April 11, 2014
Online retailer Net-A-Porter has partnered with new midtown Manhattan boutique hotel WestHouse to provide guests with bespoke shopping services.
Hotel guests can shop online via a tablet in their room or call a personal shopper from the retailer for assistance. WestHouse claims to be the first hotel to offer exclusive online shopping experiences to its guests.
"Every service and experience that WestHouse offers has been carefully curated and handpicked exclusively for our guests," said Karla Keskin, general manager at the WestHouse, New York. "We have a team of expert lifestyle curators, WestHouse Attaché, through our exclusive agreement with Luxury Attaché, one of the world’s leading bespoke concierge firms.
"The WestHouse Attaché team is accessible to all hotel guests, and can arrange for personal shopping experiences at the finest retail shops in Manhattan," she said. "WestHouse can thus cater to whichever type of experience our guest prefers whether that be shopping at a physical store or having items from a particular store brought to the hotel.
"Either way, we do find that many of our guests enjoy being able to shop online while relaxing in the privacy of their own quarters, as they would do in their own home. Our partnership with Net-A-Porter enhances WestHouse’s residentially-focused experience. Guests easily can shop right from our in-room Intelity Pads and get same-day delivery right to their guest room door."
The WestHouse opened in December 2013, and is located on 55th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It is positioned as a hospitality concept that brings a “home away from home” experience to guests through services.
Guest room at WestHouse
Net-A-Porter will be offering personal shopping services to WestHouse guests on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through a dedicated phone line that connects from the hotel’s guest rooms to the retailer. Customer care is also accessible from this phone line 24-hours a day, any day of the week.
The personal shoppers can help pick out an outfit for a special occasion or find items that fit the consumer’s personal style and body type.
Easing the path to the retailer’s ecommerce site are tablets in the guest rooms that feature an icon on the homepage that tells consumers to “just tap” to access the Web site. These tablets also connect guests to hotel services.
Taking advantage of Net-A-Porter’s same-day delivery service in New York, guests that order from the retailer can receive a black box with their purchase within hours of ordering for no fee.
Net-a-Porter same-day delivery promotional image
To encourage shopping on Net-A-Porter, the WestHouse is debuting a Suite Shopping Package, where consumers who book a stay in one of the hotel’s suites for three or more nights receive a $500 Net-A-Porter gift card.
WestHouse has been promoting this service to consumers on social media, along with its other amenities, including hair dryers and gold straighteners by GHD, which consumers can purchase through the hotel.
"Shopping for luxury and the NYC experience is all about the senses," said Gustavo Gomez, director of research and methodology at Envirosell, New York. "Going into the boutiques/stores, receiving the five-star treatment, exploring the quality of the merchandise with feel, sight, smell and seeing how you look with the item is an important part of the process. It is not only about obtaining the luxury product, it is about the full experience.
"A tablet in a hotel room does not provide that experience," he said. "I see this mostly as a branding strategy for both partners.
"For Net-A-Porter this is a chance to open up a new channel of customers. If someone is not familiar with Net-A-Porter and they are staying at the hotel, they will learn the Net-A-Porter brand.
"Retail is all about opening channels while staying true to your brand. WestHouse hotel is luxury so it is a perfect partnership for Net-A-Porter."
Online meets concierge
Net-A-Porter has previously highlighted its delivery services during the holiday shopping season.
The retailer extended its same-day delivery service in the New York area just as consumers were worried about receiving all of their purchased gifts in time.
Net-A-Porter pushed back the cut off time for its same-day delivery to 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve, giving consumers another retail option for their last-minute gift purchases. By offering speedy expedited delivery, Net-A-Porter was able to compete with bricks-and-mortar retailers for the holiday shopping rush in the days before Christmas (see story).
To reach consumers where they are, Net-A-Porter boasted its same-day delivery service for customers in the Hamptons through out-of-home advertising on plane banners that flew over the area.
The retailer partnered with Standard Hotels’ private air charter service StndAIR to make same-day delivery possible (see story).
Net-A-Porter will be part of making guests feel at home, which may create loyalists.
"This is an interesting synergy of brands and the first collaboration I've seen between a hotel and a retailer," said Dave Rodgerson, retail business development executive at Microsoft Canada, Toronto. "It's a win for both parties.
"People who travel, especially for business are generally hard pressed for time," he said. "Being able to shop for themselves, or a gift to bring someone at home, is quite handy. In this sense, the hotel is offering a valued service.
"Net-A-Porter wins in two ways. They do of course make the sale. Perhaps of even more value is the data they collect from the transaction. They now know not only the information pertaining to the transaction, they are also able to add another layer of context.
"They know where the customer resides and now, where they travel and potentially with what frequency. All of this is information that allows Net-A-Porter to market to the customer more effectively in the future."
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York