Online shopping with style advice, an e-commerce model
The term Curated Shopping is used to describe online business models whose customer service differs from conventional online shops by offering individual and personal advice. Curated shopping aims to provide advice that is just as relevant as in stationary retail.
Curated Shopping – Origins & Concept
Curated Shopping is a still quite young trend which has its origin in the USA. Shops like Trunkclub, Frank & Oak or Shoedazzle took up the idea of curated shopping for the first time. In Germany, Modomoto, Outfittery, 8Select, Kisura or Zalon are examples of companies that rely on curated shopping.
The unique selling proposition of these online shops is exceptional customer service. Style consultants and experts provide the well-crafted service: Products are selected and curated based on previously asked customer preferences. The customers are given a selection that should match their personal preferences through direct consultation. The consulting service is free of charge.
Curated Shopping – Procedure
The survey, through which the providers would like to learn more about the style of the visitor, is structured relatively similarly for all providers. You are shown different outfits to rate, favorite brands or absolute no-gos are to be selected, and information about their appearance is to be given. Optionally it is also possible to upload a photo.
- Survey: To Beginn, the customer fills out a digital survey. This way, the shop receives essential information about preferences, sizes, style, favorite colors, favorite fabrics etc.
- Advice from style and fashion experts: The customer then receives a message or a call from the shop staff. Any open questions are clarified there so that the adviser can make a selection of appropriate products in the next step.
- Based on the information provided in the questionnaire and the preferences expressed in the interview, a stylist then puts together suitable outfits for the respective customer. These are then sent by post.
- At home, the customer can try out and examine the products in peace and, after a thorough examination, decide what finds its way into the home wardrobe.
- Return of the remaining products: The customer can usually return the products that he does not like to the online shop free of charge. Only the products that the customer keeps are paid for.
Curated Shopping Provider
In the curated shopping segment, as already mentioned, there are already various providers from the fashion sector. Since 2012, curated shopping concepts have been represented in Germany by Modomoto and Outfittery. Since 2014, Zalando has also been represented by Zalon and has expanded its target group to include a shopping consultancy for women. Kisura, on the other hand, specializes purely in women and has been on the market since 2013.
When choosing the right service provider, it is advisable to take a closer look at the different providers, as the advertising research is often not very meaningful. Many of the providers are more specialized in women than in men. With the first order it is on average often so that a commodity value between 60-90% is returned, this number corrects itself however in most cases after a certain bringing in time downward.
The personal discussion is, therefore, a crucial aspect of the consultation, as it increases the quality of the result and the number of returns decreases significantly over time. Suppliers such as 99chairs are already implementing the topic of curated shopping for the furniture sector.
Advantages of Curated Shopping:
- Increased potential for customer loyalty through personal contact and advice.
- By sending out complete outfits, the user can be better tempted to make inspirational purchases over and above the mere purchase on demand.
- The model can be transferred well (especially to consulting-intensive industries).
- The user’s data (via questionnaire or contact with the stylist) is an excellent basis for a personalization strategy (on- and offsite).
Disadvantages of curated shopping:
- The logistical effort is not to be underestimated if you can’t fall back on an existing warehouse-like Zalando, for example.
- The costs for the stylist must be recovered (investment).
Special features of Curated Shopping
Curated Shopping is designed for long-term customer loyalty. Curated Shopping differs from advice in stationary retail in that customers voluntarily provide online shops with information about their wishes and preferences. In contrast to stationary retail, this data allows insights into the purchasing behavior of an individual customer and can, therefore, provide estimates of expected sales. The advantage is that in the long run, the shop’s product range is geared to the needs of the customer, which means that both the online shop and the customer benefit equally. In the final analysis, the individual advice should lead to customer satisfaction since satisfied customers buy more frequently, and the company’s value from a customer perspective increases over time.
Conclusion on Curated Shopping
According to a study by EEC Cologne, only 3.6 percent of the 1,300 German online shoppers surveyed have already tried curated shopping. This is primarily since not all customers are aware of the advantages of curated shopping. But also, the stationary trade can profit from Curated Shopping. Some already offer online style advice, which the customer can then pick up from the point of sale in a relaxed manner. Either way, curated shopping is a trend that is on the rise.