Urban Outfitters Wins Apparel’s 2012 Top Innovator Award
Hats off to Apparel’s Innovator winners — companies that are forging paths for others by leading the way in building relationships with the consumer, developing new performance apparel, perfecting fit, reducing waste, or streamlining the supply chain to improve global collaboration.
Apparel Innovators are committed to finding new ways that technology can make life better — for their customers, employees and everyone else. To our 33 Innovator Award Winners, Apparel salutes you for your creativity, commitment and vision.
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Understanding your customers and connecting with them on an emotional level. Sound easy? It’s not. Urban Outfitters says it finds success doing this because its brands — Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN — are both compelling and distinct, with each brand offering an eclectic mix of merchandise displayed amidst a mix of found objects and placed into “creative selling vignettes.”
Across its brands, Urban Outfitters has focused on creating an environment that connects to the customer on an empathetic level, and more recently it has worked to extend that experience by connecting on a physical level via its rollout of a new mobile assisted selling solution, Starmount Engage, across its brands.
“Our customers have come to expect a differentiated shopping experience,” says executive director of IT John Devine. “With the mobile POS solution, our sales associates are freed from behind the cash wrap to interact with customers at the point-of-interest, enhancing customer service.”
Delivered on the Apple® iPod Touch, the solution, says Devine, brings the inter- activity, speed and convenience of the online experience to brick-and-mortar stores by providing a faster checkout process and reducing lines, while also allowing store associates to provide more personalized customer service by providing full transaction capabilities anywhere in the store. Overall, the solution offers customers a “more connected shopping experience,” says Devine.
Customer feedback about the mobile POS has been very positive, he says, adding that one area of particularly noteworthy success has been the ability to check out customers as they are leaving the fitting room. Continuing to enhance the solution, the company in late 2011 rolled out the ability to fulfill store “out of stock” items from its e-commerce inventory.
The mobile POS device also allows Urban to process different purchase paths within a single transaction. For example, a customer might make an in-store purchase, but also place an order for another item that is out of stock in the store, but pay for both items with one swipe of her credit card. Future enhancements, says Devine, will allow Urban Outfitters sales associates to use the mobile POS to access product reviews, designer notes and outfitting suggestions.
Written by Jordan Speer
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