We will take a look at the way that Selfridges differentiates itself in terms of services: Tax Refunds, Elfridges, Click And Collect and Personal Shopping.
With the rise in tourism and tourist spending in London, certain retailers have tailored their service offering accordingly. Selfridges has three different offerings for their customers. Firstly, they offer a tax refund lounge, in collaboration with Global Blue, area where visiting customers can enjoy a plethora of service such as sales tax returns, currency exchange, accounting services, as well as accommodation and activity reservations with the assistance of a staff member that speaks their language.
This means that Selfridges employs Arabic and Chinese speaking staff members for this section, as the majority of the tourists spending come from regions that speak these languages. The images below show the comfortable couches in these rooms as well as the desk that customers or employees can use to deliver these services.
The lounge refunds around 1 million British sterling pounds a year and it is a service that is greatly appreciated by the international customers of the retailer.
Selfridges has a service called “Elfridges”; consisting of staff members who assist customers in store with their gift purchases. These gifts are then packed and delivered, to the convenience of the customer. This service was introduced during the holiday season and Selfridges decided to continue to offer it because of the strong customer response to the service. You can book an elf right here.
Click and Collect
Selfridges allows customers to pick up their online orders in style at four of their locations. Although this is a service that other retailers offer, this is just one of the many services that Selfridges perfected for their customers.
The third and final service offering at Selfridges, is the personal shopper service offered to their customers. I visited the recently opened men’s personal shopping area at Selfridges. This growing service currently represents 8% of the total men’s sales and is one of the ways the retailer reinforces customer loyalty. When entering the personal shopping area, there is a waiting room (seen below) with comfortable couches and décor composed of small sculptures, magazines and books. There are three private rooms dedicated to the different customers. They are composed of multiple mirrors, a changing room and couches.
There is no minimum spending required for this service but the majority of the customers are luxury customers. This special type service is quite luxurious. In fact, the customers have their own fitting room consisting of multiple mirrors, sound systems and couches to ensure that they are comfortable while they are waiting for their personal shopper to bring their clothing. These types of services are available for most customers; however they are promoted as luxury services.
Selfridges was not the only retailer that offered such services to their luxury loving customers. In fact, Westfield Shopping Mall has developed certain services catering to affluent tourists. While each luxury retailer within the mall has their own offering, the shopping mall has a specific “concierge” service for tourists. This service is quite similar to the one that is offered by Selfridges as customers can get a concierge to assist them with sales tax returns, currency exchange, accounting services, as well as accommodation and activity reservations. Westfield Shopping Mall has many pamphlets promoting this service, all of which are translated in the home language of tourists that have the largest spend at the mall. They welcome a variety of Asian tourist arriving in buses directly from the airport to shop the luxury offering available at the mall. Their concierge service makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for these affluent luxury seeking customers.
The services offered by Selfridges and Westfield Shopping Mall are mainly promoted to tourists spending some time shopping while visiting London. These retailers have discovered a new customer segment that wishes to spend their money on luxury goods. Consequently, they have developed services that ensure a more pleasant and convenient shopping experience for these customers.
Service quality is one of the most important factors influencing customer satisfaction and loyalty. I’ve visited many retailers as a customer and as I retail fiend and Selfridges is one of the best I have ever seen.
Which retailer offered you the best service?
Take a look at the amazing Instagram of Selfridges and if you’re ever in London, make sure to visit them.
Also, take a look at Westfield’s Instagram and if you ever plan on going, try to download their app because the experience is phenomenal.