Retailers, leave my inbox alone!


Open my handbag and you’ll find, on average, six lipsticks rattling around in there at any given moment. If you check my inbox, you’ll find on average around 30 emails a week from the retailers who sold me those lipsticks. Lancome, House of Fraser, Charlotte Tilbury, you name them, they’re emailing me.

The last time I popped to my local MAC counter, when I brandished my card to make my purchase, I was met with a ‘And what’s your name and email address, please?’

‘Sorry? I just want this eyeliner…’

‘Sorry, I really do need your name and email address so I can update our system with what you’ve purchased today! Could I take your name please?’

After a round of indignant protesting from me and unyielding insistence from her, I gave the saleswoman my details and left the store more than a little bit hacked off. Twenty minutes later, I received their eNewsletter.

Safe to say, next time I ordered online. All fun and games until you reach the ‘do not untick this box if you do not want to not receive no exciting offers from our partners’ box…

With technology playing such a massive part in the future of retail, how can vendors avoid irritating their customers with ‘one size fits all’ contact and instead, utilise multichannel retail to provide a positive shopping experience that benefits both parties?

Take interactive men’s store The Dandy Lab as a great example. The shop has been fully tech-enhanced and shows off its ‘Snap Fashion’ technology, where a camera takes your photo and then a screen suggests items around the shop floor that would complement or even deliberately clash with what you’re wearing. Not a far cry from Cher’s wardrobe in ‘Clueless’ that I dreamt of when I was younger (all right, STILL dream of)!

Marks and Spencer has followed suit; now you can search for products on a large touch screen device in-store, or even scan the barcode to explore more product information. Customers can also order, pay for and arrange delivery for their purchases using the device.

Mobile apps are another great tool for retailers to keep in their arsenal when trying to sustain customer loyalty, and they’re quickly growing in popularity. As someone who used to have countless forgotten reward cards scattered across the bottom of my bag, mobile apps are a great way to collect points, browse offers and personalise my shopping experience with wish lists and store-finding. Far better than rummaging through my Mary Poppins bag for a plastic card that I’d forgotten to activate online!

New retail technology is being developed with each passing year to help businesses grow and develop their customer relationships. As a millennial consumer and serial make-up buyer, I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for any new tech that will enhance my shopping experience. In the meantime, I have 5439 emails I need to get around to unsubscribing from…