Tag Archives: shopping

uniqlo gets it right. Customer service with a smile.

My recent experience with Louis Vuitton has left me a bit…jaded.

But today, an interaction with two extremely helpful store associates at uniqlo brought me back from the brink.

The wife sent me on the unenviable task of finding some innocuous sweater at the uniqlo store on 34th Street, that she had seen online.

It wasn’t an ordinary piece of uniqlo clothing – oh noooo.

She was looking for an exclusive promotional item from the uniqlo undercover line.

Apparently, she spied this fashion forward line, that was only going to be here for one more season, and simply had to have a piece from the collection.

So off I went, on my lunch break, to try retrieve a bauble for my boo.

Imagine my dismay when I walked through uniqlo’s doors, and saw the sheer expanse of store stretching out before me.

The store legend on my immediate right told me that there were three floors in this labyrinthian space.

Undaunted, I forged ahead.

Women’s – 2nd floor.

Up the multicolored stairs went I.

2nd floor.

The massive women’s wear floor  beckoned.

Excuse me. Where can I find the ‘uu’ line?

Couldn’t remember the name of the line…uniqlo uniques?  uniqlo uniforms?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

“Um, that’s back downstairs, on the left side. Near the kids’ section.”

Back downstairs?

We’ll she seems to know what I’m talking about.

So down the stairs I trudged.

To the left…

Aha!

uniqlo undercover!

Now, where are the sweater tunics?

Was that what they’re called?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

I can’t remember what she wanted!

Text her.

What’s the name of the sweater you wanted? Was it a sweater tunic?

Send.

No response.

Call.

No answer.

Voicemail.

“Hey babe. I’m at uniqlo. What was the name of that sweater thingy?”

Nothing.

Search frantically through the racks.

After several minutes of fruitles search, I caught the attention of one of the many black clad store associates, to ask for assistance.

With a wide smile, she bounded off to see if she could help me locate the item I so desperately coveted.

Hither and tither, she weaved through clothing racks, trying to find me the tunic sweater?

To no avail.

Then, she asked if I had a picture of the item.

Whipped out my handy-dandy iPhone, pulled up their site and navigated to the ‘lounge dress’.

There was no ‘tunic sweater’ after all.

Still confounded, she snatched up a store manager, who happened to be passing by.

After a brief rundown from Nancy, he asked to see the picture of it on my phone.

I whipped it out, once again, and showed him.

“May I?” he asked double-clicking on the image.

How polite.

He pulled up the PDP (product description page), got the product number, and was off!

Like a bloodhound he went.

Up the stairs.

Down the stairs.

To the back.

To the rack.

Back to the back from the rack.

And then (after what seemed like an eternity – but was only about four minutes) be beckoned me over to the rack he had previously gone to and fro…

And there, in neat little bins, were the lounge sweaters!

My quarry.

They were folded and tucked into thin plastic bags.

I would NEVER have found them on my own.

I was elated!

I thanked him profusely and asked for both his name (Martin) and the name of the associate (Nancy) who had originally aided me.

I’m sending a letter praising them to whoever runs uniqlo so that they know how DOPE their store associates are.

I’m just saying.

A little customer service goes a long way.

Dude could have easily given up on his many searches around the store to help me find my item.

But he didn’t.

He went above and beyond the call of duty.

And for that, I am truly grateful.

Wife was pleased that my trip was successful.

And my faith in store-associate kind has been redeemed.

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Filed under rant

Home Shopping Apps. HSN’s got the goods. Literally.

Home shopping on steroids!

I’m not an avid shopper.

Every once in a while, I’ll hit the store to pick up an item or two.

Most of my shopping is done online, and in response to a real need.

Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc., are when my shopping cap goes on, and I generally handle my business.

So shopping (outside of essentials) is never high on my list of priorities.

But that’s just me.

There’s a whole other world of shoppers, who take shopping very seriously: the home shopper.

If you’re into home shopping, then anytime is a good time to shop.

If there’s a bargain, you’re looking for it.

While shopping used to require getting into the car and heading to a mall, strip mall, flea market, or consignment store, the home shopper now has a number of different outlets for getting their shopping on (and I’m not talking catalogues either).

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC are probably some of the most well known brands in home shopping.

They’ve each got channels devoted entirely to giving shoppers steep discounts on everything from watches to sewing machines.

They also have websites, which allow visitors to browse items featured on the network, as well as other special offers.

But more importantly, each of them has a branded app, which allows you to shop directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device, while you’re away from your television or home computer.

ShopNBC does the best job of promoting the fact that they’ve got apps.

ShopNBC does the best job of letting you know they've got apps.

The link to the iOS or Android version of their app is conspicuously located in the bottom left corner of the home page, alongside ShopNBC’s other social media links.

Although you’ve got to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this section, the iPhone and Android logos point to the fact that they’ve got apps.

And while they don’t promote the fact that they’ve got a mobile version of their site too, they do.

HSN’s apps are promoted in a similar fashion as ShopNBC, but not quite as well.

Although it's not explicit, HSN lets you know they've got something for mobile.

The mobile phone logo, appears in a banner below the fold of the page, under the title “HSN Everywhere”.

But where HSN falls short in the visual promotion, it more than makes up for it with the breadth and depth of it’s mobile app offering.

HSN has apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Nokia, Windows Mobile 7 and offers a mobile web version of their site and an SMS service.

QVC does the worst job of promoting the fact that it’s got a mobile offering.

C'mon QVC! You've got to do better than this! Site map, really?

The link to their mobile app is buried in the site map, located at the bottom of the home page, with no icons and even less fanfare.

QVC only offers an iPhone version of their app, and they don’t have a mobile site at all.

I took each of the apps for a test drive to see how well they were built.

I didn’t buy anything mind you, but I did check out what they had to offer.

As expected, each of the apps let you to make in-app purchases.

They also have a ‘watch now’ or ‘live’ feature that lets you to follow along with the network programming directly from your device.

There is a short time delay between the live show and the mobile version, but it’s not material.

But there are material differences in how the live viewing options work on the respective apps.

HSN does the best job for a few reasons, including the fact that it utilizes the accelerometer of the iOS devices, allowing you to watch in both landscape and portrait modes.

HSN's app is the hands down fave!

The menus and content streams, that frame the viewing area, adjust, letting you expand or collapse the screen to watch in full screen/partial screen mode.

While HSN gives you multiple viewing options, ShopNBC’s live viewing is only viewable in full screen landscape mode.

And unlike the HSN app, you’ve got to quit the video, in order to interact with any other content on their app.

QVC’s iPhone app works similarly to HSN’s and is viewable in both landscape or portrait mode.

In landscape mode, the dash slides away letting you watch full screen.

Sorry QVC, but watching TV on the iPhone simply isn't the move. Make an iPad app!

But after experiencing HSN and ShopNBC’s apps in the larger form factor of the iPad, watching QVC’s show on the iPhone was markedly underwhelming.

Each of these apps had their pluses. But hands down, HSN is clearly the most progressive and forward thinking of these home shopping networks.

They have the most comprehensive suite of options for accessing their brand.

Notwithstanding my critiques, each of these brands are clearly thinking about how to help shoppers get the most out of their connected devices.

And at the end of the day, if you’re a ‘shoppy’, you should be over the moon!

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Filed under apps, branding, iPad, iPhone, mobile, opinion, technology