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Mobile Marketing Magazine – 50m and Counting for Solocal Appointment Booking Solution

January 9, 2015

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Multichannel marketing firm Solocal Group has revealed that its dynamic appointment booking solution has hit the 50m appointment bookings landmark, since its launch in 2006. More than 20m of those were booked during 2014, with 33 per cent (6.6m) booked on mobile and an additional 11 per cent (2.2m) on tablets. An appointment is booked on the Solocal platform every two seconds, and during 2014, 10m texts were sent to users to remind them of …

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Retail Gazette – Personal shopping services are improving

November 20, 2014

Retail gazette

Fashion retailer Oasis this week announced the appointment of multi-channel marketing company Solocal Group, to launch ‘My Personal Stylist’ – its personalised shopping service.

Through Solocal’s real-time booking platform Timendo, Oasis customers can now arrange in-store personal shopping appointments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visitors to Oasis’ website will be able to book a consultation with a personal stylist across 15 flagship stores in the UK via Timendo. The online booking solution also lets each store control their own calendar in order to arrange appointments convenient for both the personal shopper and the customer.

Oasis does well in embracing omni-channel initiatives, from 90 minute and nominated time slot deliveries to mobile gift vouchers, it offers a fairly enriched shopping experience. Now the contemporary fashion brand has directed attention to its personal shopping service.

Personal shopping services have been a longstanding preserve of high-end retailers and department stores, now non-luxury brands are adopting the concept to deepen connections with customers and drive sales.

Mirroring the mood of nightclub and gentleman’s clubs’ atmospheres, brands like Selfridges and even premium shopping destination Westfield, have invested a considerable amount on personal styling environments for shopping and socialising

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Drapers – Oasis offers 24/7 online booking for in-store styling service

November 19, 2014

Drapers

Oasis has set up an online booking service enabling customers to make in-store personal styling appointments at any time of the day or night.

Visitors to the Oasis website can use the real-time appointment booking platform, provided by Solocal Group, to set up a consultation with a personal stylist in 15 stores across the UK and Ireland. The platform lets each store control their own calendar, allowing them to manage stylists’ timetables and arrange appointments convenient to both Oasis and the customer.

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How to use personal shopping to drive footfall to your stores and provide an exceptional customer experience

November 18, 2014

Whilst personal shopping was once traditionally reserved for high-end, designer outlets, it has proven to be such an effective tool for brands that an increasing number have now introduced the service. As well as driving footfall to bricks-and-mortar stores, personal shopping services help to increase order value, drive customer conversion, build a stronger relationship between customer and brand and boost brand loyalty – with so many advantages, it’s not surprising to hear that many brands even offer personal shopping to their customers for free.

Exciting high street examples Leading contemporary fashion retailer Oasis, for example, has just launched a free personal shopping service called My Personal Stylist,’ which is designed to guide a potential customer from initial research (most likely online) to purchasing products in store. Easy and fun to use, the service not only lets customers book an appointment with a stylist at a time that suits them, those using ‘My Personal Stylist’ can choose the occasion which best suits their needs, including everything from bridesmaid outfits to holiday wear. What’s more, customers are even able to see a profile for each stylist to ensure they can choose their favourite, and helping to build a personal connection between customer and brand.

Oasis My Personal Shopping

Using a personal shopper is also becoming increasingly popular in the menswear sector as well; start-ups like Trunk Club in the US and Chictypes in France have even built their entire business model on this trend! These innovative stores are best described as personal shopping websites, as they offer the service of a personal stylist exclusively online. Both work by finding out details about a customer’s personal style, specially selecting items suited to their taste and delivering everything to their door for them to try on at home, making it easy and convenient for the customer to find clothes that suit them.

American jeans brand Bonobos has also adopted a personal shopping service; however they wanted to ensure that they maintained a face-to-face relationship with their clientele. They therefore offer in-store appointments in one of ten ‘guideshops,’ where customers schedule a 1 hour appointment with a knowledgeable stylist. Any items the customer buys during the appointment will then be delivered to a location of their choice, allowing the shopper to leave the store with their hands free. By putting the customer’s needs at the heart of their services, all of these brands are able to boost loyalty and customer engagement, ultimately increasing their ROI.

The importance of real-time booking Whilst the benefits of personal shopping for both brands and customers are clear, to ensure the service is as successful as possible it must be incorporated seamlessly into the customer journey. A number of brands, for example, offer personal shopping but only allow customers to arrange an appointment on the phone, or using an online booking form. From a customer perspective this is inconvenient, as this approach requires a number of interactions to find a time slot which suits both brand and customer. In addition, the brand is likely to only engage with the customer during working hours, which may not suit the customer’s schedule.Fortunately, however, dynamic real-time online booking solutions, such as offered by Solocal Group UK, are now available, and can generate fantastic results and maximise booking opportunity in any sector. By implementing a real-time booking system for personal shopping appointments, brands are able to dramatically reduce the time staff spend on the booking process, meaning that they have more time to dedicate to sales. In addition, real-time online booking solutions can send automated reminders, allowing brands to reduce no-shows by up to 80%, and is fully customisable with the brand’s image.

