Sephora, JustFab, Net-a-Porter top customer personalisation index

Sephora tops Sailthru's personalisation index
Sephora tops Sailthru’s personalisation index

Sephora tops a new index ranking 100 brands on the quality and degree of personalisation in their customer experience.

Released by cross-channel experience management platform, Sailthru, the inaugural annual Retail Personalisation list awards scores on a scale of 0-100. Sephora earned the highest honours with 79 points, followed closely by JustFab with 72, Walmart with 69 and Net-a-Porter with 64. Coming in joint fifth place with 62 points are eBay, Nordstrom and REI.

The aim of the index is to not only quantify how leading retailers are using personalisation, but to determine gaps in their approach and to examine the relationship between a personalised experience, customer satisfaction and retention.

“The vast majority of the top 25 brands are growing revenues year on year, reinforcing the value of a personalised digital experience for customers as a prudent business strategy,” said Neil Lustig, CEO of Sailthru. “What’s even more telling about the value of personalisation is that brands in the midst of executing turnaround strategies are rapidly evolving their customer experience to once again gain traction in the market. Sailthru is thrilled to recognise these top brands for their efforts to create exemplary digital customer experiences.”

Monica Deretich, vice president of marketing and CRM at JustFab, added: “Personalisation has been at the core of the JustFab business model since our founding in 2010, and it’s a key contributor to our compound annual growth rate of 124%. Our members are the focus of everything we do, every single day. We strive to create styles she wants at a value she’ll love, all within a curated and customised digital experience. Modern retail relies on strong long-term relationships with individual customers, and we continuously work to advance the personalisation within our customer experience so that we can elevate our business and the retail industry at large.”

The broader report from Sailthru finds that execution is currently lagging far behind vision in terms of personalisation, with 15% of those studied saying they are executing only against their most basic definition of the term currently.

The team have also highlighted some key trends, including the fact that mobile is also behind when it comes to personalisation, and that brands need a policy around data.

e-commerce technology

E-commerce businesses look to the future with increased plans for new technologies – study

69% of European retailers plan to invest in robotics over the next five years
69% of European retailers plan to invest in robotics over the next five years

European retailers are increasingly looking at new technologies including virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) in a bid to increase sales margins and improve customer experience, according to new research from e-commerce consultancy Salmon.

The study finds that 61% of e-commerce directors across wholesale, retail and manufacturing companies are currently investing in IoT enablement, with 35% believing it is the biggest priority as a business. Within those numbers, 69% plan to invest in robotics and 60% in machine learning in the next five years.

The voice interface is also top of mind thanks to the growth of devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, with 53% of respondents planning to invest by 2022. Similarly, 59% plan to take advantage of virtual or mixed reality.

Patrick Munden, global head of retail at Salmon, said: “E-commerce is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rapid developing industries, and it’s vital that companies continue to innovate to boost business and consumer demand. Exploring the latest technologies is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for any businesses expecting to drive sales and improve their customer experience. This latest research shows that, whilst many perceive technologies such as wearables, mixed/virtual reality and voice interfaces as the preserve of the tech-savvy consumer, wholesale, manufacturing and retailers are now investing heavily in this space.”

In spite of that, the study also shows that figuring out which of the technologies to turn to is a continuing concern for businesses. Over a third (36%) believe they find it difficult to commit to new technologies through fear of investing in the wrong area, and 47% think that they have invested in tech that has been a waste of money in the past.

Coping with more data is also a concern: 92% of organisations agree they need to be able to better analyse consumer data, while 48% believe organising their business to react quickly to change will be a major challenge in the future.

Unsurprisingly, 74% say they plan to switch e-commerce platform in the next 12-18 months, recognising the importance of a system in place that is ready to meet the future needs of the business and its customers.

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What you missed: Women’s march, what Brexit means for fashion, Branson on retail’s survival

Signs from the Women's March on Washington. (Photographed by Jonno Rattman, via Vogue)
Signs from the Women’s March on Washington. (Photographed by Jonno Rattman, via Vogue)

Top of the news agenda this past week has of course been the US inauguration of President Donald Trump, and the subsequent Women’s Marches that took place around the world. Credit to some of the intelligent coverage coming out of traditionally “fashion” (not to mention “teen”) publications, above and beyond the mere commentary around what the new First Lady and First Daughter are wearing. A particular nod to Fashionista for deciding not to comment on the latter. Lots to read, support and get behind, and the fashion industry has the potential to be a big part of that in terms of equal rights for all.

Meanwhile, other big news to know about, includes a view on what UK prime minister, Theresa May’s Brexit speech means for fashion, as well as an inspirational keynote from Richard Branson at NRF Retail’s Big Show on entrepreneurialism in retail. Also check out our recent view on whether Twitter is still relevant for fashion brands, as well as below further insight on how the industry is using Whatsapp, what to expect from Pinterest, and yet more updates on the chatbot space.

  • The most inspiring moments from the speeches at the Women’s March on Washington [Vogue]
  • Decoding Theresa May’s Brexit speech and what it means for fashion [BoF]
  • Richard Branson: Retail brands must ‘be entrepreneurial’ to survive [Retail Dive]
  • Shoes of Prey and Indochino on mass customisation and the future of retail [NRF]

  • Bitter end to American Apparel as wind down accelerates [WWD]
  • Fashion house BCBG closing stores, restructuring [Retail Dive]
  • Fashion brands fear Trump’s trade policies will disrupt global production chains, with risk of tariffs squeezing profits [SCMP]

  • How fashion brands are using Whatsapp [Glossy]
  • Instagram accounts for 92% of brand social interactions: report [Luxury Daily]
  • Here’s what marketers can expect from Pinterest in 2017 [AdWeek]
  • Is Twitter right for customer service? [L2]
  • Twitter is phasing out the “Buy” button, will continue to offer donations [TechCrunch]
  • Dolce & Gabbana innovates fashion show by casting social media stars as models [CPP-Luxury]

  • How influencer chatbots could close the gap between content and commerce [The Drum]
  • Alexa Chung’s latest campaign video for AG is very, very, very funny [Fashionista]
  • Burberry’s forthcoming mobile app designed to ‘build connection’ with consumers over commerce [The Drum]

  • Meeting millennials where they shop: Shaping the future of shopping malls [McKinsey]
  • Do digital brands need physical stores? [BoF]
  • Mall owners find relief from unlikely source: online retailers [WSJ]

  • Your clothes will be on the radio [Bloomberg]
  • How robots in stores could revolutionise the customer experience [Retail Dive]
  • Neiman Marcus launched voice-controlled wearables for associates [Apparel]
  • Amazon reportedly in search of creative chief for VR commerce plans [Retail Dive]