“A lot of the store technology that we’re known for originated from an early belief that customers who come into the store might want a similar experience to the website and be able to make selections without having a sales associate come up and talk to them,” says Sarah Sheldon, senior director of global ecommerce and digital, Rebecca Minkoff.
While this unique approach has been a hit in the stores, there are still customers with questions who want a more personal touch. After figuring out this delicate balance in their physical locations, the challenge became replicating it online.
The brand started by designing an online shopping process that makes it easy to browse the site or quickly click, view, add to bag, and checkout. But the last part—the delivery process—wasn’t initially part of the same personalized customer experience, which is where Narvar came in.
“I made sure that the Narvar tracking experience was built in as the final step to our customer journey,” says Sheldon. Instead of being static, the tracking page is part of a monthly website content refresh, regularly updated to reflect current campaigns, events, and marketing acquisition efforts. It pays off: on average, tracking pages are visited 4.4 times per order, with a click-through rate of 20%.
“We get a lot of really great engagement from the page,” says Sheldon.”Every year, it continues to be an ROI positive partnership.”
With this in mind, the brand decided to roll out Narvar tracking to their international customers—in the middle of the busy holiday shopping season. Of all their customers who shop through the site, 25% are located outside of the U.S. These customers go through a separate purchasing process, through a Borderfree portal. Not only were they not getting the same great tracking experience as the rest of the customer base, they were also the customers with the longest wait time to receive their packages.
“Because Narvar is very customer centric, they were able to work with us and the Borderfree team to create a tracking experience—even with the last mile carrier—to get them that information so they knew if they would get their package in time” she says. “For us, focusing on our international community as much as domestic—even though it is slightly a separate experience—is really, really important for us, making sure that whatever the Rebecca Minkoff journey is, it’s seamless.”
After experiencing amazing results with Track, Rebecca Minkoff launched Narvar Return. Previously, the company’s process for returns had been very manual: Customers would need to call customer service when they had a return, which was time-consuming for everyone. Since packages all went out with a return slip, customers were free to send items back outside the return window, making it impossible to enforce the 30-day return policy.
“It’s never a great experience to have to return a package, but if we can have a touchpoint with that customer that we might not have otherwise, that’s great.”
Unlike many brands who see returns as a burden to be minimized, the team at Rebecca Minkoff saw it as an opportunity. Through the Narvar platform, the retailer could enforce their return rules and make product recommendations while strengthening customer relationships. As a result, Rebecca Minkoff earned an ROI of 40% in the first year after implementation.
“It’s never a great experience to have to return a package, but if we can have a touchpoint with that customer that we might not have otherwise, that’s great,” says Sheldon.
Tracking returns through Narvar also provided critical feedback for the product team, who is now able to report on that data internally. For example, if they see that a specific item has several returns saying that there was a fit issue or something wasn’t as pictured, a triage system helps the team to quickly remedy those issues on the website.
“One of the return reasons is ‘product is not as pictured’,” says Sheldon. “That information goes to our merchandising team to review the product, to make sure the image matches what we think it’s supposed to be. Sometimes it means retouching an image that’s on the site because we might have photographs of the sample but the product differed in production. Or, if it’s a fit issue or a quality issue, then it goes to our design and production team so that they can take that information into future developments that they make.”
“We get a lot of really great engagement from the page. Every year, it continues to be an ROI positive partnership.”
Shopping is no longer a linear, single-channel experience. In today’s integrated world, a Rebecca Minkoff shopper could be browsing Instagram for some inspiration, then go to their desktop to shop, then receive a package tracking text message from Narvar.
“One of the great things about shopping online is that you have that anonymity if you want it,” says Sheldon. “But, at the same time, some customers have questions, or want to be catered to in the way that you are in a physical location. So how do we make sure that we create both of those experiences at any of our touchpoints?”
“Narvar is a key part of how we integrate into all of those touchpoints to provide a really seamless experience,” says Sheldon.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in New York, Rebecca Minkoff is an industry leader in accessible designer handbags, accessories, footwear, and apparel. Its playful and subtly edgy designs are available through four domestic retail stores, eight international locations, and distributed in over 900 stores worldwide.
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