Last week at #MBFWA we attended a seminar hosted by Ragtrader’s editor, Assia Benmedjdoub, featuring Matchesfashion.com buying director Natalie Kingham, style icon Catherine Baba, and Bergdorf Goodman buyer Aisha Bennett, on achieving success in the fickle world of fashion. As an Australian-founded technology company serving the eCommerce world, we’re especially keen to get insights from this panel to help our local retailers go global. These are the two lessons that stood out for us:
Balancing Brand DNA with Commercial Success
One of the challenges that designers faced as they grow is the dilution of their brand DNA, or what you could call the essence of who and what their label is all about. Natalie brought to light the reality for many designers, “As a designer you have to do everything from A to Z... but designers want to be creative, rather than worry about production and delivering.” Retailers face a similar challenge online; as they grasp to find the balance between commercial objectives and creativity.
To retain brand DNA, both designers and retailers must find ways to avoid being dragged down in labor-intensive areas of the business. One way to start would be to deploy a scalable shipping and fulfillment solution, to help streamline and automate the post-purchase process. This way, more time can be devoted to nurturing creativity that will help fuel the future of the brand, without sacrificing the operations of the business.
Managing the Culture of See Now, Buy Now
At one point, Assia posed this question, “How do you manage the expectations of today’s ‘see now, buy now’ culture?”, and the consensus among the panel is that designers and retailers need to be agile, and adjust their business model to adapt to changing consumer habits. Instead of approaching collections based on traditional seasons, the panelists encouraged designers to be smart, and think about the requirements of a global consumer and how, and when, they would shop. Applying this thinking is important to retailers as well as they grow their eCommerce business – without the correct foundations to execute on all the promises you make to different segments of shoppers, you’ll risk losing out to another retailer who can do it better.
Temando helps retailers keep up with ‘see now, buy now’ shoppers by partnering up with a wide range of couriers who can perform deliveries ranging from 1-hour to same day, and our custom branded tracking portal and auto generated customer communications mean that your customers are receiving a consistent brand experience regardless of when, and where, they are. As Aisha said, “Consumers are savvy, don't want to miss that first window where you have their attention. So delivering on time is important.”
Because fashion “is about presenting a fantasy”, according to Catherine, offering something that resonates with customers must be at the forefront of everything that designers and retailers do. When you fail to do this, Aisha believes that it then becomes “a customer service issue”, which impacts and ripples through the rest of the business. Natalie neatly summarised our thoughts when she underlined the issues the fashion world faced today, “Thinking globally and shipping globally is working well for us. We’re not big on mark downs.”
What’s next: Find out what global shoppers today expect from their online shopping experience by reading our report, The State of Shipping in Commerce.