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‘Customers simply want to be wooed by the offer’

While many retailers struggle to make sales in a tough economy, others see it as a golden opportunity.

When spending is down overall, consumers will spend with retailers who know how to reach them.

The number of tools now available to fashion retailers who sell online has never been higher and innovation has never been more intense. It is now possible for retailers to develop relationships with customers over time that will lead to sales. The one-shot promotion may work for a proportion of customers, but often the most valuable ones will need to be communicated with many times, and in many ways before they will buy.

The trick is persistence but also to ensure the proposition in store is consistent with the one online and that the customer can be identified correctly regardless of which channel they choose to browse and buy through. Everyone talks about multichannel retailing, but the truth is, it’s only now that retailers are starting to ensure each one is connected and integrated.
Ultimately, customers do not make these channel distinctions; they simply want to be wooed and delighted by the offer. The challenge for fashion retailers is making sure they stay on the customer’s radar.

Tom Cahalan, chief executive of ecommerce consultancy Lost Ferret

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