“[It] has at its core, our customer, our loyalty platform. It’s our source of truth for inventory, our pricing promotions, wishlists, order management, analytics and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) … having that integration from an EDI perspective for our partnership with department stores as well as marketplaces is critical.”
From a customer perspective, Lenton said it’s about creating a ‘fluid’ experience whether the customer is starting their journey online and finishing in store, or the other way around.
Cue had been working on a video stylist concept prior to Covid-19, but the pandemic accelerated those plans.
“We leaned on that data and those foundations we had in place,” Lenton said.
The customer logs on to the Cue site, selects a stylist, or a store if they want to attend physically, and they’re given the option of asking a few onboarding questions to allow the stylists to prepare for the session.
“Over 60 per cent of the virtual stylist sessions are resulting in a purchase and [the purchase is worth] five times the average transaction value. So it’s clearly working and it’s been a great success.”
Last week Cue launched in-store wishlists as a way to retarget products that are low in stock or on sale.
In the event that a customer is not ready to buy, staff will ask if they would like to know when that item is low in stock, almost sold out, or when it goes on sale. The in-store teams can then access the customer’s wish list that has been created online, edit the wish list or create one from scratch.
“Can you imagine the opportunity here? If we talk about traditional online retail, if someone clicks on a product we follow them around the internet, we send them an email because they’ve abandoned the browser. We do a push notification. We retarget them on social media. If they abandon the cart, we amplify that probably three or four times.
“We know how powerful these things are. But then, from an in-store perspective, we go through all the time and effort and interaction with the customer and we lose that connection when they walk away.”
Lenton is optimistic that customers will get onboard with this approach.
“Our expectation is that the majority of customers are going to say ‘Yes, no problem’, particularly where we are already seeing around 80 per cent of the customers identifying themselves in store.”
As in the case of online, in-store wishlists also provide an opportunity for retargeting on social media.
“It comes back to having that core platform in place, single view of inventory, single view of customer,” Lenton said.
The introduction of these concepts would not be possible without the buy-in from teams, according to Lenton.
“[Without that] you’re wasting your money and your time and effort. It’s as much about the people and processes, as it is about the technology.”
The retailer has introduced many more unified commerce concepts such as store to door, ship from store, click and collect and split shipment.
“Click and collect is about creating opportunity to drive customers in store, and when they come in store, it’s about having the tools in place for the team, having the confidence and having the visibility to allow them to upsell and provide a richer experience in store,” he said.
Ship from store and “store to door” have also been really important for Cue.
“We’ve gone from 10,000 units to 100,000 units that our customers can shop from any location, whether that be via contact with our customer service team over the phone, live chat, whether it be any of our locations, or whether it be online. And now, not just within Australia on our international side as well,” Lenton said.
Store to door allows customers to purchase an item that is not available at the store they are in, and have it shipped to their home as opposed to a traditional store transfer which was relied upon in the past.
Shoppable screens are now a common sight in many Cue stores and are being rolled out further across the store network.
“They’re not just an iPad with a website. They are purpose built apps that sit on a 22 inch chrome base, so it’s a nice experience, it is tailored, and the user journey in the UX is built for in store,” Lenton said.
Split shipment has been another gamechanger, giving customers all the information they need to make decisions around shipping that is convenient for them.
“We’re providing dynamic content around availability,” Lenton said.
Customers can easily find out when and where click and collect is available and how long a delivery will take so that they can split shipment if some items are needed at a particular location sooner than others.
“We spent a huge amount of time simplifying the process.”