Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
We admit we were a bit confused when we first heard about E-Style, the new shopping service on offer at Bayshore Shopping Centre. Will these E-Stylists be dressed like elves, annoyingly following us around and pointing out gift suggestions? Do we need an iPad to use it?
The answer to both questions is no. E-Style is a service shoppers can access from home or the mall. It’s an application for mobile devices, but it’s (currently) only available on the iPads at Bayshore’s E-Style Lounge. The project is backed by local high-tech hero Sir Terry Matthews, with marketing fronted by Ottawa’s own supermodel Herieth Paul, so there was a bit of stargazing to be had at the November 14 launch (not to mention cupcakes and mimosas).
Here’s how it works: if you prefer to start your list at home, send the E-Stylists at an email (E-Stylists@BayshoreShoppingCentre.com) with your gifting scenario. They will work with you to develop a list of gift options and send you an email with a list of items from Bayshore stores.
Your other option is to pop by the chic lounge on the main floor of the mall, where you’ll find comfy modern chairs — and four E-Stylists manned with iPads, ready to start hunting down the best gifts for those on your list. Search functions include age, gender, and price range; once the information is entered, E-Style will present a list of options from Bayshore, with prices and store location info, based on information submitted from individual stores. The list can then be sent to your mobile device, and you can carry on with your shopping — no pestering elves (or E-Stylists, cute as they are) to follow you around.
In short, E-Style combines the convenience of shopping online with the sentimentality of personally Christmas shopping (no word yet on whether the service will extend beyond the holiday season).
E-Style atBayshore Shopping Centre. Monday to Friday 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 100 Bayshore Dr., 613-829-7491. www.bayshoreshoppingcentre.com