Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus (Part 2) | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 21, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

If you read this post about my first experience with Neiman Marcus, you will see my extreme disappointment with the way my items arrived at my home.  While recreating the purchase experience, I bought a single item, a jar of this cream by Kiehl’s, and naturally, took photos when my package arrived.

Someone different from Neiman Marcus put my package together this time. Thanks Rachel! (I have nothing to say about the condition of the box this time – I also give big props to FedEx for putting the box on my doorstep (in an apartment complex) in a plastic bag because it was raining.

Already an improvement! Rachel from Neiman Marcus took the time to fold my packing list in half, which is already vastly better than the last package.

Another package insert.

Unfortunately, the boring paper remains standard for Neiman Marcus packaging.

And here you have it. Again, not really a breakable item, so I don’t expect a ton of bubble wrap, but it is just standard and not impressive.

Overall, this is much better than the last package I received from Neiman Marcus, but I still believe that they could have a more sophisticated packaging process. Even slightly different interior packaging material could make a big difference in the presentation.

I will continue to revisit any more sites I’ve written about in the past as content becomes available.

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Neiman Marcus | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 8, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Neiman Marcus is the brand on display during today’s experience project. I made an order with a gift card months ago to take the packaging photos, and just re-purchased an item to take proper screenshots of the site for this blog post. Unfortunately, this experience overall is a bit bi-polar.

Shopper Experience

The Neiman Marcus website has been amazing visual porn for years. I love it.  Sometime in the last few years, they switched over to a flashy version that was very “techy” and seemed to be redesign for the sake of redesign. Luckily it didn’t last long, the flowy, flashy version was quickly reverted back to the original design.

The homepage is easy to use with the standard rotation of events and sales. Props to Neiman Marcus for wonderful product photos. I will talk more about that later.

I chose the print banner on the homepage, and am delivered to a lovely Neiman Marcus search result. Note their events listing on the left – there are lots of ways to drill down products on their site.

Since I knew what I was really after, I chose to use the main navigation dropdown menus to purchase moisturizer.

Similar to the collection result is the beauty result, where I can navigate the entire beauty department on the left.

I knew I was looking for Kiehl’s, so I chose to filter results by brand.

I then went back to the left menu and chose “all brands” which gave all results for beauty brands.

The brand page has categories covered, with more lovely images.

I drilled down to moisturizers, and found my product of choice. The product page here is very straightforward, informative, and lovely.

As I’m seeing a lot more with beauty items on many websites, it gave me the opportunity to sign up to auto-purchase this item at a chosen interval.

Pop-up shopping cart. Let’s proceed to checkout!

Checkout

I don’t know what generates the content for “May We Suggest,” but it seems sort of random.

I appreciated the reminder at the top that I will get free shipping if I use the code. However, before I plugged that in, there was a convenient pop-up showing the shipping info before I have to choose. I do wish the dropdown had the prices built in, instead of HAVING to review the pop-up, where the prices are at the bottom of a lot of content, and not the top. So this is a tiny thing that could be improved.

I really like the succinct confirmation page. Granted, I’m only ordering one item, and I wonder how many items are on a standard Neiman Marcus order. It seems that packing all of that information onto the right column might be unfortunate if someone has 15 items in their cart.

My order is complete. I really like the “Look what I just got” and the “Save my information” options. I sent a screenshot of the sharing feature to the web developer I’m currently working with. Again, I would love to have stats on the use of these tools, but I don’t work for Neiman Marcus.

What I also love here is the Printer Version button, and the option to include photos or not. It’s so easy and obvious, but I haven’t seen it before. I might not want to print a picture and waste my ink on that. (I don’t really print anymore, don’t we all just made PDFs?)

Here’s my Printer Version. I chose the pictures and printed a PDF. I’m sort of unhappy that there isn’t anything here about the timing of my order. What is the estimated time of turnaround from now to when my order will be shipped to me? It seems unlikely that NM would be unable to figure out estimates for most items they stock on their website.

Finally, I get an estimate on when I will receive my item in the confirmation email. I’m glad I didn’t really need that moisturizer in the next 13 days. I do think an improvement on not only cost, but delivery time based on your shipping choice would be a good addition to the checkout process.

The general look and tone of the email is in line with everything else from NM, so this is not a big departure. My overall shopping experience was really lovely. As I mentioned before, the product imagery is really spectacular, and when you’re selling a lot of high-end brands and everything looks amazing, it almost replicates the feeling you actually get in the store.

Packaging

On to packaging of the order I received for my last purchase from NeimanMarcus.com.

Not a branded box, but we did get the logo on the shipping label.

I was impressed at the very specific identification of the person who packaged my order.

Is this a FedEx thing, the writing on the box? The fact that this number is crossed out makes me worry that my box was used before it became the box destined for me. No way of knowing this though, so I cannot put it onto NM.

This is where my confusion goes into overdrive. 2 photos ago I showed you a sticker saying my box was professionally packed. How is it professional to not take the time to at least fold my packing list in half? This was really upsetting to me, because after my lovely experience with an organization that is clearly designed to give a high-end experience, this craps all over that. I am pissed off that this is just shoved in the box without a care in the world.

