LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — E-tailers are trying to take some of the guesswork out of your online shopping.
CBS2’s Suzanne Marques reports “guide stores” are popping up to help customers feel more confident about their purchases.
Some sites like Bonobos, Revolve Clothing, Trunk Club and Warby Parker are returning to brick-and-mortar locations with an added twist: helping to guide customers through their shopping.
It’s something that’s made Miracle Mile resident Gavin Yates, 27, take notice.
“One of the things I worry about when I shop online: Is this what it seems?” he explained. “The screen resolution is different and you don’t know what things feel like, or how it is going to fit on your body per se. This is a really cool experience to see the product and, oh, yeah, this looks as good as it does online.”
Inside the Los Angeles guide shop for Bonobos.com you can check out the latest styles, try them on and if you decide to buy, purchase in-store or online. Shipping is free.
“The focus within the store is really on customer service. And spending really great quality time with our customers,” Bonobos’ Erin Ersenkal said. “When you think of a typical retail store, it’s crowded. Sometimes, it’s tough to find your size. Sometimes, it’s tough to get help within the store.”
It’s a trend that other e-tailers are moving toward.
Warby Parker now has guide stores throughout Los Angeles. Trunk Club has The Clubhouse, and Cerritos-based Revolve Clothing has “popped up” at The Grove.
At the Revolve pop-up shop, if you need to return something, you can do so in person or online.
Ken Perkins of independent retail research company Retail Metrics says these shops offer a greater level of customer service without the overhead.
“They want to get their name out there. It’s a highly competitive environment,” Perkins said.
“They have to be price-competitive, they have to have a differentiated product, but it’s an opportunity to really sell them there.”