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Personal Shopper Service Rolled Out by Online Fashion Outlet

25 January 2019 - 11:28 by Graham Miller

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A limited number of consumers that regularly shop online with clothing site Net-a-Porter and its counterpart Mr Porter will be getting access to an exclusive new service that gives them the opportunity to try garments before they commit to buying them.

The concept is described as being akin to having a virtual assistant to help you through the process of picking the perfect outfit. Items will be shipped to the addresses of those lucky enough to be invited to participate in Style Trial, at which point they will have a week to take them for a test run.

If customers decide that they like any of the garments, they can keep them and payment will be taken from their registered card. If they are not a fan of any or all of the items, they can return them and will not be charged for the privilege.

Although this is an interesting concept on paper, it is not all that dissimilar from the approach that millions of consumers already adopt. Shoppers regularly order a lot of fashion items via safe shopping online, try them on at home and then return anything that does not take their fancy once they see it in the flesh.

This trend has become problematic for many retailers, with the costs of dealing with returns stacking up, especially in the post-Christmas period.

Net-a-Porter is clearly looking to take control of this trend on its own terms rather than being overwhelmed by it. It is also interesting to see that the company is marketing it as an exclusive service rather than pitching it as something which is available to all of its customers. This is all about loyalty and retention, focusing on big spenders to ensure that they do not look for their fashion fix elsewhere.