Will personal shoppers lift retail sales?
Personal shopping has moved into the 21st Century. In recent years, concepts such as Nordstrom’s Trunk Club (primarily online) and 1-800-Flowers (artificial intelligence concierge) have put new digital spins on the practice. Others, such as “Saks at Your Service – Anytime, Anywhere,” have sought to raise the bar on execution.
The Saks program, according to a Los Angeles Times report, is a response, at least in part, to the convenience that online ordering offers the chain’s well-heeled customers. The goal of the service is to offer the chain’s customers a level of personal service that can’t be matched by web-only services.
Saks’ service works by customers providing basic details on the size and type of clothing they are looking for. The department store then selects items and brings them to the customer’s location (home, office, hotel room, etc.) for the shopper to try on and buy. Saks sends staff, including a stylist, to assist its customers.
The Saks service is currently available through 13 stores across the country. According to the LA Times, most of the consumers who use the service are customers who have shopped at Saks stores for some time.
- Stores get personal to woo L.A. shoppers and keep them wanting more – Los Angeles Times (tiered sub.)
- Is Nordstrom smart to bring Trunk Club’s fulfillment in-house? – RetailWire
- 1-800-Flowers introduces AI concierge – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What does the future hold for personal shopping services? Do you expect to see more or less demand for personal shoppers, whether human or AI, in the future?