The changing landscape of fashion and apparel shopping
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and go back in time to the start of the last decade. Suppose you were looking to buy a new dress. What was the process from start to finish of how you would go about doing it?
Most likely you would have visited your favorite clothing store, tried out a couple of dresses, and then purchased the ones that you liked. On some occasions, you might have visited multiple stores to pick the dresses that you liked.
Now, let’s come back to the present time. What’s the first thing that you would do once you decide you’d like to buy a dress?
You would probably go to an eCommerce website or visit your favorite clothing brand’s website to look for the dress that you intend to buy. You might spend time browsing multiple websites to find that perfect dress.
This change in customer behavior was becoming apparent in the years leading up to 2020 itself. This paradigm shift has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that were enforced due to it.
With social distancing and stay-at-home orders becoming key safety measures, customers have begun relying on online brands for almost all of their shopping needs, including clothing and apparel.
Personalization – The Key to Unlock More Conversions
Nowadays, when a customer is online shopping, they want more than just a place to buy a product, they’re looking for a superb shopping experience. Each customer has a unique set of interests, tastes, and preferences. Therefore, delivering a unique customer experience by leveraging the power of personalization is the key for you.
Customers these days are particular when it comes to how (and with what brands) they want to spend their time online. They want brands to make their lives easier by making their online shopping seamless and easy to navigate. And why not? They have so many eCommerce brands to choose from.
80% of customers are more likely to shop from a brand that offers a personalized experience and so they desire a shopping experience tailor-made to suit their needs and preferences.
Want to see the power of personalization for yourself? To understand how we can help your brand develop and deploy a game-changing omnichannel personalization strategy, get in touch with us.
While some brands and marketers have understood this trend and are leveraging personalization to engage with their customers by delivering personalized experiences, a lot of work still remains to be done.
Key Questions to Think About
- What can you do to stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that your customers are satisfied with your product offering and the experience you are delivering?
- What do customers shopping online expect you to offer them?
The answer to these questions is Image-based Personalization. This is one phenomenon that has gone under the radar because most eCommerce marketers haven’t realized the importance of it. It’s the industry’s best-kept secret.
Image-based Personalization is the principle by which eCommerce marketers can provide their customers with relevant product recommendations by analyzing the images of the products to understand customer behavior, their interests, and preferences.
Every image that represents a product on an eCommerce website has unique attributes based on a number of factors by which it can be identified.
Customers go to great lengths to find exactly what they’re looking for. When they’re looking for an item, such as a dress, they’re looking at a particular category and a specified price range. Certain style requirements, patterns, and color combinations would also have to be met. Once these basic features are decided, the customer can go and look for what he/she wants to buy.
These individual features of each image act as the data you need to track to provide your customers with the most accurate product recommendations.
To build a personalization strategy that provides customers image-based product recommendations, three things are absolutely necessary:
- A robust email marketing automation platform to provide personalized recommendations based on customer behavior
- Large amounts of historical customer data to train the algorithms used by the AI engine
- The ability to build a recommendation engine to process multiple models to provide the most accurate recommendations
As a marketer, there’s already so much to do, there’s no time to learn the ins and outs of data science. What you need is an all-in-one recommendation solution to help you boost website conversions and increase sales.
This is where Netcore can help you.
Netcore’s AI engine, Raman, is a personalized recommendation engine that can provide real-time insights to increase user engagement, retention, and revenue. Raman has the capability to analyze the images of your eCommerce website in real-time and generate the attributes for your fashion and apparel products.
Raman supports both content and collaborative filtering and enables you to recommend the best product to each customer that lands on your website by analyzing the previous browsing, viewing, and purchase patterns. For your eCommerce website, we can personalize the entire user lifecycle journey from the Home Page to the Product Listing Page to the Product Display Page by deploying our personalized widgets that provide recommendations based on the image recognition capabilities.
We can also create a Personalized Boutique Page for your brand; a personalized product listing page for each customer that showcases products according to their interests, tastes, and preferences. Imagine your Boutique Page to be populated by-products that are most contextual and relevant fed by our image recognition engine.
With image recognition in place, we have moved from merely understanding the images based on the product tags created by you on your website to identify your products by categorizing their attributes through our very own homegrown image recognition engine.
Check out how our image recognition engine identifies the different categories of apparel in the image- pants as the bottom wear, the shirt as the top, and the footwear as the shoes.
How Netcore’s AI engine performs image recognition to provide real-time accurate personalized recommendations
Our AI engine analyzes the image of the product that the customer is viewing and breaks the image into different categories of cloth wear, and generates the attributes of each category in that image.
The color, style, fabric, material, brand value, price range, category, gender, occasion are some of the features that get extracted and get stored at the back end. These features are determined at an accuracy rate of almost 88%. These features are brought together to generate a unique identifying vector that has all the characteristics of the kind of products the customer is looking to buy.
The next time the customer is browsing for clothes, the engine recommends similar products based on the performed image recognition. Therefore, the customer is compelled to continue shopping by showcasing personalized recommendations based on the previous viewing history.
From the above image, the following attributes have been extracted to understand the type of shirt the customer is looking to buy. The customer was looking for a solid, white cotton shirt, with short sleeves. By generating these attributes, thanks to image recognition, you can now provide the most accurate recommendations on the Product Display Page.
As the customer continued browsing through the website, these were the recommendations that were shown.
As you can see all the recommended shirts are casual short-sleeve white shirts.
Thus, our image recognition engine is able to engage with the customers by delivering the most accurate 1:1 product recommendations.
How your brand will benefit by providing Product Recommendations powered by Image Recognition
Delivering product recommendations based on image recognition gives you a better chance of providing more relevant and personalized recommendations that engage with your customers. This would provide marketers with ample opportunities to upsell and cross-sell similar products.
By analyzing your customer’s historical and live customer behavior to come up with relevant product recommendations, you can also impact key business metrics in a positive manner.
- Improve individual customer-level behavioral predictions by 20%
- Elevate website click-through rates (CTR) by 30-60%
- Increase add-to-cart rates (ATC) by 6-9%
- Increase email and push notification CTR by 20%
- Increase eCommerce website conversions by 8-13%
- Increase in marketing ROI by 10-12X
The Exciting Future for Fashion and Apparel eCommerce Personalization and Product Recommendations
The most exciting thing about personalization for you as marketers is that with the constant evolution of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Neural Networks, we are bound to come up with more such upgrades in the near future to create a remarkable personalized journey for customers.
Personalization is all set to become an integral component in marketing. Therefore, it’s up to you to utilize the available technologies to the best of your abilities to give your customers exactly what they desire the most. This will enable you to differentiate from your competitors and allow you to effectively acquire, engage, and retain your customers and drive up your conversions and revenues. Fascinating, isn’t it? To discover the magic of image recognition based product recommendations and to also understand how we can help you engage and retain your customers, get in touch with us today!