The holidays — running from Black Friday through Christmas — mark a defining moment for direct-to-consumer retailers. During the holidays, DTC brands either demonstrate competitive strengths and gain a new stream of customers, or they display weaknesses that set them back. The stakes for e-commerce continue to rise: $108 billion was transacted online during the 2017 holidays in the US, up 14.7% year over year.
As retail sales increasingly divert to digital channels, brands with traditional storefronts need to cater to new shopper habits with robust omnichannel features. They also need to incorporate widely used mobile apps that can help usher in new customers.
Gartner L2’s report on omnichannel holiday prep highlights Burberry, which leverages Facebook Messenger to offer a range of services to shoppers via an AI-powered chatbot. Customers selecting customer service can select the Find a Store option, which prompts a response with the nearest store address, hours, and links to book an Uber or Lyft ride to the location. In this way, Burberry links multiple existing mobile apps to build an intuitive customer journey that encourages visiting its stores. Having a presence on popular mobile apps will be especially important during the holiday frenzy.