Thursday, August 8th, 2013
By Dana Friedman
This summer, preceding my sophomore year at Boston University, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Fluid. I’ve always had a passion for shopping, even when I was a little girl. However, I never dreamed that I would find an internship that allowed me to put my shopping skills to the test—unless I wanted to become a buyer, and I knew that that wasn’t my passion.
During my time at Fluid, I became an expert at analyzing apparel brands’ omni-channel strategies. I was already familiar with the tactics that my favorite designers used to communicate with customers like me, but this assignment really opened my eyes to which brands are leading the pack in terms of cross-platform customer journeys.
Although much of this research happened online (Improved Excel skills? Check. Master assorted knowledge sharing platforms? Check.) I was also encouraged to do what I do best: shop.
Some days I spent visiting boutique stores in SoHo; on others, retail flagships in Midtown or luxury malls in New Jersey. I walked the aisles in search of digital displays, signs that the company enabled mobile tagging, any place where the company promoted social sharing (hashtags anyone?) and whether the store had free WiFi for customer use. I also checked to see if the store associates used tablets for clienteling, as well as whether they asked for the customer’s e-mail and if they wanted to join their loyalty program. And then I’d write up the results in a series of spreadsheets illustrated with photographs and screenshots.
When I wasn’t shopping or doing research, I was able to sit in on meetings, meet some clients, and learn what it’s like to work in an office environment with a creative team.
Now that my internship at Fluid is ending, I’m heading back to my studies in Boston with a better understanding of what apparel brands should be doing to reach customers like me.
And, of course, I’ll keep shopping.