J.Crew App Aids In-Store Stylists
US fashion retailer J.Crew is further promoting its Very Personal Stylist campaign (a marketing initiative originally launched in 2012) with an in-store iPad app that allows customers to browse the brand’s look-books and book free, in-store personal shopping appointments with its in-house stylists.
Developed in collaboration with New York-based creative agency Partners & Spade, the app – which is based on showcasing 12 seasonal trend stories, split equally across menswear and womenswear – is currently being piloted in its New York and LA stores.
Accessing extra detail about products – and framing products in the context of larger trends – lies at the heart of the initiative. For instance, by tapping on an outfit, consumers can play with different colours and unlock suggestions as to how to work the pieces into their existing wardrobe.
When booking a stylist appointment, they can choose to book an in-store consultation at a later time, or immediately summon the store’s very own, J.Crew-trained expert stylists (some have been promoted from sales associates; others have been hired for their previous styling experience). Each stylist is equipped with their own mobile device linked directly to the app, so they can answer fit questions and offer style advice either in person or through the app – should a stylist not be immediately available. The overall aim is to cultivate more personal customer service relationships.
See also Super Service in the Retail Sector for more on this topic.
While in-store iPads have been appearing on shop floors for the past few years, relatively few brands have successfully harnessed the technology to power significant in-store sales or connections – generally only using them as a simplistic window to e-commerce sites.
For specialty stores or destinations with limited floor space, this type of technology provides an invaluable opportunity to show more product and also styling ideas that would be possible to demonstrate in-store. It also empowers the consumer – allowing them to ask for help only as and when they want it – no small issue in an era when consumers are increasingly demanding a more personally tailored retail experience.