The Body Shop x Adyen: A rapid response for UNHCR
From consistent communication to personalised customer journeys, learn how G-Star is improving the customer experience through Unified Commerce.
G-Star's ambition is to become one of the largest denim brands in the world. They know that putting their customers first is essential to succeeding. Unified Commerce takes them one step closer to reaching their goal, helping them provide customers with what they want: engaging and flexible buying journeys.
While many retailers struggle to connect online and in-store data, G-Star uses cross-channel data to provide seamless and consistent experiences across all channels.
We spoke to Arn Knol, Commercial Director of G-Star's ecommerce team, to gain his insights on how to unlock the full potential of Unified Commerce and deliver exceptional value to customers.
G-Star was founded in the Netherlands 34 years ago and has since expanded its presence to 55 countries. During this time, they added a variety of channels including physical stores, franchise locations, online outlets, and wholesale partners.
Retailers that sell products on multiple channels are perfectly positioned for Unified Commerce. G-Star realised the opportunities of adopting a unified approach and has been experiencing benefits ever since.
There are three Unified Commerce benefits that G-Star considers key to improving the customer experience. “The first is seamlessness,” Arn explains. “We want customers to be able to switch smoothly between different sales channels. Second, consistency is essential, not only in brand experience but also in our communication." Arn mentions personalisation as a third point. "We do everything we can to make our customer journeys personal and relevant.”
"The lines between online and offline are blurring, if not disappearing completely. We need to make sure we know, research, and understand all touchpoints to respond to our customers' needs."
G-Star offers seamless and convenient shopping experiences across all channels. If a tourist is visiting Amsterdam, G-Star can send them a targeted Google ad regarding discounted jeans in a nearby store. The ad includes the option to view the route to the store so the tourist can go and buy them.
If the tourist wants to return the jeans, they can easily do so through customer service even after returning home from vacation.
G-Star's digital channels are connected with marketing and inventory management, ensuring the jeans are available when the tourist reaches the store. This integrated approach ensures that customers have a smooth experience every step of the way. Arn says, “The lines between online and offline are blurring, if not disappearing completely. We need to make sure we know, research, and understand all touchpoints to respond to our customer's needs.”
Although there has been an increase in online shopping during the past few years, many shoppers still value the personal experience they get in stores. To cater to these needs, businesses are combining both digital and physical experiences. Arn clarifies, “We have also trained store staff to become stylists who advise customers via a chat feature on our website. This was especially appreciated during the pandemic, and online conversion is still increasing thanks to this service.”
G-Star recognises customers across channels and tailors their experiences based on their preferences. Arn says, “If an app user walks into our store, it should be possible to save loyalty points or their purchase receipt in the app.”
Blurring the line between online and offline sounds easier than it is. “There are challenges,” Arn continues. “The first is about systems. It is not a matter of quickly connecting things; this process can be complicated and time-consuming. The use of innovative in-store POS systems specifically designed for unified commerce saves a lot of hassle.”
The second challenge is all about payments data. Arn adds, “Thanks to all the touchpoints we create with Unified Commerce, we collect a wealth of customer data. But you have to store and use this data correctly to benefit from it.”
Unified Commerce is transforming G-Star's customer understanding from purely transactional to fully comprehensive. They have visibility on when customers make online purchases, visit their website, or read their newsletter. Customers are identified through their email address, name, and address information and offered a tailored experience.
“At the moment, we are conducting a pilot with Adyen where we use payment data to obtain new shopper insights,” Arn explains. “And that changes a lot. We are exploring how we can link online and offline data to enrich individual customer profiles and improve the customer journey. Privacy and transparency are, of course, extremely important; we don't do anything without the customer's permission.”
“With the shopper insights obtained from Adyen's payment data, we can see the overlap between our online and offline channels at a global level,” Arn continues.
"Both in-store and online, the checkout experience is very important. A smooth checkout is immediately reflected in your conversion because the more pleasant the experience, the greater the chance that a customer will continue the purchase and come back."
Both the in-store and online checkout experiences are important for G-Star. “A smooth checkout is immediately reflected in your conversion because the more pleasant the experience, the greater the chance that a customer will continue the purchase and come back. Adyen ensures smooth payments, actively participates in all options, and continuously innovates and improves so that we can offer customers an excellent customer journey. Additionally, Adyen supports our unified commerce approach.”
Adyen’s technology easily integrates with G-Star’s current systems. Arn explains, “We have an order management system, New Black's POS system, and Adyen's payment terminal. Those three elements need to communicate with each other optimally to make unified commerce as intuitive and customer-friendly as possible for both the customer and our store employees. The New Black POS system has been developed with unified commerce use cases in mind, making features such as in-store exchanges and ship-from-store a lot easier.”
By putting customers first and leveraging innovative systems, businesses can provide user-friendly experiences that enhance customer satisfaction and build loyalty. Utilising payments data to create tailored experiences is essential in meeting customers' evolving expectations and preferences. By following these principles, businesses can unlock the full potential of Unified Commerce and deliver exceptional value to their customers.