3 retailers you should keep an eye on
Kasper's blog: This is where I get my inspiration from.
3 retailers you can learn from
Who is doing a really good job online? I am often asked this question, and although Danish retailers such as HAY, HiFi Klubben and Bog & Idé have, in every way, managed to give their customers a good buying experience, much of my inspiration is derived from foreign retailers.
Currently, there are three retailers that have caught my attention. I visit their webshops on a regular basis, look at their Instagram accounts, and buy another shirt that I don’t really need simply because I want to experience their service first-hand.
The US company Everlane sells clothing primarily online, but also has a few physical stores. It is one of my absolute favorites and has been for a while because they have an unmatched ability to make it easy for customers to shop.
WHAT THEY DO WELL
Everlane doesn’t do just one thing well. They are frontrunners in several ways.
If you can order an Uber within minutes or have a pizza delivered to your door just as quickly, why should it take several days to receive the clothing you just ordered online? Everlane has addressed this issue by offering direct delivery via messenger service. They are sure this is the future and so am I.
Here in Denmark, Burd Delivery has seen a gap in the market and has connected the many bike messengers with the growing online trade industry. However, only a few retailers have caught up with the fast delivery method and this surprises me.
Another aspect that Everlane has cracked the code for is transparency. Last spring, when we were visited by US retail expert Naseem Sayani, principal at BCG Digital Ventures, she mentioned transparency as one of the biggest trends. When you click on an item on Everlane’s webshop, you can see what it has cost to produce – material, labor and transport are included in the total price. Furthermore, to emphasize their focus on transparency, they have Transparency Tuesday on Instagram where followers can ask them questions. All questions and answers are visible to all followers. Several Danish retailers could learn something from this.
We are sticking with the fashion industry this time around, because another company that sets a good examply is the French company, Asphalte. They manage to create a hype and exclusivity about their products.
WHAT THEY DO WELL
Asphalt does the exact opposite of Everlane. Instead of having an item delivered right away, it may take several weeks or months for customers to receive the clothing they have purchased. It may not sound very tempting, but Asphalte has succeeded in letting consumers decide which products to produce. In fact, it is not possible to buy a product as one normally would.
On Asphalte’s webshop, customers can express their interest in a style and pre-purchase it, and if an adequate number of purchases are made, the product will be produced. Each individual product page shows the minimum number of purchases necessary for production, the purchase deadline, and when the customer can expect to receive the item. Once an item has been put into production, only the quantity that was pre-purchased will be produced. This also creates a sense of exclusivity, as a customer cannot easily get a hold of the product unless they placed a pre-purchase order. By turning the buying process upside down, Asphalte is not sitting on a pile of goods that they cannot sell. It is both good for the economy and the climate.
In Denmark, Roccamore is doing something similar by considering the climate and customers throughout production phase, but otherwise, Danish retailers who are on a route toward sustainable inventory are scarce.
Another French fashion retailer that stands out is the shoe store Eram. It may not look like anything special at first glance. However, what makes Eram special is their ability to engage their customers. What they do may not be that unique, but it is efficient and smart, and they do it well. Their method also helps spread the message about the brand, and who doesn’t want that?
WHAT THEY DO WELL
With the hashtag MyEramTouch, customers can share photos of themselves wearing shoes from Eram, in order for other customers to get inspiration on how to wear a pair of boots and see the sandals on a flat-footed woman with a size 40 instead of on the photo model’s narrow foot. The whole concept is based around sharing on social media, but Eram doesn’t stop there. They make sure that the content of the customers is used. They have a team of employees who follow social media closely, and when a post is tagged with #myeramtouch, they make sure the image is displayed on the webshop below the sneakers in question. In this way, they get their brand out on social media with the best ambassadors – the customers – while also being able to create more inspiration on the webshop.
Several Danish brands such as GANNI use the customers as ambassadors on social media, but very few take the content from social media and actively use it on other channels, even though the benefits of it are substantial.