Lowe Alpine has just launched a new initiative, Click & Fit, to support retailers and to bridge the gap between the online and in-store retail experience for customers. OE Retailer speaks to Max Longstaff, Head of Online at Lowe Alpine…
You’ve just launched ‘Click & Fit’. What is it all about?
Click & Fit is a service from Lowe Alpine where customers can choose packs online to be delivered to a participating retailer near them. Once in store, they get a bespoke backpack fitting experience – all for free, with no commitment to buy.
Why did you decide to create the scheme?
When it comes to backpacks, nothing compares to in-store expertise for a customer trying to decide which pack is right for them. That’s why at Lowe Alpine we’re constantly asking ourselves what we can do to support our bricks and mortar stores – especially in this increasingly digital age, where ecommerce is continuing to grow. Click & Fit was the answer to that question.
It has two main goals. Firstly, we want to enhance the customer experience by blending the convenience and choice of ecommerce with retailer expertise, to give the customer the best of both worlds. Secondly, we want to help support our retailers in an increasingly digital world, by driving traffic into store.
What are the benefits for customers?
Click & Fit offers customers the opportunity to do their research and choose packs they think will be right for them online, without the commitment of investing in a pack which might not be the right size or fit for them upon delivery. With Click & Fit, they can order up to four packs into their local store for free, before making a well-informed purchase following a bespoke pack fitting experience.
Customers receive a free custom fitting experience in store. What support and training do you offer participating retailers for this?
We have a great team of trainers who go into store to empower staff with the knowledge and tools they need to give bespoke fitting experiences to customers. We also host training days in our offices both in Kendal and in Derbyshire, to help retail staff get moving outside in the packs for a fully hands-on experience.
How many packs can the customers select online to try in store?
Customers can select up to four packs from our technical range to try in-store. We’ve seen a number of Click & Fit customers so far choosing four quite different packs, but with similar litreage, which is interesting.
Is the scheme available across your entire product range?
Initially, we’re only rolling Click & Fit out across our technical range which predominantly includes trekking, hiking and travel packs. These are the packs which customers really benefit from having an in-store fitting; you don’t want to be five days into a trek with an ill-fitting pack and 20kg on your back! All Click & Fit packs are clearly identified on our website.
Why should outdoor retailers sign up to join Click & Fit?
We’ve designed Click & Fit to be as simple and as streamlined as possible, both for retailers and their customers. We arrange free returns for retailers and deal with almost all admin relating to Click & Fit ourselves, so all retailers need to do is focus on giving the customer the best experience possible. There’s no cost attached for retailers.
How many stores have been part of the initial launch?
We’ve launched with Ellis Brigham and a number of independent retailers to have a spread of 37 Click & Fit retail partners across Britain, with a view to expand this in the coming months after the initial launch.
Do you provide retailers with any promotional or POS material?
As Click & Fit is a primarily digital service, the emphasis is placed on digital support for our retailers. Our Click & Fit partners are sent a digital assets package with ad material, copy and images to help promote the service to their customers, as well as a physical package sent to store containing a variety of in-store assets such as lanyards and window stickers. We’re also creating custom POS with retailers on request, to ensure they’re fully supported.
Do you have any future plans to develop the scheme further?
Initially, we’ve launched the Click & Fit with a limited range of UK retailers. The goal is to grow the scheme successfully with as many of our retailers as possible, with the aim of expanding overseas.
How can retailers sign up to join the scheme?
At present, this is only available with existing Lowe Alpine retailers, but we’re always open to new partnerships. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in participating!