INDOCHINO, a global leader in custom apparel, has launched Virtual Style Consultations where customers can now chat with stylists from their homes.
“We started the brand online and were the first to enable ordering custom apparel online, and easy; choose a fabric, select customizations, create a measurement profile and order. We can even deliver a Tailor Kit of fabric swatches to your doorstep if our customers are having trouble deciding,” Drew Green, the company’s President and CEO, told Retail Insider.
“One thing that our customers love about our award-winning showrooms is the personal consultation with our style guides. With many of our consumers needing to stay home to protect their communities the past two months due to COVID-19 we realized now was an opportunity to launch a unique service that can be accessed from any home in the world.
“Virtual consultations offer a way for individuals to connect with our team of talented stylists from our US and Canadian showrooms. They get all the expert guidance of an in-person showroom appointment, without leaving their home. We see VSC becoming a third experience for us to grow and optimize in the months and years to come.”
The company says INDOCHINO stylists from across its 50+ North American showrooms are ready to serve individuals looking for style advice and wardrobe upgrades as well as suiting options for events like weddings and graduations. Each appointment is personalized to each customer, with employees combining their personal style expertise with the brand’s website and visual aids like Pinterest to bring their recommendations to life. They can also walk customers wishing to place an order through INDOCHINO’s online custom shopping experience.
“Scheduling a virtual consultation mirrors the process of booking a showroom appointment. Customers visit the website and, instead of selecting their nearest showroom, they choose their time zone, appointment type and a convenient date and time,” said Green. “They receive a link with instructions and some questions to answer in advance so that the stylist can prepare for the 30-minute video call. Each appointment is personalized for the customer, with employees combining their personal style expertise with visual aids like Pinterest and our online experience to offer insight and bring their recommendations to life.”
Green said INDOCHINO had 50 appointments booked by the end of day one, which exceeded all expectations.
“We plan to make this a permanent fixture in our business, on our website, and our virtual stylists are looking forward to helping customers from all over the world elevate their everyday style, every day. The beauty of virtual means you can access this service from anywhere in the world,” he added.
Green said all operational focus the past eight weeks has been on its online business, launching the Virtual Style Consultation Platform, and preparing to reopen its showroom network.
“Excitingly, we are now opening our showrooms back up in certain markets per the local guidelines. We feel certain that at least nine showrooms will reopen during May, with the rest fast following through June and July,” he said.
“We are uniquely positioned to become a much bigger and stronger business post COVID-19. We are a digitally native brand and are lucky to have a strong ecommerce business. The renewed focus on our original channel has enabled us to accelerate enhancements and add new features to our website that will improve the overall experience in the long-term. Unlike the vast majority of retailers, we don’t carry any inventory in our stores that needs to be shifted. This means that, although our showrooms are closed, we can be nimble with our product offerings and quickly adapt to changing seasons.
“Many retailers are having to pivot their stores to an appointment-only model in an effort to meet social distancing guidelines. This has been our showroom model since day one so we’ll be ready to serve our customers as soon we’re able to. We have the #1 team in custom apparel, deeply committed to our customers and each other. Customers take on the role of designer, picking out every detail of their garments to make them truly one-of-a-kind. These are made to their precise measurements and shipped directly to their door, hassle free. The company’s omnichannel approach allows them to shop online or in person at any INDOCHINO showroom.”
Green said the world is going through significant change, consumers are increasingly faced with uncertainty and we don’t know yet what the long-term impact will be on the retail sector.
“It’s becoming increasingly apparent that not everyone will survive; and those that do will need to innovate and adapt to a new retail environment — and a new type of customer behaviour. What I firmly believe is that some will come out of this stronger than ever,” he added.
“We were the first to provide customers the ability to shop online for custom apparel and have always put the customer at the heart of everything we do. We opened showrooms when we realized that many enjoyed the in-person experience of our pop-up shops; we have now introduced Virtual Style Consultations to mirror this experience online. We will continue to adapt, continue to deploy consumer centric retail innovation and continue to dream big.”
Update: More than half of Indochino’s showrooms will be open for appointments by the end of May, including almost all of its Canadian locations as follows:
May 21 — Vancouver Yaletown
May 25 — Burnaby Metrotown, West Edmonton Mall and Calgary Chinook Centre
May 29 — Ottawa Rideau Centre, Toronto TD Centre, Toronto Yorkdale and Mississauga Square One
TBD Toronto King St E — currently offering curbside pickup