Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Indochino measures mobile for bespoke suit sales

Indochino is taking its custom-tailored men’s suits from online to in-store with pop-up shops where tailors measure consumers and use mobile devices to send the order details to Shanghai for construction and fast turn-around.

At Indochino’s pop-up shop in Orlando, which opened Jan. 17 and runs until Jan. 26, traveling tailors take consumer’s measurements, while recording the chest, waist, sleeve length and other data on smart devices, which they then email to the manufacturer. Busy and demanding consumers expect fast and efficient service and the mobile-supported temporary storefronts are another way for Indochino to help shoppers.

“Our production team is based in Shanghai, and our sales staff open stores in cities around North America,” said Dennis Rohm, chief technology officer at Indochino, Vancouver, B.C. “To create the best customer experience, we want our store staff to be able to follow a customization flow similar to the online experience – and we want the in-store customer to be entered into our ecommerce system as soon as his measurements are taken and order placed.

“Using a custom-built iPod touch app helps us capture the customer’s information seamlessly, and pass the order on to our tailors to produce the garment immediately, meaning the customer gets his garment quickly,” he said.

Mobile to order
Ready-to-wear men’s suits can be tailored, but many men prefer to have their suits custom made. Indochino‘s custom suits start at $449. Their shirts are priced at $89 or higher.

Indochino is among online retailers who are temporarily establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence, just as established department stores, such as JC Penney and Sears are closing stores.

Traditional retail is being disrupted, in part because of mobile commerce.

At Indochino, consumers who order online are guided through the measurement process.

A frequently asked questions section on the Indochino Web site addresses concerns, such as suits not fitting as expected, customer returns, remakes and alterations.

“We built our mobile experience in 2010 based on customer feedback,” Mr. Rohm said. “We noticed then that mobile traffic was on the rise, but it wasn’t people buying, it was people checking out our emails on their way home from work on in-between meetings, so we built the mobile site to solve this problem.

“We optimized emails first, and then, months later, the shopping experience for repeat customers who were already familiar with our brand and comfortable with the Web experience,” he said. “Once we’d built great experiences for those groups of people, we looked to first time buyers and created a great mobile experience for them.”

Pop-up shop appointments can be made on Indochino’s Web site

Made consumers’ way
Mobile and menswear are a great fit.

Just ask Frank & Oak, another online menswear retailer, which opened a pop-up store in Toronto for the holidays that leveraged Apple’s iBeacon technology to enhance the in-store shopping experience as well as push marketing to customers (see story).

“This event gave us the chance to introduce new customers to Frank & Oak, and to hear feedback from our loyal Toronto clientele,” said Ethan Song, founder and CEO of Frank & Oak, Montreal. “Mobile platforms are a great way to recommend products, and to make the overall shopping experience more efficient.

“People are looking to have more personal experiences with brands, because they’re constantly exposed to mass marketing campaigns that aren’t relevant to them,” she said. “Behind all marketing campaigns, you should leverage both qualitative and quantitative information about who you’re trying to reach.

“We always shape our messaging and choose our marketing platforms with our customers in mind.”

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York