Chief executive officer of Alton Lane, Colin Hunter and director and retail industry principal of Netsuite, Matthew Rhodus led a casual Q&A on mapping the roadmap to customer experience nirvana.
Alton Lane, an experiential tailor, is focused on bringing customers bespoke treatment in man-friendly showrooms featuring bars, big screens and cutting-edge technology. It’s all about the consumer. Powered by Netsuite, Alton Lane catalogues its customer data to build brand loyalty and provide seamless experiences in the store, while also gathering insights into the behavior of their shopper.
During a scheduled appointment, customers are measured by 3-D body-scan technology that gathers over 300 measurements in about 30 seconds for built-to-order items. “We provide a hyper-personalized supply chain,” said Hunter, “We order unique fabric for every single customer. We’re able to tailor where we produce the garment based on their preferences and give the customer insight into the supply chain so they know where their garment is during every point in the process.”
With commuting showrooms, locations in 13 cities and mobile platforms, Alton Lane centers its efforts on two basic concepts: being convenient and being cool. This is informed of course, by customer data collection. “If we can make better recommendations, if we know the customer’s shopping history, what games they like to watch on T.V., certain recommendations can have certain enhancements on their experience; they’re going to appreciate that even more,” said Hunter.
In regards to convenience? “We make sure that we have a dynamic supply chain that is always improving. Where previously there was a five-week turnaround on a previous item, we can make sure there’s a three-week turnaround on the next item,” Hunter said.
With comprehensive data collection encompassing hundreds of data points for thousands of products, Hunter faced an obstacle. Data analysis is time consuming and can borrow time from areas of business that demand attention. “That’s the problem with retail, if you follow the status quo you won’t achieve disruption in your industry, to get out of the status quo requires efficiency,” Hunter said.
Rhodes noted that not all brands are as young — or nimble — as Alton Lane. He prompted Hunter to shed advice to have digital marketers not be inhibited by the amount of data accessible.
“Start somewhere, and start today,” Hunter said. While reshaping a brand can be time intensive and metrics can be distracting, Hunter advised to keep the customer the priority. “That factors into what data is important and what data factors into personalization and enhancing the customer’s experience, and empowering our employees with the tools they need to deliver not just customer satisfaction, but customer surprise and delight at every single turn. It starts with putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.”