RetailX Stream is a six-part series exploring the changing landscape of brands moving direct-to-consumer.
Driven by industry-leading research, expert insight and consumer surveys, each episode looks in detail at key topics within the world of D2C.
We also hear from the likes of WatchShop, Liberty London, Revolution Beauty, Selfridges and FitFlop, as they help us uncover some of the interesting nuances around selling direct to consumer.
Digital Editor, Scarlette Isaac, covers the main highlights of the practitioner-led series.
The first episode focuses on the move to selling direct, including the move from site metrics, to looking at consumer facing metrics as a key commercial shift. We also look at the consumer demand for convenience and range, as well as technology as an enabler.
Nadine Neatrour, Director of Marketing at Selfridges, says: “Experience is a game-changer and the absolute differentiator between brands and the reason why customers shop in particular channels. Brands are starting to see the direct link to retention and profitability from being able to deliver that great experience.”
Sally Heath Minto, digital director at Revolution Beauty, adds: “Digital experience is working out what the problem is – what are you trying to solve? And doing something really bespoke to your business and your customers’ requirements rather than just doing something for the sake of it.”
Our panel of expert retailers and contributors took to the virtual stage to discuss D2C experiences and how industry giants such as Burberry, Selfridges and Revolution Beauty are creating them.
Eric Fergusson, director of ecommerce at Liberty London spoke to us about creating a memorable instore experience: “Simply put, we want to be able to delight our customers and encourage them to discover and buy something which they wouldn’t have bought before or previously considered. If I think in the context of Liberty, the reason is about discovery and curation so it’s about finding and bringing things to our customers which they will intrinsically draw attention and desire to but may not have been aware of. It’s that discovery and delight.”
3. Gathering data and acting upon it
How are brands approaching D2C? In episode 3, we are joined by ecommerce leaders from Situ Live and The Watch Shop as they share personal experience and expertise on D2C data – including key trends, best practices and future growth.
Robin Phillips CEO of The Watch Shop, says: “Increasingly we’re also a marketing partner for the brands and I would say that our core expertise is finding customers for them. We have our own customer database that we can share with the relevant brands and say ‘these are the hotspots in our audience for you.’”
4. Relationships with partners
In this episode our panellists approach data as a ‘seventh sense’ and discuss 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.
Mira Samani, Head of Global Digital Strategy and Planning at global drinks brand Diageo on approaching technology changes: “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.”
5. Luxury – going direct to consumer
In the penultimate episode our panellists discuss to what extent luxury is leading, defining or setting standards for D2C. As an example, we look at New York’s flagship D2C luxury stores including Zegna, lululemon and the M&M store.
Rachel Henwood, Senior Sales Consulting Director, EMEA at Oracle Retail, says: “It’s about creating a fun experience…the brand loyalty will continue from there.”
6. Trends and innovations in D2C
Where is D2C headed? From the rise in AI, to customer insight and changes to the supply chain, this episode considers the future direction of selling D2C.We also discuss the increase in collaborations, with a specific focus on the pop-up shop partnership between Adidas and Gucci.
Rachel Henwood, Senior Sales Consulting Director, EMEA at Oracle Retail, says: “I think we’ll start to hear more about the metaverse – luxury retailers in the US are starting to accept bitcoins as currency. Nobody quite knows what it is yet but everyone is starting to take an interest. We’ll see that snowball. It’s a good time for experimentation.”
Find out more about RetailX Stream here.
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