After four years as an online-only retailer of fashion and luxury products, Birchbox has followed its first New York store with a London-based pop up event powered by appointment platform, BookingBug. This charity Manicure Marathon presents another example of retailers complementing their online efforts with effective offline services and experiences, BookingBug claims. But, where established high street retailers must adapt current stores and strategy, online retailers like Birchbox may start with a clean slate.
In both cases, the opportunity to present new kinds of added value experience and services in store brings with it the need for scheduling and appointments. Which, in turn, can quickly become a complex challenge across multiple stores, technical integrations and while maintaining a seamless branded presentation.
Birchbox said it briefly considered traditional event and ticketing systems but it became clear that it wouldn’t be able to handle the demand or technical complexities.
Rachel Higgin, partnerships manager at Birchbox, said: “Birchbox has always believed that making the right technical design decisions is vital to creating a smooth, seamless customer experience. This is even more true offline, so we were really glad to find that BookingBug would create a fast, integrated platform for everything from payments to branded confirmation emails.“
From BookingBug’s perspective, founder and CEO Glenn Shoosmith, describes this growing trend: “Working with brands like Pets At Home, Waitrose and Golfsmith, we’ve watched them reclaim the high street for services alongside products and become seamlessly omni-channel. The fact that previously online-only players are now joining in is an incredibly positive development, both for the UK retail scene but, most importantly, for customers themselves.”
Birchbox customers pay £10 a month and receive a customised box of high-end beauty and lifestyle samples.
Bookings are now open for the 29 August 2014 charity Manicure Marathon and appointments are filling up fast at https://birchbox.co.uk/