When it comes to global fashion, one size does not fit all. Not only does this apply to products and preferences, but to digital strategies. Fashion brands need to consider how language and differing digital payment methods affect their ability to provide adequate customer service to consumers across the globe. Here are a few ways fashion brands can patch the gap between online and offline customer experiences.
A bare 16% of fashion brands’ US stores accept Alipay and only 14% accept WeChat Pay, according to Gartner L2’s Luxury China report. In comparison, of the 49 fashion retail locations tracked in the study, 71% offer Mandarin-speaking representatives in US stores and 33% have store associates educated specifically on Chinese shoppers. This means the majority of brands with in-store customer service in the US catering to customers from China fail to translate it to mobile payment methods, potentially creating an incoherent and negative customer experience. This is particularly important for brands that receive significant in-store traffic from Chinese consumers.
For a fashion brand to resonate with global audiences online and offline, sites and stores should both highlight localized customer service options and specify languages, time zones and local phone numbers. For example, this year’s top fashion fiend, Gucci, provides a drop-down menu directly on its contact page, where users can select a region and see relevant customer service information. Once one of the 28 regions is selected, the entire page updates with the coordinating phone number and hours of operation for that time zone. The updated page even provides other localized customer service information, like a QR code that users in China can scan to follow the brand on WeChat.
If fashion brands want to make waves worldwide, localizing global content is critical. In addition to including relevant contact details for each region, labels can tailor size guides to fit global standards and roll out social channels to communicate efficiently and specifically to regional audiences. If these measures aren’t taken, it can be very easy for fashion brands to get lost in translation, both online and offline.