Forward-thinking retailers are harnessing new tools and technologies to create more engaging and memorable online shopping experiences. With these implementations, retailers can create an e-Commerce environment as interactive and compelling as ones consumers face in the brick-and-mortar world.
Wild Things, an outdoor apparel manufacturer and eTailer, recently unveiled an e-Commerce customization tool that has helped “up the ante” on the online apparel shopping experience. The “Make It Wild” product configuration feature offers thousands of style variations that empower shoppers to personalize two products: The Insulight Jacket and Wind Pro Hoody. By offering instant access to these customizable products — presented via 3D design and 360-degree product display — Wild Things has improved engagement and overall purchases online, according to Ed Schmults, CEO of Wild Things.
“Wild Things has seen an increase in average order size, as well as an improvement in overall conversions, since adopting the new design customization tool,” Schmults said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “No longer do customers have to buy what a designer and a retailer think is best; now they can decide for themselves, based on the styles and features that speak most to their unique preferences.”
With a wide target customer base of shoppers 15 to 80 years old, Wild Things sought a solution that appeals to “technical users that have a good sense of the products they want,” Schmults said. Now, using the “Make It Wild” tool, Wild Things shoppers can create “hundreds of thousands” of combinations for personalized jackets and hoodies, with designs updated in real time as modifications are made. Customizable attributes include color, cuffs, insulation, logo, ID/Imprint locations, outer shell fabric, side panels and zipper pocket location, according to a company press release.
While the customization tool increases customer satisfaction, it also presents supplementary costs for when some attributes are personalized, allowing Wild Things to produce more frequent up-sell opportunities. “Customization immediately became popular on our site and now accounts for several of our top-selling items,” Schmults reported. Offering access to personalized products and assortment, Schmults added, also allows Wild Things to improve inventory planning and ordering by adjusting for items that do and don’t sell frequently.
To increase word-of-mouth on the customization tool, developed in collaboration with Fluid, Inc., Wild Things allows consumers to share their jacket creations with friends and family on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, as well as via email and text message.
“Social sharing is a big part of the marketing process: Customers enjoy soliciting opinions, affirmations and confirmations of their feature color and style choices,” Schmults said. “We are working on a number of contests and social media-based campaigns to drive additional traffic and awareness.”
The “Make It Wild” e-Commerce tool also is available from Moosejaw, a multichannel sporting goods and apparel retailer that markets a variety of outdoor brands. The merchants are collaborating “to maximize the tool’s appeal,” Schmults reported, however, Wild Things also plans to expand the tool to other retailers in the near future.