Discover why fashion brands benefit from WhatsApp’s Chat Commerce – and how to start with a no-code solution.
As the dark days of the pandemic recede, fashion brands are picking up the pieces of XXL sales losses associated with store closures, the financial recession, and the general doom of never-ending restrictions. However, even as we go back to “normal,” a new reality has surfaced: digital shopping is now the leading way to close a sale, in fashion and otherwise.
Alongside the growth of digital shopping everywhere, Conversational Commerce has also come up on top. Indeed, chat has become chic and a holy grail of sorts for the future of fashion.
As consumers have turned to digital to engage with brands during the pandemic, messaging has grown exponentially. Now, 75% of consumers prefer to engage with brands over messaging instead of traditional channels.
For fashion brands exploring ways to boost sales and engagement with Conversational Commerce, WhatsApp is the right place to start.
More than chic: reasons why your customers want to chat on WhatsApp
WhatsApp’s sheer size is the leading reason it’s become the most-wanted channel for the fashion industry. Boasting over 2 billion active users and 100 million messages exchanged every day, WhatsApp is the most popular chat app in 100+ countries.
However, consumer-to-consumer data is just part of the story. To find out whether WhatsApp is a fitting channel for your brand, you need to know if users want to chat with brands on the chat app. Do they?
Yes, they do. Research shows that 68% of users say WhatsApp is the easiest way to contact a business.
Moreover, 175 million people message a business on WhatsApp every day, and 13 million messages are exchanged weekly between e-commerce brands and customers on the app.
That readiness, combined with WhatsApp’s unparalleled Conversational Commerce capabilities, provides fashion brands with a powerful channel to engage customers throughout the shopper journey.
That means brands can now centralize every step of the journey in one place instead of fragmenting interactions across multiple channels, de facto reducing friction and increasing sales at the same time.
To achieve these goals, fashion brands leverage WhatsApp in marketing, sales, commerce, and retention – so, pretty much, the entire shopper journey.
Using WhatsApp in your fashion shopper journey
The customer journey in fashion is a continuous, connected landscape, where constant communication is crucial to showcase, sell, and engage customers.
Here’s how fashion brands are unleashing the power of WhatsApp to scale engagement and sales, in every step of the shopper journey.
Using WhatsApp is an excellent way for brands to capture online eyeballs in an oversaturated market, increasing brand and product awareness beyond their core customer base. After all, 90% of decision-making is done online before the customer shows up at the store, according to McKinsey.
As a versatile channel, WhatsApp gives you a wide array of options for your marketing campaigns – inbound and outbound alike. For instance, you can send out promotions and deals to (opted-in) customers, product availability reminders, and even abandoned cart alerts.
Crucially, you can also power up your Instagram and Facebook ads with a WhatsApp call-to-action instead of a generic landing page. Shoppers can get in touch with a representative of your brand (human or virtual) and ask all the questions they need to check out.
And if you’re looking at increasing engagement with your fandom, send out invites to digital events and store openings, and share pretty much any brand milestone with your customers.
As 80% of consumers want to move from inspiration to purchase as quickly as possible, fashion brands have to capture interest in the moment. For that, there’s nothing better than a personalized conversation, as reportedly, 2/3 of consumers are more likely to buy if they can chat.
Imagine if a customer has questions or doubts about a product and gets the reassurance they need in a simple conversation before checking out. This approach increases conversions and may reduce return rates, too.
Guided shopping and digital clienteling are also great strategies to personalize sales – especially for VIP shoppers – adding a layer of haute couture service that every customer appreciates!
All you need to do is enable customers to reach out via a WhatsApp call-to-action on your website, social media, or even through a QR code on a store ad, generating 100% organic conversations with minimum effort and spend.
With WhatsApp’s Product Catalog feature, it’s possible for any brand to centralize Conversational Commerce efforts on the chat app. Now, your customers can access your product catalog, add items to WhatsApp’s native shopping cart, and proceed to checkout.
