Communications for retailers

I am a boringly “classic” dresser.  I say this not out of any confessional impulse, but to make a point.  When I find basics that fit both my body and my lifestyle, I will buy in multiples.  I am not alone in this, and many of the places I shop at will produce the same basic item in a few waves: month one will showcase colors that remind the shopper of the sea, month two will be a flower garden, and month three will bring autumnal shades.  Same basic shirt, completely different color palettes.

So, riddle me this: how hard would it be for retailers who cater to types like me to enable shoppers to “subscribe” to an item?  For instance, I am currently enamored of this tee:

Based on past experience, I am pretty sure this retailer is very likely to have this item in another set of colors in a month or two.  As a shopper, I could do one of two things: I stalk the retailer’s website to see if anything has changed (this does not sound like any fun at all, especially since the link is probably going to change,  and therefore stalking is not a good plan for me) or I tell myself to check in again in a month or two, completely forget about it, and then realize six months later that I probably missed my window.

But if the retailer realized that they had a built-in customer base for their basics, a customer base who would gladly click on a link to “tell me when this specific item comes out in additional colors,” I would click, the retailer could send me a nice note when additional colors are available, and I would buy.  Information that I want would be delivered to me in such a way that would benefit both me and the retailer: I get clothes that I like, they get a sale.

How hard is that, really?

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