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RetailX Stream roundup: Direct relationship with the customer

Through an amalgamation of research, interviews and analysis – our exclusive RetailX Stream 6-part series focuses on one of the major industry topics of the year: Direct-to-Consumer. 

During our first episode, we zoom in on our rigorous consumer research and early themes around moving Direct-to-Consumer.

Digital Editor, Scarlette Isaac, notes the key highlights of the episode. 

Rachel Henwood, Senior Sales Consulting Director, EMEA at Oracle Retail discusses sustainability: 

“All of our customers are talking to us about sustainability at the moment and I think only yesterday there was an article on the BBC website about ASOS and Primark’s approach to being more sustainable moving forward. It really is a hot topic at the moment.”

“There’s a lot of retailers out there at the moment wondering how to approach sustainability and how technology can help them do it – and really how they can report on doing it as well.” 

On reasons for shopping online

“I was surprised not to see experience rated highly as a reason to shop online because I think experience is important when you’re purchasing, be it online or instore.” 

Host, Ian Jindal, suggested that this could be down to terminology, with consumers classing “convenience” as part of a frictionless checkout experience, for example. 

“I think there’s a growing view that if you’re shopping online you just want it to work,” he added. 

“So the absence of drama…the absence of difficulty is all the experience needs. I don’t need to be ‘wowed’ 99/100 times but I do need it to work 99/100 times.” 

Nadine Neatrour, Director of Marketing at Selfridges on brands moving to D2C: 

“The biggest difficulties would probably be knowing how to do it, so the environment, the technology, the tools, the budgets – understanding the marketing mix, the channel mix; how to even profile customers in order to target them and really understand them. 

“I think building that initial customer base, directly, is the first challenge. They need to reach a point of scale before they can really learn from that data. That’s always really challenging because I think of brands underestimate the investment that’s required to reach that scale and then you’re fighting that classic case of we haven’t got the right tools, we haven’t got the money to invest in those tools and it’s an uphill battle because your expectation is greater than your input.” 

Sally Heath Minto, digital director at Revolution Beauty on technology as an enabler: 

“You asked, we listened. It’s definitely been a mantra to our business that whatever we delvelp, whatever we do, whatever we focus on comes from a starting point. What data is telling us that the consumer wants this? What are we hearing? And then we test and learn and go from there. We’ve got access to more data than ever. We use that as our compass.” 

Martin Francis, global digital GM at FitFlop:

“I think everyone is building up the data capabilities within their businesses and we’re all getting to a better stage with that –  we’re all on different parts of that path. But we probably haven’t crossed the rubicon on that one yet and I think that’s an opportunity.

On metrics

“I think margin per customer would be interesting and I would look at marketing. So a lifetime customer acquisition cost, some kind of metric around that.” 

Final thoughts from Henwood: 

“We’re definitely seeing more interesting emerging KPIs which tend to be forward looking rather than backward looking. So the kind of things we’ve been introducing into our solutions  are customer lifetime value and next predicted purchase date. Overall, it’s providing retailers with the data and the ability to make decisions based on the KPIs that we’re presenting to them.” 

To find out about further approaches, solutions and challenges in moving D2C, you can watch the full webinar here.

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