Why it works: when the fitting room becomes your home – giving customers convenience, comfort and independence

French lingerie brand Etam is using digital ID technology from Avery Dennison Smartrac to make every item ‘digital’ so customers can try lingerie at home, avoid queues in store and get video content to learn more about the sustainable origins of the products they love. Etam is very active on the omni-channel front, but the partnership with Avery Dennison is taking things to the next level by enabling Etam to pioneer new omnichannel experiences such as its Try@home which gives consumers the convenient option to try up to five items in the comfort of their own home. Or if they come into the store, RFID allows them to speed through the checkout.

With a heritage of over 100 years, Etam has long stood out as an industry pioneer. But like any retailer it has faced challenges. It operates a vast stock portfolio, with some 1,200 new lines added every season across its brands which includes Undiz, Maison 123, Livy and Yse as well as Etam itself. 

It wanted to revolutionize the way it handles this stock and enable consumers to order an item available from anywhere, not just the store they happen to be standing in. Inventory accuracy in-store is crucial and vital to consumer satisfaction too. Typically, Etam customers combine several products in their basket, for example, one bra and two pairs of knickers. Given the huge number of SKUs covering a wide variation in sizes/cup depth, Etam needs to guarantee the availability of at least three styles to respond to customer purchasing habits. RFID plays a critical role in achieving this required stock accuracy, making sure inventory is accurately tracked, taking account of the constant flow of purchases and returns. 

The pandemic had accelerated many of the challenges Etam saw already. Consumer demand for ‘frictionless’ experiences has accelerated and their stated importance to easily find products in store has jumped by 14%. More than 50% of consumers want stores to follow guidelines to help keep shoppers and employees safe, and 59% say it’s important for stores not to be too crowded. This is why initiatives such as Try@home have become so important. This gives consumers the convenient option to try up to five items in the comfort of their own home. After 12 days, the articles are either returned to the store, or their price is debited from the customer’s account. 

According to Benjamin Durand-Servoingt, COO at Etam Group, “The functionality offered by Avery Dennison Smartrac’s products is critical to our drive to remain the lingerie market leader in terms of consumer experience and our omnichannel strategy. Happy consumers are repeat customers, so our goal was to make the buying process as smooth as possible, by ensuring that the right products are available in-store, and that the consumer can engage with us throughout the purchase process. Rather than a transaction, we create a relationship tailored to our consumers’ buying preferences and behaviour. That relationship has become even more important in the still-uncertain times of COVID-19.”

Transparency is another driver for Etam. The deployment of RFID means customers can scan the product label by means of a QR code with their smartphone to get instant access to short videos that provide insights into the actual factory where the item was produced. This further supports Etam’s sustainability efforts, but also broadens the consumer experience well beyond what many of its competitors can offer, including even big global brands. Etam plans to extend its transparency program to every item sold, which is truly a pioneering breakthrough within the textile industry.

Because the RFID and QR codes that enable this are combined on one hangtag, this means that it avoids the inconvenience and cost of printing and attaching two separate tags to individual products. The high-performance RFID  inlays that Etam uses also ensure best-in-class data capture to optimize inventory availability, provide additional automation, and brand protection benefits.

RFID therefore is therefore ‘changing the game’ for both the Etam business and the experiences it can offer customers. 

For more information please visit: https://rfid.averydennison.com/en/home/industry-segments/retail/apparel-and-fashion.html