Victoria’s Secret boosting customer experience
Lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret has been increasingly using video to improve the customer experience online and ultimately boost conversion rates across its digital channels that it felt were losing out to its physical stores.
Speaking in New York City at Retail’s Big Show, organised by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Chris Rupp, chief customer officer at Victoria’s Secret, told delegates: “We need a way for digital shopping to become more of an experience. The digital experience can be quite flat. To bring in more physical/emotional things is very important. We’ve created a digital fitting solution but it still feels flat. We’re transitioning to a more emotional experience.”
To help it address this issue, Rupp says the company is using video technology with specialist provider Firework to “humanise” the website. It is short-form video that is being used to better connect with customers.
“We’re looking to match this to the [individual] customer through bringing the data to bear. We’re just in the opening innings here. The conversion in-store is seven-times that online because in-store there is more of a conversation. What if we could convert a few more people by using technology to bring conversation to the online experience?” she asks.
The experience to date has shown that when video is used for purposes other than as a billboard then it has value. “If it’s a story then the customer spends time with it. We now need to scale-up things on the content side,” suggests Rupp.
Using the company’s straightforward methodology for adopting technology – which involves understanding a consumer need and finding the best technology to address it – Victoria’s Secret has implemented a product search solution. Often customers will look for a replacement bra for one with which they have been comfortable, which typically involved them showing the strap to a sales assistant in-store. This has been replaced by a slicker visual search solution. The customer simply takes a photo of the strap and sends it to the company, which undertakes a visual search to find all the products in its files that have the same characteristics.
There is also work being done to improve the experience in-store and this is using the capabilities of AI. “We’re looking to explore how AI makes in-store better,” she says, adding that ultimately the adoption of new technology across all the channels takes the company further down the route of being omni-channel that is, according to Rupp, simply about providing the customer with convenience. “We continually look for new technology to help us. Omni-channel is about reaching the customer in the mall, social media, and in-store. And it’s not linear [journeys],” she says.
A key channel for the company is its app, which is used by what Rupp describes as its “best” customers. “The app is the best customer experience. It’s the most convenient way [for customers] to do things fast. It’s also a great browsing experience and a way to build a relationship with the customer,” she says.
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