Windsor is a leading special occasion fashion brand providing glamorous, on-trend styles for all the occasions in a woman’s life. Founded in 1937, they have over 340 stores in the US and Puerto Rico. As a valued Bambuser customer, Windsor has been leveraging the power of video commerce to boost conversion and build stronger connections with their customers.
Catherine Seaton Hoffman, VP of Marketing at Windsor recently joined us for a fireside chat at one of our exclusive events. Read on to find out what she had to say about their video commerce journey.
What impact has video commerce had on your business?
One of the biggest impacts has been how it has helped us connect with our customers. When we started thinking about video commerce three and a half years ago, we were going through COVID-19, and our stores, which were one of the main methods for us to talk to our customers were closed. During the pandemic, when we lost that we realized we needed to find other ways to connect with our customers one-on-one.
That’s when we started talking about video commerce, and it has been a very natural transition for us. Initially, we thought of live commerce as mainly a sales driver, and we definitely have been able to monetize video, but at the end of the day, it's been much more about establishing a relationship with our customers and about our brand becoming a “go to best friend” when they need fashion advice.
Would you say there are any specific challenges or pain points that you were able to address by adding video to your website?
So, I think this is a pain point that we all have: we all want a higher conversion rate and a higher average order value (AOV). What I can say is that from a conversion rate perspective, with video commerce we've seen a fivefold increase in our conversion rate, and have doubled our AOV. So, when you couple those two together, we’ve definitely seen the impact of video and why it helps the customer on their journey.
So, if you look at the value from a customer perspective, do you feel that your customers grasp why you're doing videos?
Yes, they totally understand that we're there to connect with them and to have a conversation with them and they engage with us! They'll be on the site shopping, and they'll join a live video chat and ask questions like “Hey, what do I wear with a black leather mini skirt?” and we are able to have these one-on-one conversations. I think that's been the fun part.
We create videos where our hosts try a lot of our clothes on. We do a lot of co-hosted shows. So, while one host is talking about what she's wearing, the other is changing into another outfit and they rotate back and forth. That is where a lot of the engagement and questions come in because, with fashion, customers want to know how an item fits and how it moves. When something's hanging on a hanger it always looks different. That's one of the biggest challenges we've been able to solve with video - how to show those elements and those details to our customers.
One of the biggest impacts of Video Commerce has been how it has helped us connect with our customers one-on-one.
Catherine Hoffman Seaton, Vice President of Marketing at Windsor Fashions
As we're going into the holiday season, some people may be thinking it’s too late in the year to integrate video. How are you approaching the holiday season using video?
We know that new initiatives take time but we were able to integrate the Bambuser platform in about four or five weeks. It was really, really fast. So, it is really easy to get started with Bambuser.
For the holiday season, we're trying to make sure that we're adding video content for all the different events our customers have in their calendars. We get a lot of questions from our customers about what to wear to meet your significant other's family for the first time, and how to dress for office parties or holiday season parties. So, when we strategize, we create videos that focus on those special occasions to help answer those questions.
Think of everything that your call center gets questions on, or that customers are googling, “how to, how do I care for, how do I style, how do I wash, how does it fit?”. All of those things are in the videos that we are creating. A lot of customers just want advice - they just want to talk to someone, and video commerce helps us solve those problems for them.
Let's say that, hypothetically, a brand would like to start using video to connect with their customers, but doesn’t really know how to get started. What would be your recommendation?
My advice would be to just do it. Technology is always changing and customers are also always changing and evolving. In Marketing, we’re always testing new technologies and solutions - some succeed and some fail. Video is the same, we’ve had some content that works and performs very well, and we've had some content that didn’t work, and you just have to move on and learn from what works for you. But don't over-engineer it and make it super complicated.
Make sure it's on brand. The more organic and authentic you can be and the more real you can be the better. Remember it's like a personal conversation. It isn’t a branded photo shoot where you're retouching images or a campaign video that you're editing down to thirty seconds - it's an interactive conversation. It's got to feel real, video allows for things to happen organically and in real-time.
Our best hosts are the ones that will drop something and laugh about themselves, and be like “Whoops!,” and just move on. So, I think you just have to get started. It's so fun and it’s really rewarding when you see the engagement, the viewers in the chat commenting and you can help answer a question live. It’s that one-to-one relationship that we all keep talking about establishing, and we get that on a day-to-day basis, and it's just a super cool relationship to have with your customer.
If you’d like to know more about why our customers love Bambuser, head to our customer stories.