The lingerie brand Wonderbra (www.wonderbra.eu) has launched a revamped transactional website to target the UK and Ireland in a bid to reach consumers which it claims are heavy online users. Wonderbra is one of an increasing number of brands which are opening up new channels such as online to sell direct to consumers and own that relationship.
When a brand takes the decision to go direct to the consumer it needs to consider being able to deliver on their promise, which involves a plethora of issues - managing fraud screening, payment, picking, packing, shipping and customer service. Successful retailers recognise that the post-order customer experience is critical to success, and brands will have to go through a similar learning curve.
However, the brand owner will need to understand how to maintain control over customer touch points that are less visible online. Brands are typically good at obsessing over every customer touch point and offline, these touch points are clearly visible in products, staff, advertising and shop fits. Online, they are every bit as important but not so easy to observe.
Online retailing represents an unparalleled opportunity to bypass complex, costly and potentially brand-damaging wholesale models, and to drive international expansion but brands like Wonderbra need to address their lack of retail DNA to make the transition from brand owner to multi-channel retailer.