BY CHRIS JONES | AUGUST 15, 2023 | 3 MINUTE READ
In the competitive landscape of the fashion industry, customer experience and loyalty have become the key differentiators. An exceptional customer experience doesn't just start when a customer walks into a store or visits an online platform; it begins right from product conception. This is where Fashion Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) comes in. PLM is crucial in managing all aspects of a product's lifecycle, enabling brands to deliver quality, personalised experiences that promote customer loyalty.
In this article, I provide a high-level overview of how Fashion PLM can be harnessed to enhance customer experience and loyalty.
Ensuring Quality and Consistency
Fashion PLM systems ensure quality and consistency, two critical aspects of a great customer experience. By maintaining a centralised database of product information and quality standards, PLM systems enable all stakeholders to work in unison towards producing high-quality items. This ensures that every product aligns with the brand’s standards, reinforcing customer trust, satisfaction, and loyalty.
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Products aligned to Customer preferences
Fashion PLM systems can capture, process, and analyse large volumes of data to gain product and customer insights. Integrating with a Voice of the Customer platform to digitally test new product concepts and pricing provides insights that enable brands to tailor their products to meet customer needs and preferences and optimise full-price sales.
Personalisation for individual customers may also be an option. This could involve designing clothes with unique colour combinations, sizes, styles, or personalised messages. This model is more difficult to scale, yet such customisation fosters an emotional connection between the brand and the customer, significantly enhancing customer loyalty.
Speed to Market
In the fast-paced fashion world, speed is of the essence. Fashion PLM systems streamline workflows, enhance collaboration, and integrate with other systems to shorten the product development cycle. This rapid turn-around time enables brands to respond to changing fashion trends swiftly, keeping customers engaged with the latest offerings and fostering customer loyalty.
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Ethical and Sustainable Practices
Today’s consumers are increasingly aware and concerned about their purchasing decisions' environmental and social impacts. Fashion PLM systems provide visibility across the supply chain, enabling brands to require ethical labour practices, select sustainable sourcing, and ensure environmentally friendly production methods. Demonstrating commitment to such practices enhances the brand image and creates a deeper connection with customers, fostering loyalty.
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Fashion PLM systems integrate with non-transactional and transactional systems that connect various customer touchpoints, providing a unified view of the customer, product variations, and preferences across all channels. This allows for a seamless customer experience, whether in-store, online, or mobile, enhancing customer satisfaction and fostering loyalty. It also allows the brand to provide consistent service and messaging across all channels, ensuring that the customer’s interaction with the brand is uniform and personalised, regardless of the channel they use.
Enhanced Post-Purchase Support
Fashion PLM systems can also aid in post-purchase customer experience by integrating with Customer Service systems. By tracking product data, PLM systems can provide valuable information for customer service teams, including product specifications, usage instructions, and care information. This data can help resolve customer queries effectively and quickly, improving customer satisfaction and promoting loyalty.
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Customer experience and loyalty are crucial for success in the fashion industry. By ensuring quality, enabling personalisation, accelerating speed to market, promoting ethical practices, providing a seamless omnichannel experience, and enhancing post-purchase support, Fashion PLM systems can significantly enhance customer experience and foster loyalty. By harnessing these capabilities, fashion brands can meet and exceed customer expectations, setting themselves apart in an increasingly competitive market.
CHRIS JONES, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, JBSO GROUP
After originally training and working as an engineer, Chris joined a fashion services and technology company 30 years ago to implement ISO9001. Since then, he has helped drive transformation projects for over a hundred fashion brands, retailers, sourcing agents, and manufacturers to optimize their processes, supported by innovative technologies and concepts, working in offices, showrooms, and factories world-wide.
Also published on Linkedin: Augmenting Customer Experience and Loyalty through Fashion PLM (LinkedIn)