Random samples underneath the mangled packing list. I’m always happy to receive free beauty samples.

I picked up the samples and moved some of this very basic and unimpressive beigey packing material to see all of my items pushed together, sort of padded from the outside of the box. It’s not the best packing job I’ve seen, but it isn’t the worst either. All of my items were unharmed, but they are also items with only a slight chance of breaking during transport.

So, this experience with Neiman Marcus started out wonderfully. It’s really a pleasure to browse the site. It has a lot more going on than say the Solestruck website I talked about a few weeks ago, but that’s to be expected given the array of items offered. While Neiman Marcus has numerous categories and thousands of items, navigating through them to shop is not overwhelming or difficult. The information during checkout was a bit murky, but nothing earth-shatteringly terrible. My biggest issue was clearly the treatment of the package that I received, and the contents. Noting on the outside of the box that my items were professionally packed – and then having the experience I did, was incredibly disappointing.

I would recommend that Neiman Marcus does a review of their professional packers and perhaps set up some standards for things like packing lists. The internal wrapping was acceptable, but it didn’t feel like it was in line with the Neiman Marcus brand.  The disconnect between the website experience and the package experience was significant. What about people ordering gifts online? I would hate to order something from NeimanMarcus.com and have a package arrive to someone with the contents in the condition that I received.

Here is the score card for Neiman Marcus. Have you shopped on NeimanMarcus.com? What was your experience?

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The Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 31, 2013

Brands, welcome to 2013.

While my title centers around the word marketing, in my job at Noritake I also manage direct-to-consumer online retail through our website.  I got this job in April 2010 in large part because I wrote so much about shopping online. However, in the last 6 months or so, I’ve become way more interested in the experience of shopping and delivery, and less so in the actual items being purchased. Did I have to call customer service for any reason? What was that experience like? It’s all part of the equation that equals a number that indicates whether or not a customer will go back and shop at the same website twice.

I will be talking about packaging, and how items arrive. As a buyer, does your perception of the quality of service get affected by seeing something like this packing list upon opening the box?  As a seller, do you think your customers might look upon your services differently upon encountering something like this?

I have been photographing the stages of opening all of my packages from online retailers in recent months. Some are impressive and some are really disappointing. I have also taken notice of some really awful online shopping experiences – so bad that I never actually made the purchase.

This is a project in progress, I intend on creating a report card for each online shop to measure them against one another in the best possible manner, while recognizing that they may offer vastly different things. The feel of each brand might be different. Amazon isn’t really trying to be high end, but Neiman Marcus definitely seems to give that message. Do the packages I receive when ordering from these sites reflect their message?

I’m really interested in any input others might have on this project. What factors should I consider? What websites should I try out?

I look forward to suggestions!

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2012 Holiday Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on December 20, 2012

My turn for a holiday wishlist. I’m very lucky and have already received and opened gifts from my husband’s family and I have already received so many amazing things, many from my Amazon Wishlist. I know people think it is boring to buy from wishlists, but I really love receiving things I picked for myself but probably wouldn’t spend my own money on – luxury stuff, beauty items, etc.

Anyway, the blog holiday wishlist is another beast. I’m going all out on some things I would never ask for. However, some of these aren’t bad at all.

Philip Crangi Trinket Box from the Target+Neiman Marcus holiday collection. This is currently $69.99, but since it isn’t sold out, I’m waiting for it (and some of it’s friends in that collection) to go on sale before I get one of my own.

Prada Flower-Applique Spazzolato Oxford. These are on sale at Neiman Marcus for $904. I would wear these to death. They are beautiful.

Antique Owl Watch Necklace from Fred Flare. A hot deal at $24. So cute.

OMG also from Fred Flare, this total fake McQueen studded clutch. $24.99!

A puppy! I only want a rescue dog though. Smaller than 15 lbs full-grown would be good.

The name is spelled incorrectly, but the Alexander Wang Jaime Chastity Satchel is still fabulous. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $925.

Finally, I would like Petra Island in upstate New York. On the island are 2 buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The island is heart-shaped. I am obsessed. I have been plotting a bigger blog post about it but I have to put it in my wishlist first. Does anyone have a spare $20 million to give me?

Happy holidays everyone. I am traveling for a bit but will be back to write my recaps before the end of 2012.

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Christian Louboutin Lady Peep Geek Pump

by Jamie Sanford on August 18, 2012

Shoe party of 1 today. Check out other shoe parties here.

I got an email from Neiman Marcus to show me this shoe in particular, and I’m sort of upset about the name?

It seems crappy to call it Geek. I think it should be Circuitry or something. Christian Louboutin Lady Peep Geek Pump, $1,695 at Neiman Marcus.

Either way, it is incredibly fabulous. I could not walk in these at all, but I am especially enamored with the detail of the metallic red at the bottom of the toe opening. Classy touch there, Mr. Louboutin.

I will have a bigger Christian Louboutin shoe party coming up soon. I love so many pairs in the new fall collection. I am also living right now for some Prada and Miu Miu shoes, all of which are well beyond my price range.

What do you think of the Geek?

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