“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.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
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