rag & bone and HERO® are engineering the new omni experience.
When one of the fastest growing apparel brands, found in 700 stores across the world, shifts towards being D2C — enhanced service and customer experience becomes the priority.
From its origins in New York in 2002, rag & bone instantaneously distinguished itself by combining British heritage with directional, modern design. Today, the brand has become synonymous with innately wearable clothing that innovatively melds classic tailoring with an edgy yet understated New York aesthetic.
Yet, rag & bone didn’t open its first owned store in NYC until 2008. Fast-forward 12 years, and the brand has opened more than 40 stores across the world, including in the U.S, UK and Australia. But you won’t find homogeneous store formats here. Instead, each store is unique by design and honors its locality.
Local connection is an important theme for the brand and it starts with its people. From NYC to London, when walking into a rag & bone store, customers are instantly struck by the dedication of the store teams. But until now, stores were unable to extend that knowledge and make connections with customers on rag-bone.com.
In late 2019, rag & bone partnered with HERO® to introduce rbLive, engineering an entirely new conversational shopping experience — one that empowers stores to use the HERO® app to text, chat and video with nearby digital shoppers.
“Prior to launching with Hero, online shoppers had the ability to connect with our customer care team, but our stores are uniquely placed to help an online shopper to find the the right item and buy” commented Ben Harris, SVP Direct-to-Consumer at rag & bone.
With HERO® embedded on the site, an online customer looking for advice around fit, sizing, style or availability, can instantly connect via text, chat and video with an available team member in their nearest rag & bone store.
“The focus was on perfecting the omni-channel experience, tapping into local intent and taking the best of what we do in our brick and mortar stores and bringing that on to our site” added Ben.
Increasing customer confidence
With 24% of conversations on rbLive related to availability in-store, HERO® is helping drive footfall to store; giving customers the increased confidence to visit and be greeted by the same store associate they connected with online.
58% of conversations relate to sizing and fit, typically one of the biggest barriers to a customer checking out online. Now, shoppers have increased confidence to add to their cart and checkout online; with nearly 1 in 10 customers going on to buy online after connecting with the store via HERO®. Whats more, when a customer buys online, stores are credited with the sale, keeping them highly motivated — and benefitting from the growth of ecommerce.
Never missing another sale
In 2019, it was estimated by 451 Research that as many as 9 out of 10 U.S. shoppers have left a store and not made a purchase in the last six months because an item they wanted was out of stock. Every year, U.S. retailers, especially in apparel are losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues.
With the HERO® app, rag & bone associates can also text with customers they meet in-store — perfect for when an item may be out of stock or the customer needs more time to decide.
Rather than losing the sale and the customer leaving empty handed, associates can text their customer with a unique link to buy online, increasing the likeliness to buy and giving the customer the chance to keep the dialog going with the same associate they met in-store via SMS, right thru to purchase.
Once again, store teams are credited when the sale is made online, helping build a more accurate picture of the role of the store as a catalyst for digital commerce.
A seamless launch
“The process of launching with Hero was seamless. We started by rolling out the app to 13 stores, and soon found other stores asking “when can I be on it?” commented Aaron Detrick, VP Digital at rag & bone.
“We went on to exceed our initial business case and delivered six-figure sales in the first 12 weeks. We’re now rolling out Hero to our entire store network so that even more online customers can get the experience of our stores, however they choose to shop.”
HERO® is the world’s leading conversational commerce app for stores, powering Nike, adidas, Levi’s, Harvey Nichols, rag & bone and more. Our technology makes it effortless to text, chat and video call with customers; growing ecommerce sales and converting website visitors into store customers.