Trunks of fashion advice:
Trunk Club, a Chicago based mens’ styling company has revolutionised how men shop in America. Trunk Club provides a service where men can call or email a stylist about their taste, and within days a ‘trunk’ of personalised clothing options arrives on their door step at no cost. The men can then peruse the garments, with their stylist on call for opinions of what looks good. There is no obligation for the customers to keep anything, in fact the trunk even includes packing tape for a secure parcel return.
Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly told Chicago business journal Crains that the Trunk Club customer is the middle age businessman who has “more money but less time every year”. Trunk Club is targeting men who either don’t have time to shop, or who find the process too stressful or boring.
Trunk Club was founded in the US, and was purchased by Nordstorm in 2014 for $350 million.
Mobile fashion assistants
Working on the same ‘our consumers just don’t have the time’ business model, clothing company Lamoda Russia has upped the ante for online shoppers by sending a sales assistant to the shopper’s home. Not only does Lamoda’s uniformed deliveryman bring the clothes the customer orders, but he also waits for her to try them on, offers fashion advice, takes returns and processes her payment on the spot.
The endeavor was inspired by the logistical challenge of selling clothing online in Russia. Not only is it the world’s most sprawling nation, spanning nine time zones, the country’s postal service is widely considered unreliable.
By emplying armies of trained advisers to serve as both couriers and mobile stores, Lamoda saves hundreds of parcels getting lost in the mail, and creates a great customer service.
From their signature Net-a-Porter black delivery boxes to their beautiful online magazine, Net-a-Porter hit the nail on the head with their hybrid between a store and a magazine that is delivered digitally.
The Net-a-Porter magazine, Porter, features high fashion editorial which updates weekly with new content and products. The website boasts a readership of 2.5 million each month.
Return rates are significantly larger for items purchased online compared with those purchased in stores. To combat this, online retailers have taken to showcasing their products with tools such as the zoom function, which helps consumers further examine products without having to physically hold or feel them.
Interactive ‘dressing room’-style features aim to make the whole online shopping experience more enjoyable. This feature enables visitors to get the feeling of actually being in the store.
A good example of interactive features are the catwalk videos that feature on UK online shopping giant ASOS.
Virtual dressing rooms
Moving into a way more tech-savvy zone, virtual dressing rooms enable the user to see a virtual simulation of their body type in the garments. UK-based Fits.me is an example of a virtual dressing room that doesn’t envolve much fussing around by the customer (because we all know everyone on the internet is in a rush). For somebody to view a shirt on a Fits.me simulated version of themselves, they need to simply click on the “virtual fitting room tab” and fill in their height, weight, neck size and age.