The current economic climate finds the retail sector battling to sustain their business under intense financial pressure. Consumers have so much choice available to them that retailers must make sure they offer customers the choice of shopping via multiple channels so they can buy goods in the preferred way. Retailers like Lands’ End, Abercrombie & Fitch and Talbots recognize that improving the online customers xperience can pay dividends in the long run and could be the differentiators in standing out from the competition. For example, Talbots updated online shopping functionality and customer service this summer. Expanded features include a personalized area for customers to store prefereences and a wish list, and a special sale section. Talbots will also use the site to offer targeted promotions and recommendations.
Lands’ End launched two interactive websites earlier this summer, one aimed at female swimsuit shoppers and one aimed at kids shopping for back-to-school backpacks. Both sites went further in offering expanded functionality than Talbots, providing social networking features and virtual fantasy environments.
In addition, specialty youth apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch launched a microsite dedicated to its new EPIC interactive store format in July. The site does not offer actual e-commerce functionality, but serves as a promotional vehicle with sound and imagery and also offers themed desktop screen savers and postcards, as well as online applications to appear in Abercrombie & Fitch advertising.