A proud Australian fashion brand since 1968, Cue Clothing Co is the largest local manufacturer of fashion in Australia with customers spanning 120 countries. In recent years, Cue has taken its customer experience to the next level by shifting to a unified commerce strategy that integrates its online and physical channels to give customers personalised and frictionless experiences.
Cue is leading the renaissance of retail. Now in its 52nd year, the fashion retailer has adopted a start-up mindset to transform into a true omnichannel business delivering new capabilities at speed and scale.
While the pandemic has changed consumer behaviours, some permanently, Cue was already focused on disruptive innovations designed to drive engagement, deliver a better customer experience and grow sales
Shane Lenton, Unified Commerce’s founder, has led the transformation of Cue into a retail disruptor. To keep pace with new technologies and changing consumer demands, he moved the business from multichannel silos to the Infinity unified commerce platform that provides a single source of truth for inventory and customer data.
Infinity lets Cue treat each customer as an individual, all the time – one person with one account, interacting with one unified brand. And adding new channels and services is no longer a case of ‘how?’. Instead they think ‘what’s next?’. And the retailer has delivered a slew of new omnichannel offerings, including many firsts, to build a disruptive competitive advantage.
It made purchasing online and in-stores more seamless and convenient through endless aisle, digital payments and ‘buy anywhere, fulfil anywhere’ services. ‘Store-to-door’ uses the store network to deliver items to customers at their preferred location on the same day. Click-and-collect can be completed within 30 minutes, still one of the fastest online order fulfilment options in Australasia. And Cue was the first fashion brand to provide 3-hour nationwide delivery.
It launched hyper-personalisation based on AI technology to make the shopping experience unique to the individual and deliver true customer satisfaction. It’s now pioneering ‘contextual commerce’, introducing Apple Pay to the product details pages on websites so that customers can bypass the traditional checkout.
In early 2020, Cue launched ‘Book a Stylist’ to allow customers to book complimentary styling sessions, both virtual and in stores.
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The uptake and response to all the new services has exceeded expectations. Annual online sales have increased over 130%, international revenue 100% and New Zealand online revenue 300%.
Demand for styling sessions sharply accelerated during the pandemic, as customers turned to virtual shopping experiences during lockdown and safe clienteling when stores reopened. With AI providing personalised suggestions based on each customer’s history, over 60% of sessions convert to sales, and average transaction values are five times higher than Cue’s normal.
The retailer has seen a great return on investment for click-and-collect, which makes up 30% of online transactions. Online transactions now account for 20 percent of all sales, and 57% of online sales are fulfilled via stores. Revenue from ‘store-to-door’ deliveries now exceeds $5 million per year, and 30% of click-and-collect customers purchase an additional item when collecting orders.
Cue has shown how multichannel retailers can compete with the biggest and best of the global pure plays by using stores to create competitive advantage and change the way consumers shop.