Apparel eCommerce During COVID19: Make Every Customer Interaction Count

May 14, 2020
by The Namogoo Team

We’re keeping a very close watch on the recovery situation of many industries, including apparel and footwear, and at the moment, we like what we see! Online apparel revenues are already experiencing promising signs of a turnaround – see some of our numbers below – as coronavirus restrictions are eased. More people are returning to work and feeling optimistic about the economy, so apparel and footwear websites will have a chance to maintain the relationships made with consumers when brick and mortar stores were virtually all closed. But will this translate to profits? As customer journey hijackers target these shoppers, many retailers stand to lose much of what they have gained.

The beginning of the end?

COVID19 has been scary, yet it’s not the first crisis that the apparel industry has faced. Despite plenty of challenges, online clothing retail was growing steadily before the coronavirus emergency.

The coronavirus has enabled retailers to connect with shoppers who normally don’t go online. If apparel websites play their cards right, these new customers will keep returning to the online channels that many brick and mortar companies are starting to prefer. Additionally, during COVID19, online apparel and footwear sellers have used extensive promotions and discounts to grab eyeballs, and, combined with the effect of physical store closures, it seems to be working.

Comparing February 2020 – before the impact of coronavirus – to April, visits to online apparel retailers increased by 16.83%. In addition, shoppers are spending more time on apparel websites. In fact, the average number of pages viewed per session went up by 12.85% in April. Consumers have replaced window shopping with browsing apparel websites.

Increased COVID conversions

Perhaps even better news is revealed by the fantastic conversion rates that these visits are bringing. Again, compared to pre-virus February, April 2020 conversions swelled by 42.10%. Wow! It really seems that online clothing and footwear sellers have attracted an audience with high sales potential. This stat is backed up by a similarly increased conversion rate, which hit 21.62% in April. Could this finally mean that online apparel retailers will have a great second half in 2020?

Not necessarily

Despite these gains, online apparel retailers are not out of the woods yet. We need to see what May brings and if the COVID19 recovery maintains its momentum.

But more fundamentally, no matter how quickly things go back to normal, Customer Journey Hijacking will continue to leech away profits from online clothing sellers. During these difficult days, when apparel retailers are struggling to get back on track, customer journey hijackers are simply waiting to freeload on their efforts.

The scourge of customer journey hijacking

It’s a sad fact of online retail that approximately 20% of online shoppers are drawn away from websites by ad injections that direct them towards another seller. At times of increased traffic and revenues, customer journey hijacking actually goes up. Taking apparel, as an illustration, we saw that 18.46% of all visitors to apparel and fashion retail sites were impacted by Customer Journey Hijacking in April 2020. In other words, about 1 in 5 customers that you worked so hard to attract are persuaded, and sometimes misled, into making a purchase from a competing website, even when they are on the verge of buying from you.

Customer Journey Hijacking uses techniques such as software running on the user’s device, WiFi hijacking, and in-text redirects to inject ads into a potential customer’s online shopping session. Retailers don’t notice these unauthorized ads because they appear on the shopper’s PC, smartphone or tablet – but they sure feel the effects. Injected ads reduce revenue per visitor by between 5% and 7%.

Just as shocking is that a website’s best customers are most at risk because they are constantly online and hunting for bargains, and are most likely to download free software that secretly initiates Customer Journey Hijacking.

Can you overcome this with more advertising, a better website, or even more aggressive pricing? Well, despite that apparel and footwear websites are following exactly these tactics because of COVID19, many of the gains made by retailers are foiled by customer journey hijackers. The healthy 21.62% online apparel conversion rate of April was matched basically point for point by a 21.58% increase in hijacked visits.

Hold on to your customers at no cost, build revenue

Apparel retailers who know what’s happening to their revenue because of Customer Journey Hijacking are outraged, but help is here, and at no charge. To make sure that the online retail industry recovers as quickly as possible, we are providing our customer hijacking prevention solution for free during these tough times.

Even though this is a period of travel restriction, our customers can benefit immediately because our technology setup process is done remotely. No integration is required at the customer site because the solution is cloud-based and gets to work immediately. Within only a few days, Namogoo’s technology starts to counter the erosion of retailer revenue due to Customer Journey Hijacking.

Want to instantly boost your online conversion rate and sales revenue at no cost? Just contact Namogoo and request cost-free access to our customer hijacking prevention solution.