American Apparel Adopts Online Reservation System

Global retailer, American Apparel, finds a new way in which to bridge the divide between online and offline shopping, via an online reservation system.

Multichannel retailer, American Apparel Inc., is experimenting with an online reservation system.   It allows customers to find apparel they’ve seen on the retailer’s website, at local bricks and mortar stores, and have staff at that particular location reserve the items. The reservation system will launch in all US stores by late November – in time for the holiday shopping frenzy!

Those shopping online with American Apparel are able to choose the colour and size of the desired product, key in their ZIP code and find an American Apparel location nearby that has it in stock.  The customer  then has the option of placing the item on hold.  If they click to hold, an automated alert is sent to the selected store, instructing staff to set the merchandise aside within 30 minutes. Once the merchandise is off the floor, the system sends a confirmation e-mail to the shopper to let them know it’s ready and waiting.

According to the company’s web director, Raz Schionning, the benefits of this system include:

  • bridging the divide between online and offline shopping, and
  • presenting yet another way in which to drive people in store and introduce them to other products.

It is also provides a great way in which to potentially lower the number of online returns – if consumers have the option of coming in store to fit an item before buying, this will significantly reduce any sizing or fit issues.

Online reservation systems are not new, particularly in the US where Best Buy and Borders utilise similar processes.  This kind of system is a great way to offer online consumers another benefit – and that is having options.

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