How Custom Menswear Startup Indochino Tailors Omnichannel Experience

PilarFor Vancouver, Canada-based Indochino, a purveyor of made-to-measure suits and apparel, omnichannel retail is an ongoing journey.

Most retailers begin with brick and mortar and expand into ecommerce. Indochino took the opposite approach.

Similar to Warby Parker, the company combines online customization with offline service. Customers pre-select lining, fabric and lapels online. After assessing a guy’s size through a video measurement tutorial, Indochino tailors and ships the suit within four weeks.

Indochino closed a $30 million investment in March to expand beyond its seven showrooms in city centers such as Toronto, New York, Boston and San Francisco. These showrooms now make up about 46% of the retailer’s business.

“One of our big initiatives to reach the omnichannel consumer is using geo-personalization to drive showroom appointments in specific markets,” said Pilar Catala, director of omnichannel and digital experience for Indochino. “A lot of analytics went into our being able to create highly localized offline campaigns.”

Indochino uses Qubit’s Visitor Cloud, a cross between a marketing cloud and web personalization tool, to build about 30 site experiences tailored to different shopper “states” – e.g., wedding parties or men shopping for suits in New York City.

“That was really the start of our omnichannel strategy since we weren’t quite sure how people wanted to interact with us before we opened the showrooms,” Catala said. “Our different experience layers were used to capture data and publish content tailored to different eyeballs.” 

One way Indochino uses Qubit is to identify cities with the highest volume of site traffic or fluctuations in site visitiation, which informs things like pop-up “Traveling Tailor” events inviting customers to come get fitted in person.

Measuring traffic to its site has helped the company determine offline demand for its pop-up events. (One location in Toronto was open six weeks while a shorter installation in Chicago, for example, might last only three days.)

The company has also used transactional data to inform store locations. In Toronto, the brand attributed a high volume of traffic and sales to residents of a suburb called Mississauga. So it opened a showroom there.

“All of the data we’re using for site experiences or user acquisition is also helping us determine (new) market opportunity,” Catala said.

Indochino doesn’t have a mobile app, but uses geotargeting to alert users to location-specific promotions on both mobile web and desktop.

“We’re also in discussions on how to merchandise based on weather – i.e., linen suits when it’s hot out,” said Ian McCaig, CMO and co-founder of Qubit. “Thinking forward, we’ll also be trying to understand a geospecific propensity for suits.”

For instance, it may predict qualitative product demand: Business districts tend to trend more traditional, while an entertainment district in Los Angeles might lean toward casual or “creative.”

Or, Indochino may change its messaging altogether based on the need state of the shopper and proximity to a local showroom.

For example, if a customer who doesn’t live near a showroom visits the site, browses higher-priced suits, signs up for email and abandons the site, Indochino might retarget him with a digital offer via email or social.

However, if that same shopper is on business travel to San Francisco, he might get an invitation to a special event or fitting at the nearby showroom.

“We’re very good at collecting quantitative data online, but the showroom allows us to get at that qualitative data,” said Catala.

Like most retailers, however, Indochino’s biggest challenge is attributing the physical showroom’s impact on sales and user acquisition so the company collects as many attributes as it can.

Its showrooms don’t have a traditional point of sale or cashier; associates instead use a custom iPod Touch or iPad app to ask people how they heard about the showroom or whether they have a special event coming up. That profile information would be fed back to Visitor Cloud via the app.

Although Indochino is a private company and doesn’t report financials, it claims omnichannel sales increased 67% year over year and it credits personalized site pages for generating $1 million in incremental sales. Using geo-personalization onsite and in promotions led to 4.2% lift in revenue per customer.

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