Harvey Nichols is offering Live Shopping to online customers for the first time as part of a strategic partnership with retail technology company Hero. The service enables customers shopping at harveynichols.com to connect with an available stylist at one of the retailer’s seven UK stores, as well as its Dublin store, at the click of a button.

Through real-time chat and live video streaming, and by understanding the shopper’s preferences, a stylist can share advice and showcase new collections as if the customer was with them in the store. ‘Online customers can interact with in-store stylists not only via instant messaging, but also via photo sharing and live video streaming, allowing online customers to receive the full Harvey Nichols experience with a personalised service and curated recommendations even when shopping from the comfort of their own homes,’ says the retailer.

The proposition is available to both UK and international customers, and is made possible by empowering hundreds of stylists and associates with the digital tools they need to assist the millions of shoppers online during peak website traffic hours.

Along with Live Shopping, Harvey Nichols and Hero have also launched Black Book, a solution empowering sales associates from Harvey Nichols to forge deeper, continuous connections with customers via messaging, while using artificial intelligence to ensure that associates are communicating with customers at the right time with the right recommendations. Customers invited to Black Book can opt-in to stay connected with their preferred stylist in and out-of-the store, allowing customers to shop from Harvey Nichols and discover the latest product offerings from their favourite brands, wherever they are in the world.

‘Closing the service gap between online and in-store is a critical part of our retail strategy, and we are delighted to be partnering with Hero to offer our online customers the same level of luxury, personalised service that they would experience at our Harvey Nichols stores,’ says Pearson Poon, executive director at Harvey Nichols. ‘Our commitment to evolving our digital strategy has resulted in a minority investment being made in Hero by our Asia-based private investment fund, and we look forward to exploring continued innovation with Hero to bring to reality our vision of merging physical and digital channels to offer best-in-class customer experience.’

The two companies will continue to work together to explore retail technology solutions for both online and in-store.