In ‘The Future of Shopping; from high-street to iStreet’ the Daily Telegraph reports on the changing face of shopping with many customers now using high street shops as show rooms where they can view, try on, get the look and feel of products before actually buying on-line. The mix of services between the on-line world and the high street is a difficult one for retailers but there is no doubt that retail services are changing.
Burberry has not hesitated and is leading fashion retailers in service innovation, with ‘direct-to-buy’ offering fashion direct from the catwalk. A powerful mix of e-commerce and social media strategies enables shoppers to see the new season catwalk show through live streaming and to order personalised versions of clothes and handbags within minutes of seeing them. The New York Times reported in February that the 2013 Autumn show:
. . . was streamed live on Burberry.com, numerous media sites, the Burberry Facebook page and Twitter (a first, Burberry believes). There were 1,500 seats in the specially built show space in Kensington Gardens in London, but the audience potentially was more than 19.3 million, the number of Burberry’s followers across all digital platforms.
When the buy-direct service first started in 2010 it took six months to deliver the catwalk clothes to the customer but now Burberry has reduced this to eight weeks for a specific range, making the acquisition all the more exciting for the customer. Trench coats being the first in line for the latest made to order smart personalisation service.
Burberry offers a truly innovative approach to delivering customer service, offering not only e-commerce and social media experience but also increasingly immersive content-rich experiences for the customer.
Is it successful?
Burberry plc reports that it :
….continued to advance its leading position on social media in the luxury sector. and …In 2011/12, Burberry’s revenue was £1,857m – a 23% underlying increase on the previous year.
Not only is it successful it is also an excellent example of service innovation.