Digital Technologies for Ordering and Delivering Fashion: How Baur Integrates the Customer’s Point of View
Situation faced: Digital technologies such as augmented/virtual reality, chatbots, image processing, messaging services, or speech recognition have the potential to fundamentally change ordering and delivery in online-fashion shops: Disrupting customer interaction formats like attended shopping, curated shopping, scanned shopping, or virtual fitting may increase customer experience, satisfaction, and sales. However, when smaller amounts of money are available, the question arises as to in which of them to invest. Baur, a major German online fashion retailer, is faced with this question and wants to integrate the customer’s point of view in the site engineering process explicitly.
Action taken: Secondary research as well as workshops with experts and customers were applied to generate lists of aspects to be improved and potential improvements by digital technologies in the company’s ordering and delivery process. A representative sample of 15,865 customers was confronted with these aspects and potential improvements and asked to evaluate them. 9722 customers returned completed questionnaires. Many of them additionally included detailed comments. The survey data were analyzed and the improvements were prioritized for implementation. The survey methodology yielded recommendations for action to such an extent that it is now integrated in the company’s site engineering process.
Results achieved: Overall, the survey showed that the customers are satisfied with the company’s current ordering and delivery process. However, with regard to selection, packaging, and delivery several changes are necessary. Many customers rated potential improvements like virtual fitting and curated shopping as attractive whereas most of them were indifferent with regard to scanned shopping, personalized areas, attended shopping, or C2C inspiration. The survey research resulted in valuable input for the company what actions should be taken in terms of digital technologies to implement. In addition, the company received valuable information on how to improve the ongoing site engineering process.
Lessons learned: Improvements aimed at integrating digital technologies—in particular virtual fitting by relying on virtual reality as well as curated shopping by making use of chatbots and messaging services—were rated by many customers as attractive and should also be implemented by other online fashion retailers. Other digital technology-based improvements are of lower priority. From a methodological point of view, customer surveys—if developed carefully and integrated in the company’s site engineering process—provide valuable support when selecting digital technologies for implementing improvements.
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