As the multi-brand etail market continues to evolve, the originators have their work cut out. How to keep attracting new customers in the face of increased competition? How to tackle the issues of fit and returns? How to differentiate from all the copycats out there? And how to deliver an outstanding service to keep customers coming back?
My-wardrobe.com has a new service that aims to tackle some of these concerns and I was asked to try it out.* As I’m easily put off online shopping by time consuming returns processes, this one had instant appeal.
The service is called my-dressing room and is offered to My-wardrobe’s Silver, Gold and Black tier members. It’s a try-before-you-buy idea which lets you order a number of items, have them shipped to you free of charge, and only once you have decided what to keep do you get billed. You receive an email a couple of days later asking what you’re keeping and the remainder gets picked up by courier, also free of charge.
I know that a lot of people choose online shopping so they can try things on in the comfort of their own home, with their own things. They will frequently order six dresses, knowing they’ll only keep one. Or they’ll order the same item in several sizes so they can settle on the best fitting one. So forking out £500 when you only plan to spend £100 can be a pain, especially when you factor in the time it sometimes takes to get refunded.
To test the Black tier service, I’d planned to pick out a few statement pieces from my-wardrobe’s London Lab designers. But much as I admire J.W. Anderson, Meadham Kirchhoff et al, I don’t have much use for crystal hairslides and origami dresses right now.
So back to my comfort zone I went, adding white shirts, cashmere knits and chunky boots to my ‘dressing room’. I chose two types of Acne boot, a black Pistol boot (always fancied a pair) and a higher Colt boot in a lush oxblood shade (exclusive to My-Wardrobe). I also fell for a pair of salmon pink Paul Smith brogues – a beautiful summer shoe to wear with slim cream Joseph trousers (which I also ordered). Well, I guess I’d wear them if I lived somewhere reliably sunny like Tuscany, but in rainy west London, my common sense got the better of me. (Clearly however, some disagreed…)
Also in my dressing room went a Helmut Lang snake-print leather sweatshirt and a 3.1 Phillip Lim grey marl cropped sweatshirt. Of those two the Lim was perfect in every way except the cut was just a tad too boxy for my frame. A Carven white shirt was also on the roomy side and I decided I could live without the Carven cuff and Maria Francesca Pepe set of rings…for now.
So what did I keep? I was utterly thrilled with the Acne Colt boots. I know I’ll wear them to death as they’ll take a few knocks without looking too shabby too soon. At 100cm, the heel is high (for me) but chunky enough not to teeter and the cut hugs the ankle so you feel supported. My other keep was an Equipment bottle green cashmere crew neck. This is a classic cut in a rich colour which for some reason is never easy to find. Like my Equipment shirts, if I’m happy with this I’ll be repeat buying.
After mulling over my choices overnight I boxed up my returns and emailed My-wardrobe who gave me a time slot for my courier pickup. My credit card will only be charged for the items I kept and the overall experience is one of being thoroughly pampered. But while this service is certainly useful for customers, it’s not all altruism on the part of my-wardrobe. Do I detect some clever psychology at play? Once you have something desirable in your possession, it can be very hard to let it go, so although I’d been allotted a budget, I naturally found myself going over it. I mean, the goods are here, they’re super useful, they fit perfectly, I may as well keep them, right? And if I, the cautious, virgoan, methodical shopper can be seduced that easily then anyone can.
All things considered, I’d say that giving customers a free pass to play dress up with more items than they might really need is a canny move from My-wardrobe. But as a service, my-dresing room is a great reward for time-poor My-wardrobe loyalists who want a convenient way to shop online with all the tedious elements taken care of.
For more information on My-wardrobe’s my-dressing room, click here.
*Discosure: For the purpose of this review, I was given a budget to shop with by My-wardrobe
River Island loves bloggers so it’s tapped some of its favourites to model its latest denim. Why this works? Because these super-bloggers will naturally share the shots on their own multi channel platforms, thus spreading the message far and wide. (It’s an international affair – amongst the bloggers are Italian Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad, Australian Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage and Spanish Gala Gonzalez from Amlul). Continue reading
New York Fashion Week is in full swing and London editors are gearing up for LFW which is three days away. With IMG and various New York designers rethinking their blogger strategy, the conversation continues to rage around the current and future role of fashion weeks and their associated ‘circus’.
