"You Had Me At Hello!"

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Sounds lovely? You do not need to have much advanced technology or extraordinary marketing technics to have a customer relationship in the level. All you need to do is to have a couch, small treats on the house, and fashion regulars. And please do not be fooled by artificial intelligence and chatbots technology, they are definitely cool and scary to most customers. According to PwC, 75% of consumers around the world desire more human interaction. Customers want to feel they are visiting a functional, cozy, and fun place where they can also relax. And they are millennials.

Following to a study of Boston Consulting Group, millennials tend to shop in groups and consider peers opinions along with approval from fashion consultants in-store. They also enjoy an experimental and lifestyle environment. By having an estimated $1.3 trillion dollar consumer spending power and being major influencers to non-millennials, millennials play significant role to fashion retailers business transformation. Instead of inheriting old value chain of delivering products from top to bottom and focusing on convincing customers of certain fashion designs, it is time to learn customers preferences and deliver curated design through in-person connection and crowdsourced data in the scope of local community.

It is undeniable that we dress up for people whom we hang out with. And the outfit pick decision is really by local lifestyle. I am aware of my outfit changes when I travel back and forth between New York City, NY and Seattle, WA. Though most people would agree that New York City is the capital of fashion, it does not matter as much to people in Seattle because of very different lifestyle. Therefore I believe there is pitfall of applying big data to fashion retailer industry due to imbalanced local fashion styling preferences along with inadequate understanding of individual personality and moods.

Working in the field of connecting people over fashion by technology, I believe fashion retailers might have better ROI by housing customers like old friends and having heart-to-heart conversations. What technology, say AI, can do is to be a matchmaker between customers and fashion retailers. To win customer favor, however, it requires authentic connections.

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Shanya Tsai