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IRX 2013 PREVIEW: Interview with Jan Mehmet of FitFlop

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Ahead of our annual expo, we’ve asked some of our key speakers for a sneak preview of what they’ll be telling delegates to IRX 2013. Today we feature Jan Mehmet, global ecommerce director, FitFlop.

Internet Retailing: What will you be speaking about at Internet Retailing Expo, and what are you looking forward to at the conference?

Jan Mehmet, global ecommerce director, FitFlop: I’ll be speaking on the challenges and considerations of internationalisation. The expo is always a fantastic opportunity to see what’s new to market from a technology perspective but also a great opportunity for like minded people to come together and share ideas.

IR: What’s your take on multichannel?

JM: Multichannel will not even be a question for businesses in the very near future. Actually, it shouldn’t be now but often there are challenges (read costs) associated with it that make it difficult for some companies to transition. It has never been more apparent that with the advances consumers have experienced, even in the last five years, their expectation has evolved and it’s not enough for retailers to operate a siloed ecommerce or retail channel.

IR: What advantages do you think ecommerce gives the customer?

JM: Fundamentally it’s speed and access for the consumer. The consumer has never had a time where they literally can access anything from anywhere – almost. This allows them a to connect with brands and businesses in ways that weren’t possible previously

IR: What’s the most interesting initiative that FitFlops has implemented in bring the High Street and virtual world together?

JM: For Fitflop as a wholesale brand in the main, ecommerce represents an important opportunity to have a direct relationship with the end consumer. The knowledge that comes with that is something that really is essential for all brands but in doing so we also begin to influence the business overall because our understanding of the consumer becomes more acute.

IR: How much of a role has ecommerce played in the internationalisation of FitFlops?

JM: It’s playing an important role in ensuring the brand message is universal. The brand can be found in 55 countries right now through wholesale channels and the intention is to globalise online. Having launched the US and EU the next continent on the agenda is Asia.

IR: What were are the main challenges that you found along the way?

JM: All aspects of doing business cross border or locally in different countries require good planning. Product, marketing and fufillment all need consideration but the great opportunity of online is to test assumptions as well to ensure you can be nimble.

IR: How do you ensure the customer has a positive ecommerce experience?

JM: Usability, analytics and testing. Be really focused on making sure all barriers are removed to ensure the consumer has the journey they want and the Brand can create the experience it’s attempting to ensure its consumers have. And it’s not just about the front-end experience – every touchpoint needs consideration.

IR: What new areas or innovations is FitFlop monitoring at present, and how will these improve the ecommerce journey in the future?

JM: Behavioural-based initiatives will continue to play their part and the big changes will come from advances in motion based products and those which allow users to interact in greater ways whilst on site. We work in a format that tends to be quite linear so there’s huge opportunity to make that experience more effective and engrossing.

Jan Mehmet is speaking in the International and Cross-border Conference at IRX 2013, to be held at the NEC in Birmingham on March 20 and 21. Jan will be speaking at 11am on March 21. For more details visit www.internetretailingexpo.com.

 

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