Having a great product is a significant differentiator; however, in highly competitive industries like the clothing industry, it is not sufficient to grow and captivate a regular base of buyers. It requires a combination of various other factors and strategies to achieve such success. Among them, one stands out and has gained much popularity in recent years: we are referring to the customer experience. Specifically, the H&M customer experience.
H&M understands this very well and has implemented a series of actions, initiatives, and programs with the sole objective of delighting its prospects and customers, not only during the early stages of the customer journey, such as awareness and consideration but also addressing post-sale points and other touchpoints with special care. This approach has earned them the public’s acceptance, rapidly positioning them as one of the most recognized brands in their industry.
What is H&M?
H&M is a Swedish multinational fashion retailer. It is one of the world’s largest and most well-known fast-fashion companies. H&M offers a wide range of affordable clothing, accessories, and footwear for men, women, and children. The company is known for its trendy and stylish designs, which are often influenced by current fashion trends.
They tend to focus on a youthful audience, but their offerings encompass timeless and neutral garments that anyone can wear regardless of body type, age, or other factors.
Their products are constantly evolving and adapting rapidly to prevailing market trends. This, combined with their low cost, customer experience strategies, and a wide variety of options, has positioned H&M in the industry alongside giants like Zara and UNIQLO.
The Crucial Role of CX Strategies at H&M
Customer experience strategies are essential for companies like H&M to attract and retain customers, build brand loyalty, and adapt to changing consumer preferences. By prioritizing CX, H&M has managed to excel in the highly competitive fashion retail industry.
In an increasingly connected world with high accessibility, the reputation and recommendations of other consumers have gained significant importance. Companies are well aware of this, and that’s why having a program focused on customer experience has become a standard for any business.
Let’s delve into some of the most successful actions that H&M has implemented to captivate its customers and the impact such actions tend to have on its growth.
Some of the standout actions are:
Connecting with the Audience through Ideas and Providing Fashion Inspiration
H&M embraces technology to make fashion discovery effortless and engaging, thereby creating a new channel for advertising and discovery for its target audience. Some of the successful initiatives and ideas they have implemented include:
HMxME + Instagram: A campaign where users can share their unique fashion statements on Instagram and discover how others are styling their favorite H&M looks. Additionally, users can shop directly from the captivating photo feed. This is an excellent example of user-generated content (UGC) and reaching your audience where they are, in this case, through social media. Moreover, the option to shop directly simplifies the user’s shopping experience, reducing stress.
Styling Ideas and Trends: H&M offers customers a tech-savvy way to explore the latest fashion trends and styling ideas, making it easier to keep their wardrobes up-to-date. With the implementation of image recognition technology, it is possible to recognize and find personalized styling and matching recommendations based on images customers have taken or found inspiring.
H&M is dedicated to enhancing its customers’ shopping experience by offering a range of tech-driven services that cater to their needs and preferences:
- Find in Store: Quickly locate the products you desire in your preferred size at a nearby physical store with the user-friendly “Find in Store” feature on their website.
- In-Store Mode: Seamlessly transition between online and in-store shopping with the H&M app. Identify which items are available at your current location and whether they can be purchased online.
- Rate & Review: Help fellow shoppers make informed decisions by sharing your thoughts and experiences through the “Rate & Review” feature, fostering a supportive community of consumers.
- Smart Mirrors: H&M has sought to elevate the shopping journey of its users with smart mirrors that recognize products in fitting rooms, offering personalized product recommendations, alternative sizes, and even virtual try-ons.
These customer-focused initiatives reflect H&M’s commitment to providing an outstanding customer experience and contributing to its success in the competitive fashion retail industry.
Effortless Checkout Options
H&M simplifies the checkout process with an array of options designed to cater to your convenience, whether you’re in-store or online. This is a great reflection of the company’s meticulous attention to detail throughout the entire customer journey.
Some of the most interesting initiatives and ideas in this stage include:
- Click & Collect: This option, available on their website, combines the best of both worlds. Users can make their purchases online and pick up their orders in-store at the location and time of their choosing. Convenience at the click of a button!
- More Payment Options: H&M shoppers can enjoy flexibility with a variety of payment methods tailored to their specific region, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free checkout process.
- Online Returns in Stores: One of the most common pain points of online shopping is having to return an item. H&M recognizes this and offers its users the convenience of returning online purchases in their physical stores, providing a hassle-free solution.
