Online Retail Insights: An Old Approach to the New TJMaxx.com
This past September saw TJX quietly launch TJMaxx.com, and with it a new approach to the discount online apparel model. While the company scrapped its first foray into e-commerce eight years ago, it appears this new venture is a focused attempt to recreate the "You never know what you'll find" attraction of its brick-and-mortar business on the web — and you may be surprised by the experience it delivers.
The thrill of the unknown is what really draws so many customers to TJX stores (T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods). What kind of deal will they find today that wasn't there yesterday and is simply too good to last until tomorrow? TJX has successfully applied this model across its retail properties in the U.S. While TKMaxx, T.J. Maxx's U.K. counterpart, has had its own e-commerce site for a number of years, it's always remained exclusive to European customers. With the launch of the new TJMaxx.com, TJX has taken the first step in bringing this unique shopping experience to U.S. online consumers.
What's most interesting about TJMaxx.com is the fact that it flies in the face of almost every serious competitor's approach to e-commerce apparel. Where popular flash sites like HauteLook, Gilt and RueLaLa and other discount apparel sites like 6PM.com rely heavily on the brand names they offer to attract customers (6PM's rewards program is named 6PMBrandaholics), TJMaxx.com simply doesn't have to — and it doesn't. Much like the store, TJMaxx.com is broken down by categories such as shoes, dresses and handbags (the site is currently only offering women's apparel and accessories), leaving it up to shoppers to hunt down their next deal. In fact, when a brand name is entered into the search bar, you're directed to the following page:
The fact is that customers have already built a relationship with T.J. Maxx through TJX retail stores. They know the brands will be there because they've already scored their favorite labels at discount prices in-store time and time again. The brand equity T.J. Maxx has built up since its humble beginnings as a stand-alone Zayre store in Hyannis, Mass. in 1956 is clearly translating online, especially given the fact that TJMaxx.com was receiving an average of 500,000 visits each month BEFORE the new online store was even launched.