AI in Retail

How Styling Recommendations Can Help Increase Revenue7 min read

December 1, 2021 6 min read

Product Marketer

How Styling Recommendations Can Help Increase Revenue7 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If fashion retailers had a penny for every time they searched for strategies to improve revenue on their eCommerce website, they probably wouldn’t need to increase revenue at all.

Fashion retail can be an intimidating sector to be in. With a market this large, trendy products, competitive prices, and a good marketing strategy may not be enough for sales to soar. A few carefully thought-out tweaks can transform this. A general web search (personalized search) for revenue-improving ideas and a quick analysis of what the top players are doing point at a few broad strategies yielded this:

  • Website – A visually friendly website seems to be the basic requirement. Well-structured UI, clear product photographs, accurate descriptions, relevant recommendations – all matter. The more the shopper wants to buy by just entering the website, the better the site merchandising strategy is.
  • Shopper experience – Research shows 64% of customers find customer experience more important than price. Poor experience just doesn’t make the cut anymore – there is no excuse for not having a fabulous customer experience strategy. From personalization at every point of the shopper journey to extra features that contribute to the experience, everything impacts how much the customers enjoy shopping on the site.
  • Customer retention – Repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones. Solving customer retention challenges is half the revenue battle fought. The idea is to constantly keep the customers engaged, giving them a reason to keep coming back and buy more. In this world of a million options, customer loyalty holds a lot of value.
  • Understanding the shopper – At this point, almost every retailer’s guide sounds like a broken record – understanding the target audience features as a top strategy everywhere – and not in vain. Knowing what the customers are looking for and acting on it is a foolproof way of improving their experience, making them buy more, and securing their loyalty.

Each of these needs a thoroughly thought-out strategy. Skimping on any would reduce the overall impact the website is capable of.

Personal Styling As The Game Changer

Personal styling has never been something that people can connect to mass retailers. The ‘personal’ part of it immediately brings to mind someone who understands their client on an individual level and styles them accordingly. The idea that this can be done on an eCommerce platform – for all shoppers – seems absolutely flabbergasting. That, however, is something AI can be leveraged to do.

Adding a layer of personal styling can give the website the push it needs to get on top of all the strategies discussed above. By creating a holistic fashion experience, retailers can transform the way the retail website performs in the market.

Styling recommendations

Vue.ai’s personalization engine is a smart solution for styling, outfitting, and visual merchandising for fashion retailers. It can help retailers transform the customer experience, increase AOV, and improve customer retention on the site. With its algorithms, the AI Stylist’s recommendations become the personal stylist every shopper dreams of, following them through their style journey on the site. Vue.ai’s personalization engine builds unique Style Profiles for each and every shopper based on their attribute preferences, that power these styling suggestions.

Site Merchandising Success – 3x Products Viewed

To get a customer to buy, retailers need to first get their attention. They could be looking for something specific or casually browsing through the site. Either way, they would not have the patience to dig too deep into the site and see all the products. Their impression of a brand and their decision on whether they will purchase from that brand is made in the first few seconds they are on the website. The average bounce rate of eCommerce stores is 45.68%. That is a lot of potential shoppers, and revenue, retailers are missing out on.

Increasing the number of products the customer sees in the time they are on the site is a clear way of capturing their attention. They get to experience a larger variety, increasing the chances of them converting as a shopper.

With the AI Stylist, the customers get to view 3x more products every session. For every product that the customer views, they also get to see other products that it can be styled with. Retailers get to recommend a variety of products across categories on each page – broadening the awareness the shopper has about the site and what the retailer has to offer. It doesn’t end there – the products that are recommended are being personalized in real-time, based on the customers’ style preferences, ensuring they like what they see on the site.

Increase revenue fashion retail

Every second that a customer is on the website counts. With efficient site merchandising, retailers can maximize every moment and bring them closer to becoming loyal shoppers.

Fill Up That Cart – 1.5x AOV

People see more products, people buy more products – the average order value of every cart goes up!

AOV, or Average Order Value, is a metric that measures the average amount a retailer has received for every order over a defined period of time. Sales per order is the main component of determining AOV. Retailers arrive at AOV by dividing their total revenue by the total number of orders.

When shoppers use styling recommendations, they aren’t just buying clothes. They are buying a fashion story. Instead of buying just a red dress, the shopper is now going to be buying the dress, a clutch, a blazer, accessories, and heels that will make her feel ready from head to toe for the party she was shopping for. The entire outfit is also curated in a way that not only does she feel fashionable, but she feels fashionable in a way that is truly her.

Styling recommendations

With the enhanced experience and a larger variety of products viewed, shoppers on a website with the AI Stylist buy more, increasing the AOV. The retail eCommerce AOV can be increased by over 1.5X with the personalization and styling features that Vue.ai has to offer.

Boost Customer Loyalty – 35% Higher Repeat Visit Rate

Benefits of the enhanced experience don’t just end with a one-time order value increase. Customer retention too, becomes a piece of cake. We have measured that with personal styling, repeat visit rate increases by 35 percent – securing shopper loyalty.

Customer retention is one of the key focuses for retailers. Why would it not – recruiting new customers costs five times as much as retaining current customers, and it is 16 times as costly to build a long-term business relationship with a new customer than simply to cultivate the loyalty of an existing customer. It is a very expensive mistake to lose customers in today’s market.

34% of the time, customers switch because they are dissatisfied with the service at the old retailer. A major component of this is customer experience.

An AI-powered styling experience is not just satisfying, it is also very addictive. Once the shopper sees different styling inspirations for their clothes and is able to buy them right there, they would get comfortable with it. Buying a dress without getting personalized styling suggestions for it doesn’t seem appealing at all.

A.I powered styling recommendations

The more time your shopper spends on your website, the more personalized are the outfit recommendations. Which means, the longer your shopper spends on your website, the more difficult it is for them to switch to another.

Gain Insight Into Your Audience

Understanding the shoppers is crucial. Audience insights play a huge role in assessing what works and what doesn’t on the website. Both direct feedback from shoppers and analyzing their behavior on the website helps in more efficient planning and strategizing. The amount of guesswork reduces when retailers have solid data to work with. Audience analysis is the first step in becoming a more customer-focused brand.

Increase revenue fashion retail

Vue.ai’s personalization engine studies the shoppers and their behavior with the tool in detail to provide retailers with key metrics. Retailers can then use these metrics to modify and make more efficient use of personalized product recommendations on the website.

Style Your Way To Retail Success

The Industrial Revolution transformed the manufacturing industry. The advent of technology changed forever the processes in place. AI is now transforming the styling industry, with Vue.ai’s AI Stylist. Personal styling for every shopper was a ridiculous idea not too long ago. The benefits for retailers are clear – from increasing AOV to increasing customer retention and overall revenue, it is a complete win.

See how retailers can benefit from AI styling by clicking here.

Read More about Virtual dressing room

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shradha R

Product Marketer