The Importance of Bespoke Services for Today’s Retail Generation

Originally from PSFK Labs

PSFK sits down with Generation Tux's EVP of Marketing, Matt Schow, on key personalization trends

From custom makeup palettes to personalized wardrobe selections and grocery deliveries, millennials have embraced brands that complement their unique personalities and lifestyles. And in return, brands are meeting those new expectations for products and services that adapt to the behaviors of the consumer themselves.

In conjunction with the new Future of Retail 2016 Report, PSFK sat down with experts to learn how brands can personalize their offerings in new ways to build value, drive sales and boost authentic audience engagement.

According to Matt Schow, the EVP of Marketing and E-Commerce at custom evening-wear outfitter, Generation Tux, in order to stand out from the competition, it is important for retailers to capitalize on these highly personal products, as well as offering a bespoke service that their customers will be inclined to share.

Schow and his team have reimagined the stereotypically-difficult process of ordering tuxedos for events such as weddings. On the platform, customers can review looks online, upload their measurements and receive a custom outfit just days before their event. For added personalization, Generation Tux partnered with zTailors, a service which matches users to on-demand tailors for in the home or office fittings.

PSFK: Generation Tux is unique in that it’s the only online tuxedo ordering company to partner with a tailoring service. Why should online brands consider partnerships?

Matt Schow: Companies, online or offline, should always be focused on improving their customer experience. And when an improvement opportunity is found, “build, buy or partner?” is usually the first question that’s asked. Partnerships should always be considered because they can add an instant level of credibility and scalability. Online brands, being typically forward thinking, are in the best position to re-define how these relationships are created and implemented.

Our partnership with zTailors provides a key service that can increase purchase rates on the front end (Shop online and tailor at home), and add a second safety net against returns (Before you return it, we’ll send a tailor to evaluate the fit and fix it). The brand wins, zTailors wins and the customer wins.

PSFK: You make a previously exclusive service accessible to the everyday consumer through experiences such as at-home tailoring or concierge. What other trends besides democratizing access do you see emerging in retail to offer new and additional value to customers?

MS: The shift towards “craft” products in all categories is the most powerful trend in motion right now. Looking back, I think it will be one of the most important shifts in retail, and I would liken it to the rise of organic foods which started with a smaller segment of very conscious consumers and evolved into mass market demand.

The craft trend profoundly impacts the future of retail because it focuses less on “value” as a cost element and more on “true value” as it relates to what this product means to me and why I want to be associated with it. This creates a more educated and loyal customer. As retailers, we need to get in touch with the craft idea and how that is applied to our business.

PSFK: What’s your vision of the new retail experience? How are you designing a retail strategy for that vision?

MS: The new retail experience has to be meaningful everywhere it needs to be. A website? An App? A store? A mobile truck? Live consultations? Not all channels matter for each customer, and as retailers, we shouldn’t assume that they all do. We need to test and take the time to find the right channel(s) and focus on delivering a more thoughtful and delightful experience.

PSFK: What are some of the challenges that companies like Generation Tux face in designing for their omni-channel consumer, who interact with brands on mobile, desktop and in-store?

MS: At Generation Tux, we’re testing everything. We launched online this year, but we will be much more diversified six months from now. We are thinking about a patent pending packaging system that delivers clothing wrinkle free and ready to wear out of the box, and RFID chips in our clothing so there are no visible barcodes.

PSFK: Why is it important for brands and services to recognize and personalize every shopping experience?

MS: Millennials are not settling for a mass-produced experience. As the maker movement continues to evolve, the next generation of consumers wants to have a more personalized experience. Each product a consumer purchases should be delivered with its own story that its new owner can either share or be part of.