DSW just took a step into the future of shoe-shopping. In a drastic departure from its classic warehouse display, the store is test-driving a new concept that ties together online and offline experiences, from pedicure and shoe repair stations to a redone rewards system. Given the dismal state of affairs for department stores, will the changes be enough to pull DSW up by its bootstraps?
In addition to store experiences, the shoe shop is incorporating terms customers have used in online searches to create a new layout that better reflects the path to purchase. This includes presenting a much wider assortment of products, from 25,000 to 70,000 pairs of shoes. However, DSW is no stranger to serious change. The retailer also gave its app a major overhaul last year, helping earn it a 4.8 star rating on iTunes. Finally, it kicked off a new loyalty program called DSW VIP with a site launch and a highly effective targeted email campaign opened by 31% of recipients according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores.
DSW tapped into the personalization trend on its website too, pairing up with popular data platform True Fit to lace product pages with a widget that finds a customer’s size based on information they’ve entered about an item they already own. Once customers input sizing information, all subsequent product pages automatically show their True Fit Size. Because the widget works across different websites, shoppers don’t have to go through the hassle of logging into True Fit or creating another web account to use it, making their online experience that much more seamless.
Though the new store concept is still being tested, it’s already pulling in positive feedback. DSW reported a 16% revenue jump today—much higher than preset expectations. For department stores looking to boost their presence, both online and offline, following in DSW’s footsteps might be a good start.