Glossy+: Fashion retailers are betting that time is the new luxury

Serving up fashion with a side of beauty and wellness is trending for retailers.

Today, luxury online marketplace Orchard Mile pressed go on its first loyalty program, a multi-tier, point-based initiative granting regular customers complimentary services from a range of outside companies, largely in the beauty space. Co-founder and CEO Jennie Baik said it was designed to cater to the busy, mostly millennial Orchard Mile customer.

This is the first time we've really focused on the millennial consumer,” said Baik. “Since we launched [three years ago], we’ve been talking to her at every touchpoint about what she wants, and the No. 1 answer is always time -- plus we know she values experiences more than discounts.”

The program is based on a points system, with every dollar spent allotting the loyalty member a point. After spending $500, they can redeem the 500 points for a $25 “experience card” to spend with a partner brand. With 1,000 points, they get $50, and 1500 points gives them $75. Experiences include appointments with in-home beauty service GlamSquad, manicures at NYC-based nail salon Glosslab, facials at Skin Laundry and floral deliveries from Floom.

Baik said she looked for brand partners run by female founders and catering to millennials -- and beauty brands were a draw, as they complement Orchard Mile’s booming beauty business.

“Beauty is our fastest growing category,” she said. “We started it kind of as a lark, but it’s working. The cart value is really high for beauty -- $186 dollars on average. It's millennials tapping into the skin-care first idea; they’re buying premium skin care, not just lipstick.”

Because not all partners provide services nationwide, loyalty members have the option of choosing store credit versus an experience card, in the same value.

For Rachel Glass, CEO and founder of one-year-old Glosslab, the goal is customer acquisition given Orchard Mile’s large local customer base. “Orchard Mile sends out multiple emails to their VIP customers encouraging them to redeem partner experiences,” she said. “It gives us consistent exposure.”

Baik said the time-saving rewards play well with Orchard Mile’s concept: It offers full collections of 220 curated brands across ready-to-wear, accessories, beauty and home, giving shoppers a shortcut to shopping each individual brand site. The process is further expedited by My Mile, a feature launched last year that uses personalization technology to serve up custom feeds based on shoppers’ style preferences and buying history.

“Orchard Mile isn’t a retailer, it’s a platform -- we’re thinking bigger than fashion,” said Baik. “Take SoulCycle -- it’s not just fitness, it’s about holistic and mental health. For us, product is just one service. We’re focusing on that millennial consumer’s lifestyle as a whole.”

Rebecca Taylor launches Service Saturdays in-store
Rebecca Taylor, the women’s contemporary fashion brand launched more than 20 years ago, kicked off Saturday Services on October 13 at its Madison Avenue location as a time-saving perk for customers -- and, of course, a traffic driver for the store. The initiative grants rotating complimentary services -- including Paintbox manicures, Pure Barre workout classes, Drybar hair styling and on-site babysitting by Hello Sitter -- during store hours every Saturday through the end of 2018. Depending on its success, it will pick up again after the New Year and roll out to other Rebecca Taylor store locations.

“Everyone is struggling for store traffic in brick-and-mortar,” said Janice Sullivan, CEO of Rebecca Taylor. “I thought about what would add value to what she’s already doing and make her life easier. The bulk of our customers are 28 to 50; she’s time-starved because she’s working full-time, she’s got kids, she’s married or she’s juggling all of the above. Most come in looking for an outfit for an occasion; she’s not going to stop for something like a book reading or a lesson in fine art.”

The service brands involved signed on to reach a new audience, she said, and to gain physical exposure if operating exclusively online.

Rebecca Taylor is driving to the events through targeted emails and social media posts across channels. There are no plans to offer special in-store promotions on Saturday to complement the services, as the brand is not promotionally driven, Sullivan said.

As for the chance that some shoppers will come in exclusively for the services, she said it’s all good. “It will give us the opportunity to tell her what the brand’s all about.”

Related reads on Glossy

How Nordstrom reinvented its loyalty program
Each tier of the loyalty program grants access to personalized experiences, such as the option to have Nordstrom’s in-home stylists make a house call.

Beauty brands are launching independent stores centered on experiences
“We wanted to have a hands-on interaction with customers … to see what they’re looking for and share more of who we are.”

Coach’s ‘Life Coach’ experience and the rise of product-free pop-ups
“Fashion brands today are realizing they need to be more multidimensional and they have to engage customers in a way that’s not about the sale but about inviting them into a world.”