With personal styling startups on the rise and stores like Nordstrom putting iPads in their employees' hands to better guide shoppers, it's clear that technology is changing the way sales associates can interact with their clients. The latest company to join the party? Carolina Herrera, which has a new app in the works that will allow associates to keep in touch with frequent customers well beyond the sales floor.
The designer will begin test driving the app, called Herrera Style, on Thursday, WWD reports. It will open up to the public later this month. A rep for Carolina Herrera did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Note that this isn't an app for the people: It's all about catering to the brand's biggest spenders. Through the platform, which is personalized to each user, associates can let their clients know about trunk shows, talk through their wardrobe (existing and potential) and show them new arrivals. Customers can also shop through the app for delivery or pick up in-store, or put the products on reserve for 48 hours, WWD notes.
In the current luxury landscape, few brands are using merged online and offline strategies to full advantage — according to the research group L2, which released a study on omnichannel strategy late last month, Burberry and Gucci currently lead the slow-moving pack. But as L2's Maureen Mullen put it to us, omnichannel is all about "greasing the skids to purchase," and that's exactly what Herrera is striving for here. Smart, so long as the brand can recoup the development costs in increased sales, which Carolina Herrera President Caroline Brown expects to be incremental rather than explosive.
Like social media marketing, omnichannel is one of those things that people are going to talk about a lot until it just becomes part of the fabric of businesses' sales strategies. And to that end, Brown is definitely framing the launch of this app in the right way. According to WWD, "she doesn’t see this as primarily an e-commerce initiative but as 'a development of the client connection.'"
Right on, Brown. Right on.