“Data is the new black” was an apropos statement for RichRelevance chief executive officer and cofounder David Selinger to open with given the number of fashion marketers in the audience.
Selinger, an expert in the field of e-commerce data analytics and personalization, may have labeled himself “among the people who are geeky and don’t belong here,” but his services are in demand for fashion retailers ranging from Target to Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue to Barneys New York.
He began his career leading Amazon’s research and development team, implementing the feature that recommends items to buy based on customers’ previous purchases. The program increased Amazon’s annual profits by $50 million in 2003.
“My goal today is to reduce big data down and make it more tangible,” he said of the black analogy, noting that data is timeless, always appropriate and offers a solution when nothing else will do. It also possesses increasing volume, increasing cost for which to store said volume and the ability to derive insights of one’s customers.
“It can redefine our relationship with our customers, and more importantly, it can redefine the way we operate as a business,” he said.
Together with Paco Underhill, author of “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping,” Selinger identified three attributes of the “superconsumer.” She is more informed, having spent hours on the Internet researching a product before she sets foot into the store. She is also less loyal to brands. “It’s now much more about value exchange and getting the right price and quality, not just the right label,” he said. And, not surprisingly, she is more connected — via computers, mobile devices and social media platforms.
With superconsumers, Selinger said there were several dos and don’ts for retailers. First, figuring out the context of omnichannel, a term he and Underhill coined at the NRF’s 2011 forum to describe the combined multiple ways retail transactions take place. For example, how to credit specific sales associates with customers’ online purchases. Stores can use this information to identify their most loyal and valuable customers when they enter a store, and to find ways to keep them there and get them to buy more. It’s not always about offering a discount, Selinger noted.
“Data is all too frequently confused with coupons and price, but you can also use it to develop a relationship,” he said.
This plays into listening instead of yelling. For example, Selinger noted that Procter & Gamble has 10 employees who respond to all tweets and use the content to change the way it markets to customers.
He advised retailers to be open to testing and optimization, “to blend the art and act of merchandising with the science of data.”
Selinger cited an office goods chain that invested $250,000 in running 25 tests, 20 of which were successful and increased sales by more than $100 million. He also cited the trend toward personalization.
To that end, he advised retailers to not leave their practical instincts behind. For example, sharing a purchase with all your Facebook friends probably won’t achieve much, but sharing a meaningful review with select influencers in one’s network could have major results.
“My mentor Jeff Bezos once told me, ‘At the expense of everything else, don’t focus on your competitors, have a laser focus on your customers.’ With all the data coming at us from every direction, we should focus on the only person who matters, our customer.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye