Tech + Community = The abof Approach

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Since its launch in 2015, abof has been capturing a significant market share of the online fashion segment. The Aditya Birla-owned website lists more than 120 brands in its inventory including house brands Van Heusen and Allen Solly. The website also got onto the celebrity ‘brand wagon’ with Shahid Kapoor’s SKULT, a label focused on comfortable and edgy urban-wear.

However, what has been setting the website apart from the rest of the competitors is a focus on creating a fashion eco space that goes beyond the basic display and size chart template, but also adding snippets like fashion tips for each product and customised homepages featuring trends and news. This has not just been a strong content approach, but there has been an integration of technology like AI and virtual reality to enhance the browsing public’s page experience.

Virtual Reality – Bringing the Mall and the Mouse Closer

Fashion is unique. It is that premise on which all the marketing is done, as sites try to sell consumers not just a garment but an image with a story. There lies the biggest challenge for a fashion e-tailer, when it comes to bridging the gaps with physical retail. Unlike electronics or books, each garment needs to keep up to its exclusiveness and has to fit and feel right. This gap will not be filled anytime soon, but efforts are on.

abof’s most technical feature is the recent roll-out of the 3D trial room. Currently available on select items in the clothes for women section, it allows customers to choose avatars, add their own measurements and try on a garment virtually. Opposed to archaic 2D attempts at the same, this feature uses 3D imaging to give a more accurate representation of what a customer would see in the mirror of a real life trial room.

Creating a Community

One of the most repeated statements since the launch of abof is how it approaches the consumer as part of a larger community of fashion enthusiasts. The site has backed it up since then with multiple features that make users pause their shopping, read up on something new and consider a new addition to their lists of things to buy. Integrating AI and the browsing habits of regular customers (or visitors), abof has introduced customised landing pages that use old data to predict user choices. In other words, recommendations, tips and other content is customised and personalised. It remains to be seen how much this new feature will add to actual online shopping conversions.

Post Sales Continuity

Post-sales is the one area where not just online retailers but the entire Indian retail market is not known to earn many points. Consumers in developed global markets rarely have to fret over returns policies as guidelines are strict and ensure efficiency. Along with its endeavour to be a prime fashion portal of a high standard, abof’s 24-hour money back policy also adds a great sense of amicability with the buyer, who may now and then, end up with a wrong or ill-fitting product. Customer experience is a term thrown about too often, but how a site handles the customer’s money is indeed one big indicator of loyalty (or not).

With these three features, abof is covering all its bases by adding a good experience for shoppers who are exploring, those who have chosen something and even those who may want something else.

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