Executives from Net-a-porter, Spring and custom 3-D-printed headphone company Normal gathered Wednesday to discuss personalization online, customer acquisition, mobile shopping and the omnichannel experience.
“We don’t have control over the whole shopping experience,” said David Tisch, cofounder of iOS marketplace Spring, at the panel hosted by the UJA Federation of New York’s fashion and tech division at Normal’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. “While we can’t touch every angle because the brands fulfill orders, we are super focused on extending this to allow brands to tell their own story.”
From the discussion, it was clear that each of the three companies on the “Tech Talk: Fashion & E-commerce” panel played a distinct role in the online ecosystem. Spring is a mobile-first marketplace that works with 700 brands, Net-a-porter serves as a luxury, multibrand online retailer and Normal launched as a direct-to-consumer headphone company last summer.
And although the nature of their respective businesses differ, Tisch, Normal founder and chief executive officer Nikki Kaufman and Net-a-porter’s vice president of marketing for the Americas Heather Kaminetsky agreed on one thing: the importance of mobile.
“You cannot order Normals online,” Kaufman said of the product that’s sold only through its app or in the store. “We wanted to make it simple for customers to order anywhere in the world. [The app] is the only way you can order if you aren’t physically here.” Spring exists only as an app, and Net-a-porter maintains an app and has made significant investments in its mobile Web experience in the past year.