By Katherine Lesner, Vice President, Ipsos Connect
When it comes to shopping, subscription and direct mail services have crossed paths with technology, allowing us to personalize our virtual retail experiences. But what does this mean for brick and mortar stores who want to cash in on the trend? Nordstrom’s new subscription styling service Trunk Club, paired with the blue chip retailer’s Nordstrom Local concept store in Los Angeles, offer us some insights.
Clearly, high-touch personalization attached to a strong brand name still has a pulse. The new Nordstrom Local is a retail destination like no other because you can’t actually see all the merchandise. The personal stylists at Nordstrom Local will dress you and offer consults in a high touch service bonanza that includes fine Cabernet and nail services. Likewise, Trunk Club is gaining rapid adoption in the United States with three in 10 adults aware of using the personalized styling service.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Nordstrom Local when it opened in early October 2017. At the time, a Nordstrom spokesperson said that customers essentially trust the brand to give them what they need in a high-end environment.
“Time is a precious commodity and we know that our customers appreciate speed and convenience,” Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior vice president for customer experience, told the newspaper. “With Nordstrom Local we are trying to create more accessibility and opportunities.”
High-Tech convenience has helped make our lives easier. The most recent Ipsos Global Advisor survey found that consumers report shopping online more often than they did three years ago. And the combination of the personalization of shopping with the ability to have it delivered straight to you is a prime trend for 2017 that will extend to 2018, according to Alison Chaltas, who runs the Path to Purchase arm of Ipsos research.
As Chaltas recently co-wrote for Gen-Pop: “Beyond the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, Walmart’s 2016 purchase of Jet.com and current offers for customized clothing retailer Bonobos and Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club acquisition are more examples of big business going local and rapidly deliverable. Consumers are looking for custom, or locally-crafted wares, yet have no problem buying such wares online from big companies.”
And it’s not all ultra high-end luxury items either. We can have our meals mailed to our homes and virtual personal stylists outfitting our living rooms and personalizing our outfits. We can pay without paper or plastic or people. Technology has paved the way for a future of retail that is quickly shifting capital to a combo high-tech high-touch environment.
Katherine Lesner is a vice president with Ipsos Connect. Additional writing/reporting by Adrienne Gibbs
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