If you are exploring new ways of integrating social commerce into your retail organisation here is an example that you will want to explore. Today TOPMAN the fashion retailer in the UK is launching their personal shopping for men using Google Hangouts.
It is not a suprise to see TOPMAN taking this approach as earlier this year they were one of the first European businesses who used Hangouts On Air for social commerce with their shoppable hangout featuring their Autumn Winter 2014 menswear colection, broadcasting from the runway and providing links to make purchases online during the live stream – you can see my video report on TOPMAN here (go to the 4 minute mark). They also have a Google Plus community focused on mens style.
They are promoting their live Google Hangout On Air as an opportunity to meet the personal shopping team who are based at the Oxford Circus store in London. You can watch a video of the personal shopping team here.
Interestingly TOPMAN are building their email data base by inviting people to register for the Hangout On air for the launch event.
However as this a public scheduled Hangout On Air then you can watch the live stream today on the Google Plus event page or in fact it will be livestreaming here too – see the embedded video below. And you could also watch the livestream on YouTube.
On the TOPMAN website it invites consumers to book a personal shopping appointment in their store or online through a Hangout. the service is available to UK customers.
Enjoy a live video-chat session with a Topman Personal Shopper from the comfort of your own home. Pre-book your complimentary appointment below via GooglePlus Hangout technology.
And they have provided a video introducing the service which you see below.
They also have a useful FAQ about the personal shopping service including the Hangout service which includes technical guidelines and their returns policy. Here is a summary of some of the things they cover:
What is a Topman Personal Shopping Hangout appointment?
This is a virtual Personal Shopping appointment, designed to replicate the intimate service that we offer in-store. Partnering with Google+ has enabled our core team of Personal Shoppers to deliver style advice to you, whereever you are in the UK. By accessing our Hangout – via a simple video call – you will be able to converse with a Personal Shopper, whilst they show you products from Topman.com that they think you will like. You are then able to add recommended products to your basket and purchase at the end of the appointment. Unfortunately the service is currently only available in the UK. The Personal Shoppers will lead the appointments in English, so customers must be English speaking.
Do I have to give my sizes when booking and can I choose my Personal Shopper?
Although not compulsory, it allows for our Personal Shoppers to prepare a product selection for your Hangout, which ensures that your experience is as seamless and efficient as possible. You are welcome to make a request for one of the Personal Shoppers – take a look at their profiles on topman.com/personalshopping. Whilst we will try our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee a Personal Shopper’s availability- this being dependent on staffing rotas and the variability of their days. Should we make changes to your booking, we will always strive to update you over an email or phone call.
How do I pay and receive my items?
After your Hangout appointment, you will be re-directed through to Topman.com, where you pay for your items as any typical online transaction. Your purchased items will either be delivered to your chosen address via standard delivery, unless of course, you select and pay for a faster delivery service, e.g. Next day delivery. You will also have the same ‘Click & Collect’ service which allows you to collect your purchase from any store of your choosing.
The TOPMAN personal shopping service offered through Google Hangouts will offer customers the opportunity to pre-book appointments online and they will have the option to request specific styles or trends ahead of the appointment, which can then be pre-selected by the team.
It takes social commerce on a step further than using the Google Hangouts Showcase app or the video support provided on retail sites such as Schuh.
If you are in the UK and want to expereicne the TOPMAN personal shopping service using Google Helpouts you can book an appointment here.
If you want to learn about how you could put Google Hangouts which remember is a free service, to use in your business you can book a consultation with me or contact me to learn about the Google Hangouts On Air training and consulting services I provide.
And do let me know if you come across other innivative ways that Google hangouts are being used for retailers.