I took part in a panel discussion on this very subject a couple of weeks ago with WGSN. We did it as a live Google Hangout and the panel also included Quynh Mai, founder of digital agency Moving Image & Content, WGSN’s senior arts editor Elle Hankinson, Fashionista’s editor-in-chief Lauren Indvik, and was hosted by WGSN’s senior digital media editor, Rachel Arthur. Continue reading
This month’s column from regular DRG contributor, fashion & retail insights expert Alison Bishop explores the latest moves in how taste-making got shoppable…
Since fashion is now shared instantly across social media, it’s no wonder how we shop for it has become more instant too. From Instagram to Pinterest and Tumblr, these platforms have become a visual marketplace for fashionistas, brands and retailers. Most important are the style leaders or ‘taste-makers’ that other users follow – and they’re the ones responsible for a new Shazam-style of shopping.
Snap it, search it, buy it
Just as another season’s month-long fashion week circus kicks off, there is a raft of new apps that target the street-style set with instant-hit fashion, at the click of a photo search. I’m calling this the ‘Shazamification of shopping’, since the practice of snapping what someone is wearing, then searching, then buying it, mimics the music identifying app Shazam. Last year Shazam announced it would broaden its service by recognising content from TV shows, so that when people ‘Shazam’ a show, they can link through to buy items worn by presenters or actors. Continue reading
Running a fast fashion empire is a tough old task! Aside from the sheer volume of product to be managed, there’s the competition to worry about, not to mention the cheap labour issues and carbon footprint headaches that entail from manufacturing overseas.
ASOS is one fast fashion company that’s tackling these issues in interesting and highly profitable ways. Last week I spent an insightful afternoon drinking in as much info as I could on a personal tour of its Stitching Academy, its brand new design studios, plus the infamous photo studios at ASOS HQ in Camden… Continue reading
We’re not even two weeks in and it’s already shaping up to be another good year for sneaker heads.
First, the surprise appearance of trainers (in thrice waxed leather or white velvet!) at Tom Ford’s AW14 menswear presentation. In fact the whole Tom Ford collection was casualised (below), so posh trainers aren’t too out of place…
The fashionisation of beauty is rolling along at a jolly pace isn’t it? Following both Chanel and Dior with their standalone luxury beauty stores comes Burberry and its all-singing-all-dancing Beauty Box. The store opened yesterday in Covent Garden’s King Street selling make-up, perfume and accessories.
From the entry-level nail polishes and perfumes plus associated sunnies, scarves and bags, it’s but a short jump to the coveted trench or coat. And thus (the mega-brands hope) a loyal customer for life.
Naturally, a Burberry store isn’t a Burberry store without some digital wizardry at play. So if you haven’t time for a mini mani, try the Digital Runway Nail Bar instead. This ‘playful virtual experience’ lets you try the latest Burberry runway shades by placing the polish onto a radio-frequency identification-enabled platform to match your skin tone to the required colour.
OK, I’m not actually sure what a radio-frequency identification-enabled platform is but it sounds sufficiently snazzy enough for me to seek it out next time I’m in WC2…
This is just me emptying my head of all the nuggets of retail biz info I’ve picked up lately. Continue reading
Has anyone quite nailed the ‘shop-from-the-printed-page’ experience that publishers are currently obsessed with? So far we’ve seen a few attempts, with Harper’s Bazaar US and Look magazine employing Blippar technology to bring existing magazine content to life – while hopefully generating extra revenue.
It’s finally here and DRG contributor Alison Bishop has given it a thorough going over. Here’s the verdict on J Crew, London-style…
It’s hard to find a brand that does classic preppy style with an insouciant mix of androgyny better than J Crew. And now it’s finally arrived in London with a trio of ‘flagship’ or ‘jewel box’ stores.
We first heard the news that J Crew had settled on Regent Street for its all-singing-all-dancing London debut about a year ago (what’s good enough for Burberry is good enough for J Crew, as the latter snapped up the former’s old home on London’s hottest tourist retail hotspot). Continue reading