by Nissa Hanna
Over the past year, Iconoculture has extensively covered the evolving dynamic between online and offline shopping. So far, much of the action has been in the realm of brick-and-mortars going cyber. That’s why the recent opening of Piperlime — the exact reverse — caught our eye.
The e-retail site is known for its smart blend of brands, a variety of price points and inspiring style guidance. And its foray into offline shopping translates this vision in an original way, compared to other websites that are making the brick-and-mortar move.
The New York store works well with the way savvy shoppers think by bringing aspects of its website into the real world through novel merchandising interpretations. A trend wall presents the freshest looks, and acts as a “homepage” for the store. Arbiters-in-residence Rachel Zoe and Olivia Palermo flag their faves at Piperlime.com, and the store spotlights their picks with specially curated sections. “Blog posts” turn into themed displays, offering efficiency and relevance: multi-brand outfit ideas, cost-conscious groupings (“Girl on a Budget”) and advice on wearing tricky trends (polka dots after 20?).
Of course, the store is not without its tech; kiosks let customers access the website and order out-of-stock items, for example. Indeed, tech plays an important in-store role that empowers, personalizes and connects — but we applaud Piperlime for doing more than just “kiosking” every corner. The brand has figured out something important: a way to mold their customers’ online habits and expectations (which are largely positive) into something meaningful and useful in-store.