Reformation launched in 2009 with a more traditional brick-and-mortar boutique model. The brand’s value-based sustainable mission and attractively designed, modern women’s clothing and accessories made it an instant hit among the urban-dwelling millennial crowd. As time went on, the company couldn’t help getting caught up in the acceleration of e-commerce and online shopping, where the brand’s safely aspirational, and transparently eco-friendly offerings found even more success.
However, as Reformation invested more in its digital presence and online storefront, the company started to notice a disconnect between the experience the brand’s customers were enjoying online and the experience they were being delivered in-store. Namely, that with digital, the brand had the ability to understand the immediate needs of its shoppers whereas in-store the retailer’s associates were otherwise occupied and the level of service and satisfaction dropped off.
Today more than ever, coming out of the past few years of digital-heavy commerce, consumers value brands that provide access to exclusive goods, and uniquely personalized experiences. Consumers are well-versed across tools and platforms, and expect to move fluidly online, offline and back again throughout the shopper journey. This industry reality found Reformation with a need to close the gap between its online personalized, Intelligent Clienteling Strategies and offline customer service. Modern shoppers seek education, inspiration, and multi-level access from several directions at once. In the physical store setting, they’re looking to a brand’s retail associates to fill this role.
But Reformation’s associates were generally more preoccupied with trying to find sizes for shoppers or manage inventory rather than focusing on building a one-to-one relationship with customers. To solve this, Reformation looked to next-generation tools and solutions that would free its staff to provide more of a value-add.
The brand got rid of mannequins, and deployed a technology across all of its physical locations called Retail X. Retail X lets Reformation customers use a touchscreen to view product inventory and build a personalized dressing room based on their own personal preferences from what’s currently available in-store. Reformation stores have touchscreens in the dressing room for ordering more sizes or getting assistance from staff, and each dressing room boasts a “mini distribution system” consisting of a two-way closet where staff are able to take away items and replace them with desired new ones in real-time.
Other approaches the brand has taken include giving its customers access to the brand’s Refscale, a carbon footprint tracking tool which assesses the environmental impact of every product, and shares this data back with shoppers so they understand how their Reformation purchases are a sustainable choice. To help its customers continue to make environmentally positive choices, Reformation has also introduced a resale business, and partnered with ThredUp. Additionally, the brand launched Refrecycling which incentivizes shoppers to send back old products as part of Reformation’s circularity journey.
The new approaches have worked wonders in elevating the customer experience. Reformation is enjoying happier customers by understanding, accommodating and acting on their immediate needs across both physical and digital retailing channels.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Intelligent Clienteling Strategies.