For the customer, real-time booking services offer a drastically improved experience. With 40% of appointments being booked outside of opening hours, the solution enables them to book their meeting at a time that suits them, without restricting them to business hours. Solocal Group’s service is available on any device, and with 40% of bookings being made on mobile, this exceptionally important for the customers’ convenience. Quick and easy to use, real-time booking solution can also send email confirmation and text reminders to ensure the customer has stylist appointment details in writing, making it easy for them to access all the necessary details.

Advantages for both customers and brands Personal styling services undoubtedly help create a great shopping experience for the customer. By giving customers the added value of a styling package, they’re able to find clothes personally tailored to their tastes, encouraging them to engage with the brand to make use of the service. Once in store, customers can foster a personal connection with their stylist and subsequently the brand. By allowing the customer to book styling appointments in real –time, the process is incredibly easy for them, and can be done from the comfort of their sofa, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After deploying a personal shopping service, brands can expect increased footfall to their stores, increased order value as stylists will be able to upsell items, improved customer loyalty and retention and greater connections with customers. Through allowing customers to book appointments online and in real-time, personal shopping services are integrated seamlessly into the customer journey, improving the customer experience whilst also reducing no shows. Offering a personal shopping service really makes brands stand out from their competitors, and builds a strong, personal connection with their target market.  As more and more leading retailers are implementing the solution, it looks set to change the high street and permanently improve the customer experience.


Solocal Group UK appointed by Oasis, the contemporary fashion brand, to develop dynamic online booking service

November 18, 2014

As part of the nationwide launch of Oasis’ ‘My Personal Stylist’ service,customers can now book styling appointments online in real-time, improving customer satisfaction and driving footfall to Oasis stores.


London, United Kingdom, 18th November 2014 – Solocal Group UK, market leader in cost effective multichannel marketing, has today announced that its online booking solution, Timendo, has been selected by leading fashion retailer Oasis to launch the brand’s My Personal Stylist service nationwide.

Utilising Solocal Group’s s industry-leading platform, Oasis has launched a dynamic online booking serv

ice enabling online customers to book in-store personal shopping appointments 24 hours a day.

Whilst one-to-one personal shopping appointments have traditionally only been offered by luxury fashion retailers, in launching the My Personal Stylist service, Oasis customers are able to benefit from a uniquely personalised shopping experience in store. Via Solocal Group’s real-time appointment booking platform, visitors to Oasis’ website can book a consultation with a personal stylist in 15 stores across the UK and Ireland. The platform also lets each store control their own calendar, allowing them to manage stylists’ timetables and arrange appointments convenient to both Oasis and the customer.

Consumer needs are at the heart of the My Personal Stylist service, encouraging customers to engage with the brand in new ways, helping to drive customer conversion, increase order value, raise store footfall and boost brand loyalty, all while directly improving the overall consumer shopping experience.

Briony Garbett, Head of Customer Experience and E-commerce at Oasis, commented;

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Solocal’s Timendo to launch Oasis’ My Personal Stylist service nationwide. Oasis is well known for embracing innovative omni-channel initiatives to respond to the ever evolving shopping needs of our customers. Offering a 24/7 online booking facility that can be directly managed by our individual stores, demonstrates our commitment to delivering a successful and comprehensive customer journey.

Bruno Berthezene, Solocal Group UK Country Manager commented:

My Personal Stylist is a real innovation for the high street and for customer service, and we’re delighted to have been chosen by Oasis to develop this exciting new platform. By deploying a personal shopping experience which can be booked online in real-time, Oasis really stands out in the market, and we’re excited to see the great results the platform looks set to generate.

Solocal Group aims to help brands and retailers take advantage of the influence digital media has on in-store sales, combining online content, advertising, geolocation and transactional services that connect customers to brands.


PR contact for Oasis

Lindsay Butcher, Oasis PR Manager
0207 452 1100 / lindsay.butcher@oasis-stores.co.uk
Press Portal: www.oasis-press.com


PR contact for Solocal Group

Lucy Mulvin / Katie Finn
Liberty Comms
solocal@libertycomms.com
+44 (0)207 751 4444


Solocal Blog Introduction

August 20, 2014

Welcome to the first post of Solocal Group UK’s blog, designed to offer brands and businesses insight and advice on how to navigate today’s digital landscape and turn online traffic into in-store custom.

Whilst statistics show that 88% of consumers research a product online before buying, converting online searches into in-store sales can often prove challenging for brands, retailers and service providers. As an innovative provider of digital marketing solutions, Solocal Group exists to solve this challenge. Its solutions enable brands and businesses to drastically improve their revenues, by connecting customers with brands along the online to in-store customer journey. It has extensive experience in Europe, supporting over 650,000 local and national advertising customers, and has recently launched Solocal Group UK; a dedicated UK subsidiary, designed to bring Solocal Group’s  expertise to the British market.

Solocal Group UK specialises in multichannel digital marketing, and employs three key tactics to help improve businesses’ revenues:

It takes the time to understand what matters to consumers, meaning that it is able to create excellent campaigns which connect retailers to their customers, yielding fantastic results.

This blog will share Solocal Group’s tips for driving customers from web to store, with the first post looking at the concept of ‘webrooming’, examining the impact online research has on in-store sales, and what retailers can do to capitalise on this growing trend.