As lockdown measures have begun lifting, people have been able to start putting tentative plans in their diaries, especially with outdoor hospitality re-opening on 12th April. And, like any lead character in a film approaching a big event, consumers have embarked on new workouts, pre-booked haircuts and are looking to update their wardrobes to make sure they’re ready to head back into the world.
In fact, if you type in “lockdown exit outfits”, you’ll find a variety of retailers, fashion articles and blogger videos helping people to prep for this very thing. This is mirrored in data, too: clothing sales saw a 21.3% growth year-on-year timed with the government announcing its lockdown exit roadmap.
However, this year is no film (although parts of it have felt pretty surreal to say the least) and many consumer’s realities have changed since we entered the first lockdown a year ago. So, as people start to prep for a return to normality, how can retailers support this?
Sizing Up the Issue
Firstly, waistlines have perhaps changed over lockdown and customers might be unsure over what their new size is. It’s imperative for retailers to enrich their product content with as much information as possible, ideally with measurements and sizing recommendations for each individual item. It would even be prudent for brands to give an idea of fit: if you’re anything like me, you’ve been living in a slightly baggier, more comfortable silhouette for the last 12 months and anything that’s more fitting or slim-cut feels a bit alien.
By giving accurate measurements, customers can be guided to make better choices and avoid buying several sizes, therefore reducing the need for returns, too. By creating and sharing detailed product data, brands can see fewer returns based on increased customer happiness.
Sell the Dream
Some consumers buy to replace an item: my boyfriend, for example, will realise that he doesn’t have a work shirt, so he’ll purchase one. Job done. Others, like me, will buy into an ideal: they might have an event or situation that they have in mind and want to have a certain aesthetic for it. Now that our plans will hopefully expand beyond a walk in the park with the people we live with, this brings new opportunities beyond my now-standard uniform of leggings and baggy jumpers…
Retailers can help to guide their customers by linking “suggested items” or even “complete the look” options, helping to improve both customer experience and basket size alike. It could also be great to include user-generated content from social media channels, showing how other customers have styled the item, to give even further #inspo.
Call Off the Search
Whilst lockdown might not have had much call for, say, high heels or even clutch bags, footwear – otherwise a subcategory hit hard by the pandemic – also reported a growth of 8% since the plans for lockdown lifting were released. Help consumers by making sure your content is enriched with better optimised copy, that not only includes product details but also keywords targeted at improving the product’s SEO performance.
By getting this right, customers can quickly and easily find that gold pair of platform heels that they’ve been searching for whilst including more accurate SEO content can ensure that your products are found before your competitors’…
Getting product information right can be a minefield. There’s a whole bunch of different roles that need to contribute to it, gathering accurate data requires care and attention – and all of this needs to be achieved whilst working remotely and often under time pressure. However, OMIO PIM is an easy solution that unifies teams and gathers product data all in one place, whilst increasing your speed to market and customer satisfaction.
Interested in what a PIM could do for your brand? Click here to try our free ROI (return on investment) calculator.