Omnichannel strategy boosts fashion company

Recognizing the evolution of customer preferences and the rising use of mobile platforms, the management team at a leading fashion player in the Asia-Pacific region sought support from Bain in developing its omnichannel strategy and mobile business model. With Bain’s help, the company developed an integrated strategy that ensured it could meet and exceed the expectations of its customers, contributing to a five-fold increase in mobile revenue in less than one year.

  • 3 min read

At a Glance

  • 10xIncrease in accumulated app downloads within one year
  • 5xIncrease in mobile revenue within one year

The Full Story

The Situation

An effective omnichannel strategy presents retailers with a significant opportunity as they seek to engage with an ever-evolving customer base. The marriage of the digital world and the physical one are creating wholly new sources of value, a phenomenon we call DigicalSM, and FashionCo* recognized it needed the right strategy to succeed in this environment.

Prior to their engagement with Bain, FashionCo’s success was due in large part to sales from their brick-and-mortar stores. The company maintained e-commerce channels, but sales accounted for just 10% of its total revenue and those channels only offered discounted, off-season products. Compounding matters, the company lacked an integrated omnichannel strategy which created a varied customer experience across channels, with disjointed back-end operations and pricing inconsistencies.

Omnichannel strategy boosts fashion company

Our Approach

Bain worked with the FashionCo management team to tackle the key questions related to the company’s omnichannel strategy and mobile opportunity, including:

  • How should the price and assortment of FashionCo’s online channel compare to its offline channel?
  • What should FashionCo do to reach full potential in their omnichannel efforts?

The teams organized with two primary objectives in mind: to expand FashionCo’s mobile channel and to develop stronger support for both online and offline sales. More specifically, Bain sought to help FashionCo develop a comprehensive mobile strategy and to create a seamless customer experience with an improved operating model that integrated its online, offline and mobile channels.

Our Recommendations

Bain and FashionCo collaborated to create FashionCo’s holistic strategy for mobile and omnichannel, developing a number of key recommendations:
  • Defined where to play and how to win: In an effort to increase the loyalty of their customers, raise the number of omnichannel buyers and promote brand awareness and trials, the teams determined FashionCo’s key points of differentiation on mobile based on their competitive advantages in store connectivity, content curation and product assortment.
  • Developed mobile channel: Designed to attract traffic and encourage purchasing, the mobile channel emphasized the right content and in-season products.
  • Price promotion: The teams addressed the potential conflicts in price promotion across offline, online and mobile channels by establishing benchmarks and clarifying decision roles
  • Customer service: By aligning incentives, processes and systems the teams created an environment where employees could focus on customer needs and resolved out-of-stock issues.

The Results

With Bain’s help, FashionCo’s investment in mobile generated bottom line results and also enabled the organization to succeed with an omnichannel channel approach that met the expectations of its customers. Within one year, mobile engagement, users and revenue increased at FashionCo and it stands ready to continue to capitalize with the appropriate systems and processes in place.

In one year, FashionCo’s omnichannel efforts contributed to increased mobile engagement, users and revenue:

https://www.bain.com/client-results/omnichannel-strategy-boosts-fashion-company/

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‘We’re binge-eating chips not quinoa’: How in fluencers have pivoted in generation lockdown

PUBLISHED TUE, APR 21 2020

Lucy Handley

A young woman filming content for social media posts

HRAUN | Getty Images

What’s the future for influencers who are used to filling their social media feeds with images of their luxury trips, shopping hauls or new cars when they are now staying at home under lockdown?

“The premise that influencer marketing is largely based on — aspiration — is now fundamentally flawed. No one can aspire to a perfect life anymore. There are no more yoga or spin classes after the school run, no more matcha lattes, Botox appointments are on hold, and whole families are living in close, often messy, quarters. We’re binge-eating chips not quinoa,” stated Sarah Baumann, managing director of marketing agency VaynerMedia in London, in an email to CNBC.

Influencers earn money from brands for posting sponsored content. A “micro” influencer, with around 10,000 followers can make $250 per post, with figures going up to about $250,000 for someone with more than a million. That’s according to a report by cybersecurity company Cheq that was published pre-pandemic.

For some, influencers’ “aspirational” content has been a step too far during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ricky Gervais, creator of “The Office,” highlighted the gap between medics’ lives and some celebrities in an interview. “These people are doing 14-hour shifts and not complaining. Wearing masks, and being left with sores, after risking their own health and their families’ health selflessly. But then I see someone complaining about being in a mansion with a swimming pool. And, you know, honestly, I just don’t want to hear it,” he told U.K. publication The Sun last week.

“There have been some instances of people basically being really stupid and not realizing that they are in the limelight. That being said, I think … there’s a lot of influencers who have actually risen up to the occasion,” according to Rahul Titus, head of influence at ad agency Ogvily. Titus cited Finland, where the government has classified influencers as essential “critical operators,” during the crisis, along with medical workers and bus drivers.

″(It) sounds hilarious, but it makes perfect sense … These are people who’ve got direct access to a community of fans instantly. And if you want to get a message out, especially with a younger generation, actually influencers are the right way to get there,” Titus told CNBC by phone.

The World Health Organization is using influencers to source donations to its Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. It is even working with digital avatar Knox Frost, who posted details of how to give money to the WHO to his 1 million Instagram followers earlier this month.

Baumann praised other influencers for their positive actions, including Joe Wicks, a fitness instructor who is posting daily workouts for schoolchildren on YouTube, and author David Walliams who released the copyright for his kids’ books so teachers can use them in home-schooling videos.

Charity content

Bonnie Rakhit, a former fashion magazine editor who now runs fashion blog The Style Traveller, has encouraged her Instagram followers to become community volunteers via non-profit the British Red Cross and to “Clap for our Carers,” where people in the U.K. cheer medics from their homes each week.

And while she usually promotes fashion labels and reviews luxury hotels, Rakit is now being approached by businesses in sectors such as beauty, kitchen appliances and home furnishings. Rakhit’s advice on how to get posts right at this time? “There are some really serious issues out there right now, lots of uncertainty and people are scared. There’s no need to add to the negativity. It’s important to keep a positive or educational narrative … It’s not a time to brag or be ostentatious — instead spread messages of hope, love and kindness,” she said in an email to CNBC.

Some brands are just switching the message they put out through sponsored posts. Among nutritionist Madeleine Shaw’s Instagram pictures of homemade vegan stews and hot cross buns are posts sponsored by U.K. drugstore chain Boots, with Shaw giving advice on indoor exercises and daily planning. “A lot of the content that (influencers) are producing right now, it’s not about selling products, it’s about helping the community … be sane and be OK,” Titus at Ogilvy said.

Influencers are also working out whether to post about the coronavirus overtly. “It’s really important to not be seen as ‘jumping on’ to what is a sensitive topic for commercial or popularity gain,” according to Sarah Penny, head of content at data platform Influencer Intelligence, in an email to CNBC.

Companies aren’t currently measuring the success of sponsored posts by how many products they sell and instead are looking at whether people who see those posts are simply aware of those brands, according to Penny.

Post-pandemic, we can expect influencers to show off a little less, according to Angela Seits, a senior director of consumer insights and engagement strategy at agency PMG. “Some of the celebrity backlash that we saw … will also translate to influencer campaigns … where there is a little bit less of an audience interest in some of that high profile aspirational type of content,” she told CNBC by phone.

Conor Begley, co-founder and president of influencer measurement company Tribe Dynamics, has been tracking how its database of around 50,000 U.S. celebrities and influencers have been using social media during the pandemic. It focuses on the fashion and beauty sectors and found that posts mentioning brands on Instagram have gone down slightly from the start of February until April 10, while those on YouTube have gone up.

For Begley, platforms like TikTok will keep growing — and are likely to reach new audiences. “You won’t see the influencer space going away. Frankly, it will probably grow in the long run just because, you know, my wife’s mother never would have spent any time on TikTok before and (now) she actually watches it every night.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/21/how-influencers-have-adapted-to-the-coronavirus-lockdown.html

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