Shopbop is one of my favorite websites to shop on, that’s only online and has no actual retail stores. This trendy online department store sells high-end women’s and men’s clothing and accessories from all different brands. Their approach to selling clothes to their customers is through their stylish website that provides consumers the chance to look through and find clothing appropriate for their next occasion. Shopbop doesn’t use mass customization since all their clothes come in certain colors and sizes and you cannot change parts of the piece to your standards, but they do practice one-to-one marketing. Shopbop has a tool where if you like a piece of clothing but know that you cannot purchase it right now you can “like it” and have it saved into your personal profile. This allows customers to go back and look at the clothing they saved and possibly purchase it later when they have enough money. You can also share your favorite likes on pintrest, twtitter, or facebook to let all your friends know of the cool clothes you found. My preference is to keep my likes out of social media and only share it with my mom in hopes to buy it!
As a frequent shopper of this site I also know that they send out emails about deals of certain designers that you have bought from in the past to encourage frequent customers to buy again. Shopbop also does many seasonal sales of their clothes that are going out of season. These emails that let their frequent customers know about their great deals encourages them to visit their site and find great clothes for less. The opportunities that are open to them to improve their one-to-one marketing are very big and they could do a lot to make sure that they are keeping in contact with their customers. To do this they can create an online customer service chat or provide suggestions about what other people bought if they bought that piece of clothing.
Shopbop has made their website easy to navigate by the production of their web designer and their in-house employees. Their employees create content for their website with pictures and information about the new clothing. Their wikinomics of peering has allowed them to have their own distinct feature and create a brand around one look. They use their own personal staff who are talented in specific areas to be in charge of certain aspects and layout designs. It would not have been smart for Shopbop to have a wikinomics that is open because then people would be able to change anything on the website, especially the prices. A retail store should never have an open website because if people were able to change things about it everyone would be buying products for nothing.
Peering is applied to the Shopbop website by having their in-house employees work together to create it. This is shown by just looking at their website and seeing their positions that they have in the company. Shopbop has a completely separate office in a different state than their main office for all of their website design and warehouse logistics. This is where all the graphic design and software development happens and where the collaboration for the website is done. This peering method has allowed them to become the successful business today and keep their reputation as one of the biggest fashion retail stores on the web.
Shopbop began as one of the first retail stores to only be featured online and not to have a tangible retail store. As a personal shopper, I know from experience that their business is primarily focused on what the customer would want to wear and they take it as their job to select the best designer pieces for their customers to choose from. Their selection of what they think the best pieces are of the season brings in many choices and various styles for all types of girls who like nice clothes. Shopbop is now referred to as one of the best online shopping places for women who want to find a stylish and fashionable outfit because of their selection. They are referenced by many fashion bloggers, websites, and magazines as a great place to find certain pieces. Although they have high prices it goes along with their image to provide high-end fashion to women. They have created a brand for themselves like Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s has by selling clothing and accessories that are high-end exclusively online. Since they only sell clothing online they have become masters at shipping and making sure the customers order is on time.
Shopbop has become more popular over the years with very little marketing done on their part. With only some advertisements on certain websites their marketing base that they reach does not go far out of their comfort zone. I do think that they could put more money into advertising and getting the word out about their store because I do not feel like many people know of it. Since Shopbop is a type of high-end retail store they must be careful of where they put their advertisements and make sure that it somewhere that a potential new customer would be looking.
One thing that they have changed over there 14 years of experience is they put the men’s and women’s clothing as their own separate websites. This allows them to specifically target to one gender instead of two on one website. If Shopbop were to continue to focus their efforts on making their customers happy they should find more ways to improve on their customer service like adding an online customer service representative who is there to answer any questions. This person would not have to even be called a customer service representative but could be named “personal stylist” to go along with the fashion theme.
Since Shopbop was bought by Amazon in 2006 they have continued to help the business grow. Hopefully Amazon will add their customer service touches to the website and help Shopbop become the go-to site for people who want to find high-end clothing. Amazon is known for their ability to be a great shopping place for online customers. Their customer service and suggestions of other things to buy is something that could help Shopbop increase their sales. This would have to be done in a tactile way so that it still represented the Shopbop brand. If they were to create a “personal stylist” or “fashionista” to reference to incase a customer comes onto their website with a specific piece of clothing in mind this utility would get them to the clothing faster and easier.
I think that Shopbop could utilize more marketing opportunities to get the word out about their site. I also think that if they wanted to branch out more they could create a new website that has less expensive clothes but the same kind of stylish retail feeling. This would allow for a entire new audience that could be customers and it would not cost much to start because it would only be on the web. It would however depend on their warehouse storage space but if they had enough they could start with a small retail site with clothing that was not as expensive. I hope in the future that they come out with some great new partner sites that I can visit so I don’t have to break the bank every time I shop at theirs!