- Scan & Buy: Another customer touchpoint that can often become a pain point is the purchase and payment process. To minimize stress during this phase, H&M has implemented innovative technologies. H&M shoppers can scan QR codes on physical items to quickly locate and purchase desired products in their preferred size and color online. Additionally, users can opt for self-service checkouts as an alternative to traditional checkout lines, reducing wait times and ensuring a swift shopping experience.
Defining H&M’s Customer Journey Map
As you may have noticed, H&M segments its efforts and ideas based on touchpoints and stages with which customers interact during the process of acquiring and using their clothing and accessories. This approach is of great importance because it allows companies to put themselves in the shoes of their users and accurately visualize all the opportunities and areas they can focus on.
To illustrate this point better, we have decided to create a fictitious customer journey map, taking into account the most common points that users in this industry experience and the standard behaviors that consumers tend to exhibit.
A simplified customer journey map for H&M would look something like this:
Stage 01: AWARENESS
|Customers discover H&M products and shop directly from images and videos on Instagram.
|Limited awareness of new collections.
|Use Instagram for active and engaging promotion.
|Personalized Start Page
|Customers receive a tailored welcome page on hm.com based on their style preferences.
|Difficulty finding relevant style suggestions.
|Improve personalization algorithms for better suggestions.
|Customers express and share their favorite styles using the H&M app’s Stylestory feature.
|Limited discoverability of new styles.
|Enhance visibility of user-generated style content.
Stage 02: CONSIDERATION
|Find in Store
|Customers locate products in physical stores with the “Find in Store” feature on hm.com.
|Challenges in finding specific items.
|Improve the accuracy and real-time updates of in-store stock.
|Customers check item availability in the store they’re shopping in using the H&M app.
|Uncertainty about in-store stock.
|Ensure real-time and accurate information in In-Store-Mode.
|Rate & Review
|Customers rate and review products to assist other shoppers in making decisions.
|Limited customer reviews for reference.
|Encourage more customers to provide ratings and reviews.
Stage 03: PURCHASE
|Click & Collect
|Customers order items online and pick them up at physical stores.
|Challenges in online-to-store transition.
|Simplify the Click & Collect process for convenience.
|More Payment Options
|Customers choose from a variety of payment methods tailored to their region.
|Limited payment options.
|Offer more payment choices to suit local markets.
|Scan & Buy
|Customers scan QR codes on products in-store for quick online purchase.
|Difficulty finding preferred sizes or colors.
|Enhance the scanning and purchasing experience.
Stage 04: USAGE
|Customers use self-service checkouts for a quicker in-store checkout process.
|Long checkout lines or wait times.
|Expand the availability of self-service checkouts.
|Customers access and manage their receipts conveniently in the H&M app.
|Difficulty keeping track of receipts.
|Ensure the reliability and accessibility of digital receipts.
|Online Returns in Stores
|Customers return online purchases in physical stores.
|Complicated return process.
|Make online returns in stores more straightforward.
Stage 05: LOYALTY
|Customer Loyalty Program
|Customers earn points for purchases and redeem them for bonuses and discounts.
|Unclear program benefits.
|Clearly communicate the loyalty program’s advantages.
|Customers redeem bonus vouchers for discounts and special offers.
|Limited awareness of voucher availability.
|Notify customers about available bonus vouchers.
|Rental in Store
|Customers book appointments to view and rent garments in physical stores.
|Limited availability of rental wear.
|Expand the range of available rental items.
Stage 06: ADVOCACY
|Social Media Engagement
|Customers engage with H&M on social media and share their purchases.
|Limited engagement and interaction.
|Foster active and meaningful social media interactions.
|Customers refer friends and family to shop at H&M.
|Lack of incentives for referrals.
|Reward customers for successful referrals.
|Customers create and share style content on H&M’s Stylestory.
|Limited discoverability of user-generated content.
|Promote and showcase user-generated style content.
Starting to Map and Improve Your Own Customer Journey
Having a well-defined customer journey map is one of the keys to successfully implementing a customer experience strategy.
At QuestionPro, we have developed a range of solutions to help you carry out this task in a simple and effective manner. With our Customer Experience Management Software, you can conduct surveys, create your customer journey map, manage tickets, monitor online reputation, and perform advanced analysis, among many other tools that will allow you to understand your users’ satisfaction levels and take action accordingly.
Start today and delight your customers!