 10 cities in India. You can read more about its offline presence here.
Zivame’s presence in both these retail formats brings about a new challenge of interacting with and managing customers at two completely different touchpoints. Right now, the customer expectations and its offerings are specific to the corresponding channels. Integrating these formats is both arduous and highly rewarding, which is what Zivame is looking at by utilising them to its best advantage.
Online and Offline Customer Journey
Currently, when a customer wants to purchase a product offline, the typical process is as follows:
- Enter the Zivame store either by external attraction or by own knowledge of the product.
- Choose an outfit or product from the display, or go through a fit session recommended by the Zivame staff.
- Try out the products and understand the size fit and the ideal product type as per the suggestions and help offered by the Zivame staff.
- Check other colours and colour combinations.
- Choose an outfit that fits you well and has the colour combination that you want.
- Buy the outfit.
Similarly, when a customer purchases a product online, the process is as follows:
- Browse through the various collections and then narrow them down to the preferred products.
- Choose the desired product type and colour combination.
- Refer to the size charts for the right size.
- Order online.
- Try it out to check the fit when the product is delivered.
- Return if the fit is not appropriate and choose another outfit, or exchange it for the same product in a different size if the purchased size is incorrect.
Zivame wants to provide a delightful omnichannel experience to its customers. It wants its customers to be connected to and involved with Zivame. To that end, it aims to convert casual browsers into first-time shoppers and shoppers into loyal customers. Zivame wants to utilise its physical presence in multiple cities of India along with its digital platforms. It also wants to utilise technology to capture data around user behaviours, interactions, and preferences and incorporate the same into its channels to provide a personalised customer experience.
These are just a few of the things Zivame is looking at right now, but the scope is not limited to the areas mentioned above.
As a PM, you have to explore and understand what today’s retail customers expect in a technology-driven world, where they expect no distinction between an offline format and an online one.