Superdry's Mobile First eCommerce Strategy
Here's How Superdry Is Adopting a Mobile First eCommerce Strategy
For the UK-based contemporary apparel retailer Superdry, the key to extended global reach and improved customer experience is an eCommerce strategy that puts mobile first, while allowing for localisation in every area where the organisation operates.
The Challenge to Superdry from a Changing Retail Space
Since its inception, Superdry has evolved organisationally from having separate retail and wholesale divisions – a transition made necessary by market forces. To this end, the company recently established a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.
As Scott Robertson, then Head of Business Transformation at Superdry, explained in 2018: “We were almost designing two separate ranges because each timeline was very different and some products were being duplicated. About two years ago, we started consolidating the retail and wholesale ranges into a global range, reducing the total number of options we create, and putting new ways of working in place. Getting a PLM system was the next step on our roadmap to support that change.”
Although part of a global grouping that includes several other high street “names”, Superdry has its organisational and physical roots in the UK. And it’s because of this that the brand has been facing significant obstacles to its outreach, logistics, and customer service arms.
Previously, Superdry’s operations were confined to its UK home base, with physical shipments occurring from there. In the era of Amazon and next-day delivery, the company had no local machinery in place to get its goods to consumers wherever they were.
To remain relevant in an increasingly global and changing retail space, Superdry had to take a serious look at its customer experience (CX).
Disrupting eCommerce to Lead the Pack
In order to establish itself as a market leader in the digital age, Superdry decided to disrupt its own operations, with an eCommerce strategy deploying local outreach through a mobile-first approach, click and collect, and floor to door delivery.
To better gauge its customer relationships, the brand has been tracking its Net Promoter Score (NPS), and is soon to roll out a live chat facility.
Taking A Global View of the Customer Experience
Brendan Gillen, the eCommerce Manager at Superdry, identified the localisation of the brand’s digital store as the “missing link” needed to improve customer experience. As a first step, the company has recently launched an online flagship store for Australia and New Zealand.
Through feedback from customers in Australia, Superdry confirmed that the experience for consumers there was not what was expected from such an iconic international brand.
Shipping was a delaying process, as a result of which many clothing lines weren’t keeping step with the Australian seasons. And with customer service staff limited to the Superdry offices in the UK, complaints and issues weren’t being properly addressed.
To provide a better experience, Superdry needed to reach out and establish a local presence, aligning it with the stores and product ranges available in Australia.
As Brendan Gillen explains: “This is unique from a Superdry point of view, as we’ve never been able to offer aligned ranges from in-store and online, locally. All the stock was sitting in the UK, but the UK is operating in a different season. So now, we are able to align in-store and online.”
Superdry set up a customer service team in Melbourne, which currently addresses consumer issues via phone and email, and will soon be available through live chat.
Using Mobile to Enhance Reach
The Superdry approach is unique to eCommerce as a whole, with the retailer adopting a mobile-first website. The strategy targets the brand’s younger demographic of Millennial and Generation Z consumers, who rarely use a laptop and tend to shop via handheld mobile devices.
Gillen says, “We have lots of videos of people with the clothes on a body and lots of colourways, so shoppers on mobiles can get the right experience and feel informed.” Video has been crucial in giving a feel for Superdry merchandise to customers who don’t live within easy range of one of the brand’s stores.
Brendan Gillen explains: “For customers who didn’t have a store in their area, they couldn’t really understand the quality of the products, what they look like and sizing, which is why we have done the videos. This gives people confidence in what they are purchasing, which can be lacking in online purchasing generally. We only have 20 stores at the end of the day, which is not enough for everyone to have a store locally to touch and feel the product. Given we have such a high engagement with that younger demographic, we needed to give that experience.”
For Superdry customers in Australia, the organisation exploits its existing network of stores and makes shipments from its main warehouse in Victoria. Customers can now expect to receive their items within three days.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
Superdry has also taken to social media to extend the reach of its brand message. On Instagram for example, the brand combines visually engaging content with a seamless checkout process via its mobile site.
Integrating Digital with Physical
Superdry currently operates through 515 branded locations in 46 countries. Online, Superdry.com sells to over 100 countries worldwide, operating from 21 international websites. Using its ‘Endless Aisle’ technology, the organisation now offers consumers the choice of in-store pickup or floor to door delivery.
With its alignment of physical and digital resources, the Superdry eCommerce strategy is moving the brand forward to meet the demands of an evolving market.
Mobile-first strategies are set to be a hot topic at eTail Connect 2020, taking place in February at Twickenham Stadium, London. Download the agenda today for more information and insights.