Editor’s Note: The following excerpt was originally published on LinkedIn on behalf of Marc Rosen, EVP/President of Global eCommerce at Levi Strauss & Co.
Gone are the days of the linear shopping experience where a customer walks into a store to browse around, potentially discover an item they care to purchase and check-out at the register accordingly.
Today’s consumers are so much more savvy. By the time they make their way into an actual brick-and-mortar location, they’ve likely already done some research online and they may be coming in to buy or simply try on an item in person and plan to purchase their favorites from their laptops or smartphones at a more convenient date.
It’s true that 17 percent of apparel purchases are made online, which might seem like a relatively small number to warrant the kind of attention companies must put into their online presence. But an additional 71 percent of purchases are influenced by the web – think purchases made in stores following a customer’s online research or reading about products, comparing prices or reading reviews. For those of us in the ecommerce world, it’s the new reality that the volume of online traffic is driving indirect sales.
The role of a brand site is to create a halo effect on what’s already great about the product and a place to tell stories, as well as transact a sale. In the early days, and I still see some of this now, brands were torn about whether the function of a site should be transactional or focused on storytelling. A lot of companies went back and forth in that journey – and frankly, it’s both. We need to give consumers information and the inspiration that they’re looking for, and we want to make it easy for them to buy our products in whatever way makes sense to them, whether that’s online for delivery, online for store pickup or in the store itself.
At LS&Co., we are constantly looking at ways to harness technology to do this, such as artificial intelligence, chat and know-me tools to help provide customers with even better fit and style experiences without ever setting foot in a store. You probably hear a lot about personalization, which can mean a host of things, but to us fit is the ultimate in personalization; Not much is as personal as how your jeans fit.