The advantage? This low-friction journey helps brands capture interest in the moment, providing a fast, automated, and native Chat Commerce solution to boost sales.
A customer might have purchased a product from you, but your job is far from over. Reengaging customers with parcel shipping information, styling tips, feedback surveys, and the like have become crucial to boosting repeat buys. Since, according to Forbes, 80% of frequent shoppers only buy from brands that personalize their experience, those after-sale interactions are the key to turning occasional shoppers into frequent ones.
The same logic goes with providing responsive customer service when a shopper faces issues or wants to return an item. Now, it’s possible to replace (partly or even fully) legacy channels like voice calls and email in your contact center for low-friction interactions and fast response rates.
At the same time, keep in constant contact with shoppers via newsletters, new collection alerts, and of course, by sending out discounts and coupons for your latest products.
Benefits of your WhatsApp commerce makeover
WhatsApp is not a passing fad in fashion, with hundreds of designers, retailers, and online marketplaces embracing Chat Commerce to:
Bridge in-store and digital experiences
Imagine a customer waltzing into your store, expressing interest in your products, and then not buying anything. Maybe she’s just browsing and needs an extra nudge to take action. Why not collect a WhatsApp opt-in before the client leaves and reconnect on the chat app?
Especially fitting for luxury brands and brick-and-mortar retailers, bridging in-store and digital experiences leaves the door open for customers to interact at their own pace. With WhatsApp, your brand can answer any questions, offer styling appointments, and pretty much become a fashion companion of sorts.
Set up direct-to-consumer sales
Direct-to-consumer (DTC or D2C) enables digital-native brands to sell products to consumers without relying on online marketplaces. It’s all about having that direct customer connection that gets lost when your product is distributed across several retailers.
If DTC is a relevant strategy for your business, WhatsApp is the perfect fit. You can use the chat app throughout the customer journey, including closing the sale with its native Catalog & Cart, creating a digital commerce experience that is easy and low-cost.
Scale up digital clienteling
When the pandemic hit, digital clienteling became a lifeline for tons of fashion brands to survive. While clienteling has been an excellent strategy to engage VIP shoppers for many years, it’s now possible to scale it to a broader array of customers. With chatbots on WhatsApp, fashion brands offer meaningful guided shopping and styling advice to customers across the board.
Reduce abandoned carts
According to ThinkShop by Bolt, the average abandoned cart rate in the fashion industry is 68.3%. For online retailers and marketplaces, reducing abandoned cart rates remains a challenge.
Creating an adequate communication strategy on WhatsApp will help you achieve this goal faster due to the immediate nature of the chat app. Say goodbye to funky emails and SMS that customers won’t even open – and start reconnecting on the channel they’re already on.
Increase repeat buys and retention rate
Reaching out proactively and offering superb customer service brings back interest in your products and collections, empowering you to turn ordinary, occasional customers into brand ambassadors and fans. Putting your loyal customers first is the secret sauce for sustainable sales growth.
Implement WhatsApp sans code: Conversations Inbox
The Conversations Inbox is a no-code platform to manage your inbound and outbound customer chats with integrated native omnichannel messaging.
Here’s how the Conversations Inbox supports you:
- Omnichannel from the start: manage chats from WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, and more.
- Responsive service: answer customer inquiries from any connected channel.
- Proactive engagement: Send 1-to-1 and 1-to-many messages to opted-in customers and leads.
- Automation: assign repetitive tasks to bots, and sync with your CRM.
- Native chat commerce: Showcase and sell products on WhatsApp Catalog & Cart.
- Extensions: manage tasks programmatically with the Conversations Inbox API.
With the Conversations Inbox, you’ll be well-equipped to start off your WhatsApp Commerce journey with a bang! And to save the best for last: you can try out WhatsApp + Conversations Inbox for free.
Get the ultimate guide on Conversational Commerce with WhatsApp for the fashion industry.