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Report Finds Digital Support Critical for Retail Growth

By Luke Bellos January 28, 2022

The retail sector was hit pretty hard over the course of the pandemic. With stores getting significantly lower foot traffic due to social distancing restrictions, numerous businesses experienced serious drops in revenue as a result. Thankfully, online support is making it possible for retail businesses to adapt to the new shopping preferences of customers.

Market research firm Incisiv recently released the 2021 Apparel, Footwear & Accessories Digital Maturity Index, created in partnership with Hughes Network Systems. This comprehensive report uncovers how apparel retailers are adapting to new consumer shopping habits with the help of digital technology.

“The apparel industry has had to endure unparalleled disruption to their business models in the last 24 months. The segment should be commended for the speed by which they have adapted,” said Amarjot Mokha, Chief Operating Officer, Incisiv. “However, shopper behavior is a moving target, and the industry must still evolve to meet their expectations.

According to the results of the report, 90% of shoppers now see the digital space as the starting point of their customer journey. These numbers prove customers are becoming less interested in physical retail outlets, which means business leaders need to focus on online support to fuel future growth.

Researchers also found apparel retailers are utilizing self-service features and virtual bots, making it easier to maintain high quality service for large customer volumes at once. Apparel retailers are also investing in SMS support to connect with shoppers at their convenience, a growing trend across many customer-centric industries.

“As revealed in the Incisiv report, digital is now the front door to the retail store and essential to profitability,” said Jeff Bradbury, senior marketing director, Hughes. “It’s not just about ecommerce but digital must be part of the entire customer journey – especially in the store, where the brand experience comes to life.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Editor, CustomerZone360

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