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RetailX Stream Roundup: Global operations, luxury & data

RetailX Stream is a brand new 6-part series aimed to help retailers and brands navigate the perplexing yet rewarding world of direct-to-consumer.

In this episode, we were joined by special guests Mira Samani, Head of Global Digital Strategy and Planning at global drinks brand Diageo and Rachel Glynn, Head of Ecommerce at luxury fashion label Radley London. 

Our panel considers data as a “seventh sense” and how it can be used to identify the pain-points of the customer journey. We also zoom in on global operations – as well as the challenges that exist around being a D2C luxury brand. 

Digital Editor, Scarlette Isaac, notes the key areas of discussion. 

Mira Samani, Head of Global Digital Strategy and Planning at global drinks brand Diageo on approaching technology changes:

“I think the most important thing for brands to take into consideration is if they make that bold decision to go direct-to-consumer – hold onto the fact that it’s a bold decision and do not try and bolt on any of the technology, any of the experiences that you currently have in a B2B setup. 

“Your customer is very likely to abandon your brand altogether if you’re not delivering an adequate, let alone off the charts experience. My advice would be to think about your end-to-end experience with a blank piece of paper and how you, as a consumer, would want to be serviced by that particular brand, no barriers. And then start to build your journeys from that. 

“Brands who choose to go D2C don’t have the burden of legacy technology and legacy systems holding them back – because it is a bold move and it will require investment.” 

Rachel Glynn, Head of Ecommerce at luxury fashion label Radley London on balancing wholesale and the store: 

“Wholesale has always been a big part of our business and department stores have been key. It’s a really interesting space because there are a variety of customers so we definitely see it as a way in to talking to new people. We can’t have coverage everywhere in terms of stores and being in our department store but managing distribution carefully means that we can cover more of the country which I think is important. 

Despite the seismic shift to online, Glynn told us that there is still a desire amongst luxury shoppers to go and feel the product before making that investment purchase. 

“I think in some ways outlet stores are becoming the new department stores. The destination space that people go to in terms of a recreational shopping trip. There will always be the need for that retail space – but equally we have our brand stores which are a separate experience and you want something different from those as a customer,” she concluded. 

Rachel Henwood, Senior Sales Consulting Director, EMEA at Oracle Retail on luxury D2C:

“It’s about having an authentic experience with the brand and buying into the heritage as well. If you look at any luxury retailers’ website there’s always the heritage of where it came from that’s highlighted on there.” 

On brand store benefits

“The added elements I would highlight are the ability to offer services which you might not get in a department store. For example, personal shopping, being able to book an appointment online and having the outfits instore, ready for you to look at. Also, making the shopping environment safe for customers as well because some customers are still quite reluctant to go into stores as well so it’s making them feel comfortable in the environment.” 

Check out the full episode here for further actionable insight from our panel of D2C leaders.

Or register for upcoming webinars to find out more about D2C in all its glory. 

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