It will go down as a significant retail milestone for New York City: the Aug. 16, 2016, opening of Manhattan’s first Westfield shopping center. While the Westfield World Trade Center mall has a number of footwear players in the mix (see FN’s ranking of the top 15 places to shop for shoes here), Aldo is separating themselves from the rest with the unveiling of its new Connected Store concept.
“As a company, we are hyper-focused on driving customers from clicks to bricks and visa versa,” says Grégoire Baret, senior director of omnichannel experience for the Montreal-based company.
FN visited the screen-splashed store to test-drive all the digitally savvy ways Aldo is integrating technology into customer experience. Here are three elements that stood out.
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Using either the company’s app or website, customers can now have items ready for them before they walk into the physical store to try them on. Upon arrival, push notifications to one’s iPhone will let them know which sales associate will be helping them with preselected items.
2. Help On Call
By simply requesting help from one of the many touch screens, a sales associate gets a ping to their iPod and is quickly ready to handle requests — such as checking inventory or handling payment — in real time. “While we are committed to digital innovation, we still want to make sure the experience is personal, and there are real people available at all times to assist,” says Grégoire.
3. Inventory Update
Aldo’s new digital portal Endless Shelf allows both customer and sales associates to view the store’s entire selection and order any additional styles online. It also enables targeted searches by color, style, size, price and silhouette. And wisely, sleek images of total-styled looks from campaigns and lookbooks are broken down by item so shoppers can purchase on the spot and be armed with added “how to wear it” info.