On Tuesday 14th June we joined Drapers for their event delving deep into the shape, figuratively and technologically, of things to come. As we’re deeply invested in data as a driver of growth, this seemed the perfect event for us as it brought together some of the biggest names in ecom and omnichannel fashion talking about their visions for the future.
Here are some of our takeaways.
Elissa Quinby, senior director retail marketing at Quantum Metric, and formerly of Amazon, spoke about how she advises clients to prioritise the customer experience by testing new digital innovations. This is particularly important as the switch from in-store to online shopping has brought with it pitfalls for consumers and brands alike. As Elissa said, guess work is not enough, “Data is imperative, moving away from assumptions helps a business be more agile and reactive.”
With speakers from M&S and Reformation the session on “Connected commerce and the constant evolution of omnichannel” really grabbed us.
Just as the speakers agreed, at MediaVision we are strong advocates of a customer-focused shopping experience that should be able to embrace changing consumer demand. They spoke of leveraging tech and connecting data to drive growth.
More omnichannel insights came from Chris Koeppel of CommerceHub, who spent 16 years at Nordstrom.
This talk explored key learnings around building an outstanding omnichannel business. Chris discussed challenges from curating localised selections that speak to the consumer as an individual, enabling convenience and speed. Chris talked about how to shape a collaborative approach and build in the flex that will allow your brand to keep up with today’s ‘now economy’ consumers. He also espoused the merits of continuing to invest in your customer experience. In a ‘now’ economy, your competitors are pretty much anybody, so it’s important to focus on what keeps consumers loyal and maintain those standards.
Mitch Healey of Gymshark discussed the value of bringing together your community and the long-term power of IRL experiences in building consumer relationships and brand affinity, as the brand prepares to open its flagship store.
One note is that Mitch believes that a change in retail has come about as a result of changes in landlords – COVID has led them to accept shorter term leases, which means there’s less risk for e-commerce brands expanding into brick and mortar, which could lead to more e-com businesses trialling a real store. But, he did warn that in order for the high street to improve, it needs to offer things that the website doesn’t.
This is something we recommend to not just our ecom clients, but to many who have multiregional presence is localization. As Mitch said, global consistency means having one brand around the world with different experiences in each place. In Gymshark’s case, they look at what the demand is in each area, and what kind of gyms are the most common, but this could be amended whatever vertical your business is in.
It would not be a future of fashion event without the word of the moment, “sustainability”. The audience was rapt as Kirst Keoghan of eBay discussed the “circular economy”.
From the impact of the cost of living crisis on consumer decisions to shop more sustainably and the new Love Island partnership, this talk explored the growing interest in preloved clothing and how to remove barriers for both consumers and smaller brands trying to address economic challenges alongside the environmental impact of fashion.
The rise of eBay and sustainable brands in general is undeniable. From Gen Z to Boomers the appeal of saving the environment as well as money is driving this growth.
We’ve seen it too, looking at the brands with the biggest share of search, sustainable brands are growing fast, forcing legacy fashion brands to get on board or risk losing their loyal customer base.
One element that came up in all the sessions we took part in was technology. From NFTs to merchandising to searches, analysing data is key to finding out and giving your customer exactly what they want.