Next online customers highlight digital transformation

Earlier this month Next announced that although sales in-store were down 7%, it’s online business was up 15%. The business had previously reduced its profit expectations for the year, so its online shoppers made for a pleasant end to the trading period.

At a time where much is being said about the impact of online on the decline of the High Street, what was Next able to do with its online offering that delivered more for its customers and ultimately its bottom line?

We’ve taken a look at the online conversations about Next created over the Christmas and January sales period to see what we could learn about shoppers and their attitude to the brand.

What we found

Better late than never
While Next’s mature digital transformation/multichannel/omnichannel (insert buzzword as appropriate) may have been a little late to the eComm party, they have significantly improved their retail results by more closely aligning the offline and online journey for the customer.

Next make online shopping cost efficient
Offering unlimited deliveries for an annual cost of £20, the brand follows the example of businesses like ASOS. A flat one-off fee for online delivery removes some of the gripe customers have with delivery charges. Free to browse and purchase without the burden of multiple delivery fees, it also meant no Christmas crowds for busy shoppers.

dolly-next

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It’s not online OR offline; it's both
Next seem to have wrapped their heads around the fact that their customers just want to be able to get what they want, when they want it, where they want it.  Not only do they offer a Click and Collect service, but Next will also source items not in stock online from local stores, take the customers’ payment online, and deliver them to a customer’s home or allow the customer to drop in and pick them up - even with sale items. The result? Happy customers with a positive experience.

Next sentiment

The Maybe* ‘How they feel’ graph demonstrating whether Next’s conversations are positive or negative.

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The Next network
Next have expanded their online and offline portfolio of brands in recent years including additions in the form of Lipsy and Karen Millen. These brands are also creating social media content and promoting Next, as are the shopping centres in which they operate.

Next could continue to build on this by targeting the online audiences of those brands and shopping centres in their own campaigns to ensure their own content is seen by a relevant audience.

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