It has been a very busy week for the retail industry, from being able to shop and buy items from Nordstrom with just a simple text, to the new-found ways to utilize pop-up stores. Check out the top stories this past week from the retail world:
Nordstrom enables shopping via text via Retailing Today
Imagine a world where you could text someone what you wanted, and all of a sudden it’s yours. Well, for all of those shopaholics out there, it’s time to rejoice. Nordstrom has launched TextStyle at all of their 116 U.S. stores, and it’s basically revolutionized retail. TextStyle allows shoppers to make purchases from a personal salesperson or stylist, and enables associates to send new product recommendations to customers with a text message. If the customer would like to purchase the items, they can by simply replying with ‘buy’ and a unique code. Shoppers can also send their salesperson a text message with a product description or photo. All purchases are completed with the customer’s Nordstrom account information, and items are shipped directly for free.
Of course this isn’t the most mind-blowing news around. There are many retailers that have similar programs like this, but Nordstrom is now the only retail company in the U.S. that offers customers who opt-in the ability to shop and buy with just a text message. TextStyle provides consumers with a unique, efficient and extremely personalized way of shopping.
April 19, 2015, is a day that will live in infamy. It was the day that the Lilly Pulitzer collaboration with Target, #LillyForTarget, launched, sold out in minutes, crashed the company’s website and left many people angry, sad and extremely disappointed. Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, noted that the company was disappointed their, “digital channels were not able to properly accommodate the surge in traffic at the time of the launch.”
Since that chaotic event, Target has been working to redeem itself and its digital business. Target announced during their Q1 2015 earnings call, that the company will make a $1 billion investment in technology and supply chain. Kathryn A. Tesija, executive vice President, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, ensures the company will continue to invest in technology and supply chain to allow their guests to shop on demand, and to improve the economics of its online business meaningfully. Target is now “working to address root causes and learn from the experience” as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season and the accelerated growth of the company.
Jo-Ann Fabric among first retailers to partner with Pinterest’s new Buyable Pins via Chain Store Age
We’ve all been there… well most of us. You’re scrolling through your Pinterest feed and you basically fall in love with everything you see. You re-pin it, thinking that you might attempt to create it later. After a while, you finally have time to create this beautiful masterpiece that is supposedly simple to do. But then you realize achieving the perfection that is pictured on Pinterest is basically unattainable, and your sad attempt hardly resembles it. Well, look no further because you can finally buy items from Pinterest directly from the site!
Pinterest is embarking on their first attempt in e-commerce by partnering with various retailers, including fabric and craft specialty retailer Jo-Ann fabric and Craft Stores, for their new Buyable Pins. Currently, there are over 4.2 million pins linking back to Joann.com. With buyable pins, consumers can find a product, pin it to their board, and directly purchase it off of Pinterest.
The Buyable Pins are expected to launch on the Pinterest iOS app this month and for Android and desktop later this year. Other retail partners for Pinterest’s Buyable Pins include Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Ethan Allen.
Pop-Ups: How temporary storefronts are changing brand loyalty via Fierce Retail
Pop-up stores are a big trend this year. Though the concept of placing a shop within a shop to attract attention to new designers and collections is nothing new, but the concept of a pop-up shop today has evolved into something much more intricate. The 2015 pop-ups are used as a sort-of beta test for a physical presence for retailers that have previously only had an online store and to see how it might change brand loyalty.
Many retailers are joining this trend, including e-commerce giant Amazon with its launch of a holiday pop-up store in 2014. Brands such as Zappos, The Grommet, Crest & Co. and Boohoo have recently introduced their first pop-up store. Even the highly anticipated buzz for the sold out Lilly Pulitzer collection for Target was fueled by a pop up shop in New York’s Bryant Park.
This growing trend for retailers utilizing pop-ups can be attributed to a few important reasons. First, retailers are starting to realize that pop-up stores are a feasible way to increase sales and presence in the marketplace. Secondly, these temporary stores are a great way to track customer approval for the transition from online to brick-and mortar in a temporary setting. Lastly, opening a temporary store is relatively inexpensive with little risk, which is great when testing something new. Pop-ups are not only a great way to assess costs and success; they’re also a great way to promote a brand.