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H&M Group: Taking steps to grow the customer experience through tech

Last week the H&M Group published the Nine-month report (1 Dec 2021 – 31 Aug 2022). One section highlights our tech initiatives for an improved customer experience. Discover how these features support our customers with seamless services and inspiring trends.

Customer behaviour is changing rapidly and the H&M group works continually on improvements to offer customers the best possible experience. Follow the features throughout the customer journey in four steps: 1. Inspiration, 2. Services, 3. Checkout, and 4. Delivery/return.

1. Inspiration – when you need it

Looking for styling ideas, or interested in the latest trends? These tech features bring customers style inspiration — both what to wear and how to style their wardrobes. Find matching items, styles and products based on trends and preferences, and get inspired by other customers and influencers.

  • HMxME enables customers to share their own personal style as fashion stories on Instagram and see how others are styling their favourite looks. Customers can shop straight from the photo feed.
  • Instagram. By using this platform, customers can shop directly from images and videos, and also receive notifications when new collections are released.
  • Personalised start page on hm.com offers a customised welcome page when customers visit the site with tailor-made inspiration and suggestions based on your style preferences.
  • Styleboard is a feature within the H&M app that allows customers to create their own moodboard using items from H&M Group brands and outside the H&M universe. They can also shop from their styleboards directly.
  • Stylestory is a creative tool within the H&M app where customers can express and share their favourite styles. This allows other customers to discover new styles and shop directly from the story images.
  • Visual search. Through image recognition technology, this feature makes recommendations and suggestions for styling and matching items based on pictures that you have taken or been inspired by.

2. Services — to help you find what you are looking for

Where and when can you buy an item? Do you need guidance to select the right size and fit? Where can you find the best deal, prices and offers? Or do you want to rent a garment, or order an item produced on-demand?

The following tech initiatives ensure customers find and discover relevant and available items. You can also find similar options if what you are looking for is not available.

Customisable garments. Above is an example of the H&M pilot.

  • Customisable garments produced on-demand allow customers to be the designer. For example, H&M piloted a customisable winter jacket where customers could personalise the jacket with different lengths and colours for zippers, trims and inner/outer lining.
  • Find in store is a feature on hm.com that helps customers locate quickly and easily the product they are looking for in the size they want in a physical store location where the item is in stock.
  • In-store-mode, within the H&M app, allows customers to see which items are in the store they are currently shopping in, as well as whether the item is available to purchase online.
  • RFID (Radio frequency identification) is used to help customers locate items with a digital price tag quickly and easily to get precise information on an item’s availability.
  • Rate & review is a feature that allows customers to rate and review their products to help other customers feel confident that their purchases matches their needs and expectation.
  • Rental in store offers customers the opportunity to rent garments. Customers book an appointment in the store to view available rental wear.
  • Smart mirrors in stores recognise products brought inside fitting rooms and offer the customer personalised product and styling recommendations, or alternative sizes and colours. On the sales floor, other types of smart mirrors can be used for virtual try-on and styling.

3. Seamless checkout options — so you can spend time on other things

A variety of checkout initiatives offer customers a convenient experience locally tailored to their region and market.

  • Click & collect allows customers to purchase items online and pick up their orders in stores.
  • Customer loyalty programme gives customers points when they make purchases and then they can redeem points through bonus vouchers, discounts and other offers. The loyalty programme also rewards members for bringing in old clothes for garment collection, choosing climate-smart delivery options, bringing their own bag when shopping, choosing products made from more sustainable materials, inviting friends to become members, and rating/reviewing items.

Click & collect. Shop online and pick up your order in store.

  • Digital receipts are offered to customers in the H&M app so they can keep track of their receipts in one place and refer to their past purchases easily and accessibly.
  • More payment options give customers a variety of payment options to choose from that make checkout smooth and easy. Payment options available are tailored to local regions and markets.
  • Online returns in stores gives customers the opportunity to return online purchases in stores.
  • Scan & buy allows customers to scan the QR code on a product in store to quickly and easily locate and buy the item online in the size and colour they want.
  • Self-service checkouts offer customers another way to quickly checkout when shopping in stores.

4. Smarter deliveries and returns

Delivery and return options are designed to give transparency, flexibility and convenience to customers so they can make an informed and conscious choice.

  • Climate-smart delivery options give customers the option to receive and return items using a bicycle delivery service. Combined with using biogas vehicles from the logistics centre, this reduces CO2 In Sweden, Norway and parts of Germany deliveries are also made to climate smart lockers.
  • Next day and express delivery options are available for customers to receive their purchases quickly and in a variety of methods — including home delivery, delivery at a pick-up point, and Click & collect pick-up in stores.

Climate-smart delivery options.

Note: The above features and initiatives vary from region and H&M Group brand.

Source: H&M Group nine-month report (1 Dec 2021 – 31 Aug 2022).