Attire Bridal - Apr/Mar 2020 (Issue 76)

INSURANCE 101 CHECK IT OUT Popping the question: what’s the right basket abandonment strategy? We asked Nick Cole, managing director of the Go Inspire Group, for his insider advice In 2018 the wedding industry in the UK was reported to be worth a whopping £10 billion. The total bridal store portion in the UK was comprised of over 4,000 businesses in 2019, generating revenue worth £385 million. Bridal stores specialities lie in selling wedding dresses and clothes for other members of the bridal party, as well as jewellery and accessories. Due to the nature of purchases being a ‘one time spend’ the industry is somewhat protected from economic fluctuations, due to consumers willing to stretch their wallets for a special occasion. However, rising competition from online and high-street stores is forcing market competition. Many consumers are turning to ready-made bridal wear online, meaning total online expenditure is expected to increase over the coming months – threatening industry growth in the process. But is online really a threat to the bridal industry? Most people are willing to buy a pair of jeans on the internet, but committing to a wedding dress requires a hefty investment. However, with the rise of online affordable bridalwear hitting the industry – such as Topshop Bride and ASOS – it’s high time that retailers are prepared to respond to their consumers’ ecommerce demands, ensuring integrated omnichannel strategies are in place, so that bridalwear stores remain profitable. WHY DON’T SHOPPERS CHECK OUT? With the rise of online purchasing comes the need for retailers to understand the reasons why online shopping baskets are being abandoned. Although studies show a whopping 70% of online baskets are abandoned before check-out, 60% of retailers have not investigated the issue – and do not know how many people are abandoning online shopping baskets, or even why this is actually happening. A mere 27% analyse the browsing behaviour of customers who do not complete their purchase to try and identify reasons for dropping out of the transaction – something bridalwear retailers can simply not afford to let slip. UNEARTHING THE REASONS There are plenty of techniques which retailers can implement to ‘reactivate’ their abandoned baskets, however, only if they are sufficiently tapping into their customer behaviour and the reasons for abandonment. One strategy is postal and email-triggered reactivation, which involves a retailer contacting customers who have abandoned their baskets via email, followed with a piece of direct mail about the abandoned item, to encourage the customer to complete the purchase. With these strategies in mind, Go Inspire Group decided to conduct a media neutral control test to compare email and postal mail response and conversion rates tailored to reactivate abandoned baskets. Postal mail triggers, in combination with email reactivation, are in fact a largely underexploited strategy that’s instead well-suited to the omnichannel nature of modern shopping. The test was carried out via a three-month joint project with a major retailer, which has a customer base of over 200,000 customers. Traditionally, retailers may view print as a too high investment due to the varying elements involved, but digital print means that multiple document variations can be printed quickly and efficiently while keeping costs low. This is achieved through a technique called ‘hybrid mail’ which aggregates many organisations’ small daily mail volumes into a single high-volume whole. The daily aggregated high-volume output, therefore, attracts the mailing discounts which are normally associated with larger send outs, saving money for each participant. WHAT’S THE OUTCOME? The results of the trial found that within a week of basket abandonment, a highly personalised, yet automated, mail piece was sent to each email- non-responding customer, acting as an additional follow up to email. A successful reactivation triggered email system alone typically tends to achieve a conversion rate of five to seven per cent. However, once followed with a triggered postal mail, conversion rates from the postal mail activity was in excess of the email activity conversion rate. Because respondents to the postal mail had not been responsive to the initial email activity, the results of both reactivation activities in combination amounted to more than double the commercial result of reactivation emails alone. It’s apparent that bridalwear retailers need to invest in their omnichannel strategies to garner insight into their customer spending patterns, and to understand why customers abandon baskets at the 11 th hour – particularly when purchasing a wedding dress – as this is revenue that retailers do not want to ignore. Retailers should be able to pinpoint when their website sees the highest level of basket abandonment, or whether they are losing more sales within a specific demographic. Once this data has been compiled, they will have the necessary insight to reactivate those abandoned baskets via hybrid mail and consequently secure a larger portion of the customer wallet. GO INSPIRE T: +44 (0)116 232 1711 E: W: