Lands’ End has been offering quintessential American clothing since 1963. Today, the global, multi-channel retailer, based in Dodgeville, Wis., offers a wide range of classically styled apparel for the whole family as well as home fashions and seasonal gifts.
The majority of Lands’ End’s business is conducted through mail order and Internet sales, but it operates freestanding stores and in-store shops in most Sears and Sears Canada stores (Sears acquired the company in 2002) along with Inlet (outlet) stores and shops in the U.K., Germany and Japan.
Lands’ End is as famous for its well-made clothing as it is for its unequivocal (“Guaranteed. Period.”) approach to customer service, which allows returns or exchanges at any time, for any reason. It’s also renowned for other consumer-centric firsts: In the 1980s it pioneered a toll-free phone number for ordering. In 1994, it was the first cataloger to make two-day shipping standard anywhere in the continental U.S. without a surcharge. In 1995, Lands’ End was the first apparel retailer to have an e-commerce-enabled website.
Lands’ End is again making history: The company began offering digital catalogs via an app in January. Lands’ End was inspired to develop the app because of customer feedback and the rise in the number of users accessing its web catalog from iPads.
The free app is available in the Apple app store and at LandsEnd.com. Compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, the digital catalog is available days before the paper version arrives in the mail.
“Connecting with our customers in ways that are most convenient for them and providing world-class customer service has always been a priority at Lands’ End,” says chief marketing officer Susan Sachatello. “Whether they choose to shop through our catalogs, online or now with a mobile app, we strive to provide easy and convenient access for our customers.”
Digital editions retain the same quality look as the printed publication but offer interaction, an optimized search engine, live web links, full stats package, optional DRM and more. Future editions will feature unique content, including video.
The app allows customers to download catalogs, then browse and shop from the digital edition: Users can flip through pages, zoom in on styles and even add sticky notes to pages for future reference. One touch directs the user to the product page on landsend.com, where they can select a size and color and then return to the catalog for more browsing without ever leaving the app.
To purchase an item from the digital catalog, the customer simply clicks on it and is taken to the product page on lands end.com to complete the order.
Lands’ End built the app in conjunction with digital content technology and services provider YUDU Media, a London-based digital publisher with U.S. offices in Boston and the first to provide a self-publishing solution for iPad & iPod.
“I can’t give you numbers, but I can tell you that we are encouraged by the response we have seen,” Sachatello says. “From our call centers, catalogs and retail shops to our websites, digital catalogs, Facebook and mobile commerce sites, we are striving to connect with our customers where, when and how it makes sense for them.”