What technology is Jack Wills using online?

Fashion retailer Jack Wills is on a journey to upgrade its website, and the company’s global online trading manager Lynsey Munn says she is continually looking at ways to enhance the digital customer experience.

From its Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) website base, the UK retailer is seeking to add more user generated content (UGC) to its eCommerce proposition – as well as utilise artificial intelligence (AI) in the most suitable way.

“It’s a huge project at the moment to really upgrade the website and make it more user friendly,” she explains.

“It’s a real customer centric approach focused on getting our website right.”

Specifically, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, projects include the introduction of AI-based personalisation via Salesforce Einstein, which is helping the retailer merchandise its website in a relevant way and suggest products to customers based on previous purchasing behaviour. The system is designed to grow in sophistication the more it is used, and the more it learns about customers.

Munn is also using the technology for site search, leveraging the Einstein Search Dictionaries, and accompanying in-depth reporting with Einstein Commerce Insights.

In a challenging trading environment on the UK high street, Munn is aware Jack Wills has to be competitive, which she says is achieved by features like free next-day delivery for people spending over £100, but also through the techniques deployed online.

“It’s about ensuring we have product recommendations correct and focusing on what the customer wants,” she notes.

Former Deckers Brands online producer Munn has a whole long list of other systems, platforms and software companies she hopes to work with in the months ahead.

Adyen is already in place for payments, and Munn notes “they’ve cornered a niche in the market” in terms of bringing together multiple payment options on to a single platform. Monetate is a personalisation partner for Jack Wills, while the business is also starting work with Olapic to help better use UGC for commercial gain.

“UGC is a big thing for us this year,” Munn explains.

“We want to use it on our social media and on our product and category pages so we can really show how people are using and wearing our products – it’s really just building up the relationship with the brand.”

As part of the UGC drive, Jack Wills is in the process of choosing a customer reviews platform that it will use to promote its brand. Other innovative customer service tools deployed include an AI-powered Facebook Messenger chatbot, which answers shopper queries around delivery and shipping, as well as dealing with complaints.

“It’s working quite well, but it’s still early days and we’re testing and learning with it,” Munn says.

“The customer service team are able to jump in if the chatbot can’t deal with the query itself.”

Former Jack Wills eCommerce director Mark Wright was made multichannel director around this time last year, and there have been a number of new digital features appearing in the retailer's stores over the last 12 months – the ability for staff to use tablet devices in store to order out-of-stock items for home delivery is one noteworthy upgrade.

“It really helps bridge that gap so if the customer really wants something they are not going away empty-handed – they get it delivered the next day for free,” Munn explains.

Jack Wills currently has 98 stores, including 14 outside the UK and ten outlets. The online-order-in-store technology is not in all of them, but Munn says there are plans to make it a universal feature.

There is plenty keeping her and the team occupied. Immediate goals focus on the UGC and getting “the bread and butter” of eCommerce right, while next year, she says, “we can start diversifying and doing really fun stuff”.