ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Thomas Pink promises a new shirt in 90 minutes to fix dressing woes

British fashion brand Thomas Pink is problem solving for consumers with a 90-minute delivery service in London.

Consumers can call a hotline and have a white shirt delivered to them in a short time, perfect for last- minute events or for hiding a stain. More luxury brands are turning to speedy delivery as a method of differentiating themselves and providing valuable customer service to consumers.

“This is a genius idea,” said Gustavo Gomez, director of research and methodology at Envirosell, New York.

“”There are times when you do need a clean shirt,” he said. “To be able to order one and get it in such a short time frame is great and it is pressed.

“At the minimum Thomas Pink is receiving media coverage for this idea, but they are also fulfilling a niche that could be very useful. Anyone who can afford to purchase a Thomas Pink shirt will appreciate the service.

“This is a sign of a brand going beyond selling a shirt. They are selling a relationship and relationships are there for when you run into trouble.”

Mr. Gomez is not affiliated with Thomas Pink but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Thomas Pink was unable to comment before press deadline.

Speedy service
Thomas Pink introduced its service on May 15 through social media. A post on Facebook asks the consumer if he needs a shirt in a hurry, and includes a cartoon.

The click-through of the link provided takes consumers to a page of Thomas Pink’s Web site where they can view the full version of the comic.

Thomas Pink 90 minute delivery
Screenshot of Thomas Pink Web site

In the first pane, a man is sitting at his desk looking down at a coffee stain. Copy above tells consumers to check to see if their postal code is eligible for the service.

From that link, a box pops up showing a map of the central London area covered by the service. Text tells the consumer that same-day delivery is available from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

Thomas Pink 90 minute delivery map
Map of locations covered in Thomas Pink’s 90 minute delivery

In the same frame, consumers are encouraged to “select [their] shirt.” This link scrolls down the page to the three styles offered: the slim fit, the super slim fit and the classic fit.

All styles are available in button cuff or double cuff.

Thomas Pink 90 minute delivery shirt selection
Screenshot of Thomas Pink Web site

The next pane shows the man calling the hotline. Copy tells consumers to call, and ask for ironing or gift wrapping if applicable.

Having the service go through a hotline rather than an ecommerce page will help Thomas Pink create more of a relationship with consumers, since there will be a one-on-one conversation.

Finally, the brand’s mascot, the Cheeky Fox, is shown walking into a door with a shirt in hand, his Thomas Pink branded car parked outside. This photo is accompanied by the message that the shirt will arrive within 90 minutes, so the consumer should “sit back and relax.”

“The idea of a phone order is very smart because it builds a more personal relationship with the customer,” Mr. Gomez said. “On a functional side, the human to human phone conversation allows for checks on size, style and fit of the shirt.

“The last thing you want is the wrong shirt delivered because the customer clicked on the wrong button on a Web site or app,” he said. “I am sure that as the program matures, regular customers will be able to login and select their regular purchase online, on an app or even via SMS.”

Just in time
Fellow British brand Net-A-Porter has an existing same-day delivery service in London, as well as New York.

Net-A-Porter extended its same-day delivery service in the New York area just as consumers were worried about receiving all of their purchased gifts in time.

The online retailer pushed back the cut off time for its same-day delivery to 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve, giving consumers another retail option for their last-minute gift purchases. By offering speedy expedited delivery, Net-A-Porter was able to compete with bricks-and-mortar retailers for the holiday shopping rush in the days before Christmas (see story).

Also, New York specialty retailer Bergdorf Goodman is giving consumers the opportunity to buy new shoes for their weekend plans without leaving home by offering rush delivery in May.

The retailer vows to deliver shoes or handbags to Manhattan residents within three hours on Thursdays and Fridays for four weeks. Offering this rush delivery further solidifies Bergdorf’s image as a retailer with high-end customer service (see story).

This service, however, is speedier than Net-A-Porter’s and Bergdorf’s, giving the brand a bragging right and competitive advantage, as long as the delivery follows through.

“Delivery service has been a vexing issue for retailers and brands,” Mr. Gomez said. “Luxury is no exception.

“In fact luxury retailers and brand are playing catch-up when it comes to online and mobile,” he said. “Thomas Pink has developed a very interesting model to test a delivery concept.

“While it is only white shirts for now, I can see them expanding as they get their logistics in order.”

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York