For quite some time, delivery service and product quality have been the key aspects of driving customers and sales in fashion. However, things have changed.
According to worldwide marketing experts, ensuring the utmost optimal customer experience is the best strategy for fashion brands to win customers. Walker’s Customers 2020: A Progress Report says that customer experience will act as the principal brand differentiator by replacing the price and product.
It’s the beginning of 2022, and customer experience is already becoming a major precedent for fashion brands. Several fashion businesses are now focusing on this aspect, and there is much evidence showing why it’s essential for every emerging fashion label or fashion retailer.
Fashion brands must properly understand the customer’s behaviors and needs, which will help them execute eCommerce fashion brand strategies efficiently. It’s quite surprising to see customers going through several different steps in a fashion brand’s eCommerce site to select products, which should have otherwise been a straightforward process.
Despite all these predictions, fashion brands still don’t clearly understand what steps their customers are undergoing. However, fashion companies must understand their customer’s journey when they interact with them to design better experiences.
The term ‘digital marketing user journey mapping’ may refer to the true path that every customer chooses, enclosing all touchpoints, interactions, and experiences with the brand while making their final purchase. User journey mapping is one of the best ways designers can gain such insights, helping them create design initiatives during the entire decision-making process.
Fashion brands or companies tend to make one common mistake: they often confuse their own perspective with customers’ perspectives.
Here, let’s take the example of a guitar manufacturer. The company manufactures and sells guitars, offering a vast collection of guitar options for individuals to choose from. However, in most cases, the customer doesn’t need to buy a guitar, but they want to play music. Here, the guitar is just a mere necessity for them, and it eases the outcomes they want.
Anything that drifts away from such an outcome will introduce a barrier to potential customers. It’s the reason why several fashion brands that put too much focus on ensuring outputs than enabling outcomes face problems.
However, it’s not only a hypothetical example. During the last decade, the renowned guitar manufacturer Gibson opted for a diversification strategy to make itself a ‘music lifestyle’, besides being a music instrument brand. They introduced a wider array of guitars and fashion apparel, making it impossible for customers to differentiate between products without extensive research.
Gibson visualized a customer mapping journey that focused on the customer’s decision to buy their product rather than their desire or outcome.
This resulted in mounting debt and flagging sales for the company, which made them bankrupt by May 2018. Fundamentally, every fashion brand should learn from this example: Gibson lost sight of what customers actually wanted from their brand. Although it may make sense to sell a more comprehensive array of products along with branded merchandise from the company’s perspective, their customers wanted a unique experience.
When a fashion brand or company doesn’t understand such needs, it will fail in designing a user experience that addresses the customer’s needs across multiple touchpoints. No matter how many strategies the brand incorporates, the problem won’t get fixed as it lacks the foundation for optimizing it.
A completely designed user journey mapping depicts every step involved in the customer’s experience with a fashion brand, enclosing all touchpoints and actions ranging from pre-purchase to post-purchase.
However, fashion brands should know that not every customer will undergo this entire experience. It’s a rookie mistake to consider the user journey mapping as a sales or marketing funnel, as it varies drastically from one individual to another.
Several customers start the journey in the middle. Some may even skip over the steps. These customers may even swing back and forth between stages over time. However, the fact that every customer journey is not the same doesn’t mean mapping itself is not vital for the designers.
Each stage needs careful thought to ensure that all channels, interactions, and touchpoints cater to the explicit customer needs at that particular point in the customer journey. These are the moments that decide the fate of the fashion brand’s customer experience delivery. Each of them introduces an opportunity for the brand to create a solid impression and enable the outcomes that the customer wants.
No matter where the shopper starts their journey, the design process’s significant objective is to establish a relation between the fashion company’s vision of its brand and the customer’s perspective for that brand. Designers can strengthen this relationship by delivering the exact customer needs throughout the journey.
As the user journey mapping gives a holistic view of customer experiences across every touchpoint, they’re considered of immense value to brands and designers. They enable every organization staff, regardless of their division or job title, to check crucial information that gives insight into customer behavior and experiences.
For designers of all skill sets and levels, the mapping ensures a similar set of tangible action points, which helps in ensuring a consistency level across all design aspects. Coherency is the most crucial element of any UX strategy. The absence of user journey mapping can make it difficult for fashion brands to integrate every moving part of the overall customer experience.
However, fashion labels can bridge those steps by having a better understanding of the ways in which customers interact with them at various stages of the journey.
In some cases, fashion labels can strengthen a single stage by inscribing the pain points in another. It will be challenging to take this coherent approach to design without a map depicting how the customer experience unfolds. By using user journey mapping, brands will get a better idea of what their customers really need while understanding the entire scope of the customer experience.
Along with such a comprehensive, holistic view, fashion brands can make more highly effective UX strategies for merging the concepts of lean UX, service design, and disruptive design for making more satisfactory experiences for customers.
It’s clear that customer experience plays a key role for fashion labels to boost customer retention and drive more sales. It must be said that although fashion brands need to focus more on what their customer wants through user journey mapping, they should not completely forget about the quality of products.
Delivering premium quality products is the key to offering an optimal after-sales customer experience. For this reason, fashion labels should trust sourcing their fabric needs from reputed and safe platforms like Fashinza. With the best quality products and a complete understanding of the customer mapping journey, any fashion brand will take steps towards success.