Sponsored by birdsnest
For many of us, shopping online comes just as naturally as heading into a store.
Some may even say they find it an easier experience. Let’s face it, you don’t have to get out of your pyjamas and it’s perfectly acceptable to shop with a glass of wine in hand (insert Facebook meme here!).
birdsnest has lead the way in Australia with its online shopping customer service experience for many years. The store first launched online in 2008. I can tell you there were not many doing online very well in Australia at that time. Some of those early stores are still operating but most have disappeared.
Online shopping excited me. I saw it then – and continue to see it now – as a retail leveller. I grew up in a regional country town. I knew what it was like to not have access to a wide range of fashion choices. I’d read my beloved Dolly magazine, covet the clothes featured, only to discover that they were only available in Sydney or Melbourne.
In 2017, it doesn’t matter where you live. Online shopping brings the fashion experience to you, whether you’re sitting on the couch on a Friday night in the middle of a city or you’re 10 hours from the nearest town or city and probably won’t get into “town” for weeks or months.
Talk to any fashion-loving woman living remotely in Australia and they’ll tell you how much they love birdsnest – for its huge range of women’s fashion and accessories and for its customer service that helps them feel a little less remote.
If you’ve ever received a parcel from “the Birds”, you’ll know what I mean. It comes with a hand-written note, a cloth bag and a whole lot of care. Now birdsnest has taken that online customer service care factor even further, with the birdsnest Changeroom.
The birdsnest Changeroom has been a huge success – customers love the concept and the retail industry has recognised its genius by awarding the concept Best Online Marketing Initiative at the 2017 Online Retail Industry Awards.
I’ve also given it a big tick.
SY style tip: I do love a shorts outfit for spring-summer. Add a blazer and heels and this is a look that can work for the office or an evening out.
How birdsnest Changeroom works
In a nutshell, birdsnest Changeroom is all about creating a change-room experience in your own home. A try before your buy, if you like. And if you pay with a ZipPay account, there are no upfront fees.
1. Get help to understand what pieces work for you. Before you shop, a good place to start is by completing your style profile. This is such a great exercise, even if you don’t upgrade for the Changeroom experience. The style profile is a detailed survey that takes you through your style personalities, lifestyle/occupation, size, shape, measurements and garment preferences. The end result is captured and you’re given so many buying options based on all those preferences.
2. Add up to $1000 worth of clothing and accessories to your basket. This is the fun bit, yes? That’s exactly what I did while selecting pieces for this photoshoot. I looked at what was new in store, what would be a great addition to my existing wardrobe and what would be fun to try because I really wasn’t sure that it would work.
3. Upgrade to the birdsnest Changeroom. For $9.95 – add this at checkout – you can take advantage of this try-at-home experience.
4. Wait for your haul to arrive. In most parts of Australia, you won’t have to wait too long. My order arrived the next day.
5. Try on your clothes. Do this in natural light, with a great mirror and also take time to see what pieces they’ll go back with in your current wardrobe. Ask an honest friend for their advice.
6. Return the pieces that aren’t quite right for you. Never settle on a purchase. Each piece of clothing you buy should make you feel fabulous when you wear it. Use the supplied, reply paid returns bag to send back any pieces you don’t love.
SY style tip: a relaxed pair of white pants will serve you well all summer long. These are so incredibly flattering and comfortable on.
SY style tip: a white and chambray combination will always be in style for summer. Add tan accessories and a statement earring to make the look pop.
My top 5 tips for buying clothes online
1. Know your measurements. Get out a tape measure and measure your hips, waist and bust. birdsnest provides sizing information on each of the garments listed in its store. These are general guides but, where possible, individual garment measurements for each item are also provided. More info HERE. Keep a note of your measurements in the Notes application of your phone or leave at birdsnest in My Measurements in the sizing guide.
2. Get familiar with which styles of clothes suit your body shape. I know that tube skirts, skinny jeans, shift dresses and tops with a bit of flow around the hip suit my shape, so I feel more confident buying them online. What clothing shapes or styles work best for you? Your current wardrobe will give you a good indication.
3. Read the customer reviews. This is another thing that birdsnest does super well. The customer reviews are really helpful – particularly when it comes to making an educated guess as to whether you need to go up or down a size. I look at the review and it tells me what size the customer bought and what size she normally wears. This helps me to make my decision with more clarity.
4. Buy from a retailer with a returns policy. Even if you’re not using the birdsnest Changeroom service, birdsnest offers a “No Hassles” Returns Guarantee, that includes a $7.95 flat rate, pre-paid return option that’s free the first time you use it*, a 365 Day return window and an easy online returns process. (*available for Australian residents)
5. Don’t be afraid to contact a store’s customer service team for help. This is such a hot tip. There are people to help you – stores want you to be happy with your purchase. They really do. If you have a question about an item or items, phone or email them. I think a lot of people think they’d be “bothering” the customer service team but the truth is that’s what they are there for – to help you!
handpicked by birds Off The Shoulder top (I’m in size 14)
SY style tip: the off-the-shoulder looks are here to stay for now. A super cute print like this strawberry one adds an element of surprise to this trend.
bird keepers beach throw (I’m in size 14)
SY style tip: a beach throw is an essential part of your summer wardrobe – for holidays away or simply “playing resorts” at home. Choose one that can be dressed up or down.
Belle bird Belle Chiffon shift dress (I’m in size 14)
SY style tip: every spring-summer wardrobe needs a party option. Choose a frock that can be double as a work dress after the party’s done and dusted.
birdsnest started as a small bricks-and-mortar boutique in the regional New South Wales town of Cooma. In 2008, despite everyone thinking she was crazy, owner Jane Cay launched online. Not only does birdsnest stock more than 250 brands, it has also developed fashion ranges for eight of its own brands. I’m excited to be the brand ambassador for birdnest’s “nest” of labels this spring-summer. In the outfits in this post, I’ve featured just a taste of what you’ll find in store from those eight labels.
Styling You and birdsnest has one birdsnest Changeroom experience and a $100 gift card to give away to one reader. Total value of this prize is $109.95.
To enter, answer the following questions in the comments below:
Which outfit shown here would you happily add to cart? How would birdsnest Changeroom help you create a better wardrobe?
Entries open on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5am (AEST) and close on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 5pm (AEST). Australian entries only, sorry. The winner of the “answer the question” competition will be judged on originality and creativity. Photos can be uploaded in the comments section. The winner will be emailed and their name will be published here. Entrants must include an email address when the filling in the commenting system below to be eligible to enter. Full terms and conditions here.