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This e-retailer has digital innovation in the bag

BY CSA STAFF

Ebags is quickening the pace of its digital innovation by teaming up with Iterate Studio to create two new tech research labs.

Recognized by retailers as an early pioneer of drop-ship (1999), customer product reviews (1999), and A/B split testing (2000), eBags' goal is to pioneer game-changing services by embracing the new digital frontier which includes mobile services and the Internet of Things (IoT).

"eBags' Innovation Lab consists of two elements," said Mike Edwards, eBags' new CEO, who was most recently Staples' EVP of Global Merchandising. "The first is a Rapid Test Center designed to improve the velocity and number of experiments conducted on eBags' websites each month. This workflow will speed up our absorption of unique digital tools that are proven to improve shopping for the 36 million people that visit our sites each year. The second is a Digital R&D Lab that will deliver IoT and business model enhancements for eBags."

Both labs will leverage Iterate Studio and Iterate.ai. Iterate's team uncovers, curates and validates emerging digital technologies from around the world.

"Iterate Studio searches for technologies that can be applied immediately to enhance digital journeys – for shoppers and employees," said Brian Sathianathan, Iterate's Chief Digital Officer, an early new product leader involved in launching Apple's first iPhone. "As the digital leader in the bags and accessories market, eBags is proactively evaluating every digital touch point along the customer journey — between transactions — looking for unique IoT and mobile technologies born in places like MIT, Paris, and Silicon Valley. Our goal is to help eBags maintain its leadership position."

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Get your Gilt on at new showroom

BY CSA STAFF

In the latest example of clicks to bricks, online upscale discounter Gilt.com has launched a new service at its New York office that sounds a lot like what retailers call a “store.”

The new service is called Gilt by Appointment and it gives members of the online retailer the ability to try on and shop a curated assortment of designer apparel, shoes and accessories in an intimate showroom setting located within Gilt's New York City midtown office. The service begins Tuesday, Sept. 8 when Gilt members who have scheduled an appointment are able to try on products with the help of a personal stylist.

"We always look for new ways to engage our members and bring them insider access to the most coveted brands," said Clay Cowan, Gilt’s chief marketing officer. "Launching the Gilt by Appointment showroom opens up a whole new way of shopping Gilt, allowing our members to experience the perks of Gilt.com with the convenience that comes with brick and mortar shopping, including trying on and seeing items in-person, shopping with a personal stylist, and the excitement of taking home their purchases that day."

According to the company, the showroom will be filled with Gilt's signature steals, including an assortment of designer and luxury labels and current season must-haves. Members can purchase designer names like Vintage Chanel, Vintage Hermes, Isabel Marant, Derek Lam, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, Anna Sui, Tibi, Helmut Lang and more. All items include Gilt's standard discount of up to 70% off.

Various appointment types are offered so a Gilt member can shop by themselves or with another member. Another option, designed to bring new members into the Gilt community, allows a member to shop in a group with up to five of their friends.

The process for using the service is simple. On the appointment page on the Gilt site, members can note the occasion or pieces they're shopping for. The Gilt personal stylist will then pull the appropriate pieces ahead of time and assist the customer in selecting the best items for their event, personal style or budget.

The showroom is open Tuesday through Friday with appointments lasting between 60 and 90 minutes.

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Lowes Canada targets frequent fliers

BY CSA STAFF

Shoppers at Lowe’s stores in Canada will soon be able to turn their purchases into miles toward air travel.

Lowe's Canada and LoyaltyOne Co., owner and operator of the Air Miles Reward Program, announced an agreement to launch the reward program with an anticipated full roll-out to Lowe's stores in Canada beginning on Dec. 1.

Canadian Lowe’s customers will be able to earn Air Miles reward miles at all Canadian Lowe's retail locations and for purchases online at Lowes.ca.

"We are excited to join the Air Miles Reward program and offer our customers an even more rewarding experience in our stores," says Sylvain Prud'homme, president, Lowe's Canada. "As we grow our business in Canada, we continue to look for ways to add value for our customers and enhance their overall shopping experience. This partnership gives our customers one more reason to shop at Lowe's."

According to Klarna, it is the only company worldwide to achieve the same conversion rates on mobile as retailers typically see on desktop, while assuming both fraud and chargeback risk for merchants.

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