In a retail landscape that’s brimming with new approaches to commerce, Moda Operandi maintains its appeal to a range of luxury consumers. And while this trunk show model remains the core of its business model, the company continues to broaden its scope of products and services, using analytics and machine learning to inform each endeavor.
Most recently, Moda Operandi incorporated bridal and home goods markets to its offerings. To finalize these strategies, the company’s chief technology officer, Keiron McCammon reviewed shopper insights collected by Zaius, a business-to-consumer CRM software to understand what additions would most resonate with consumers.
Here, McCammon discusses how the company has deployed machine learning to review prospective categories and deliver enhanced consumer support.
WWD: What has been Moda’s approach to data collection? How does it use analytics to inform the shopping journey?
Keiron McCammon: At Moda Operandi, we use Google Analytics 360 for standard web site/e-commerce tracking, however we implemented Zaius nearly three years ago because we needed the ability to analyze and segment users based on behavior across all channels and do more sophisticated attribution modeling. We now use Zaius for all behavioral analytics, and it provides us a 360-degree view of our customers. Using the insights we gain from Zaius, we are able to optimize our website experience and communication across channels because we have everything captured in one place rather than disparate siloes.
WWD: Personalization has been a hot-button topic, especially in the luxury sector. How is Moda using technology to advance customer service?
K.M.: Within Moda Operandi we have a large group of personal stylists who work one-on-one with their clients. We have built a specialized CRM solution to help our stylists support their clients. We have integrated our behavioral data from Zaius into this tool and have developed in-house algorithms leveraging machine learning to recommend products to stylists based on client behavior, who then hand-curate look books for their clients. We also personalize and individualize our site experience and communication across our channels.
WWD: Consumers want to receive packages faster — and be able to track the entire journey to their doorstep. How has the shipping back end changed in recent years to answer these demands?
K.M.: We have continued to optimize our logistics solutions to deliver faster, and we do offer same-day service in Manhattan. Operationally, we are working on scaling our systems so we can provide expedited shipping on a global basis. This requires a number of critical partnerships through the logistics journey. And on the other hand, because of our unique trunk show mode, which remains the largest part of our business, we have to manage delivery timeframes that can stretch into many months as customers pre-order next season’s collections right from the runway. This is counter to the world of fast fashion and is part of what sets Moda apart.
WWD: In your opinion, how is the luxury consumer changing?
K.M.: We definitely see a shifting demographic as a younger consumer enters the luxury arena. Whilst there has been a push to make the runway more of a buy-now experience, we see that customers are still willing to wait for something that is being made just for them.
We also see a global shift in our business driven by the growth of luxury consumers within Asia and China, specifically.
WWD: How has consumer data informed future business strategies and operations?
K.M.: We have always used our Trunkshow data to help drive our buying each season. Based on data we collected, it has led us to expand into the bridal and home categories or simply to expand the selection of designers to buy into for our buy-now-wear-now business.
WWD: What can we expect from Moda Operandi’s interface from a tech standpoint in the next 12 to 24 months?
K.M.: We continue to expand our unique point-of-view to other categories, having just launched home, and with more categories coming very soon. In addition to category expansion, we are looking globally and how we can support our international customers by meeting them where they are, in their language and on the platforms they use and payment methods they expect.
This requires a global, localized e-commerce platform that integrates with local platforms and payment solutions.
WWD: What technology is most exciting to you at the moment? Why?
K.M.: Using sophisticated machine learning algorithms allows us to analyze our data in new and innovative ways to better understand and serve our customers and we are just scratching the surface of how we can leverage these tools across our business, from our web site experience all the way through to optimizing our logistics and everything in-between.
Providing experiences across our channels that are individualized, not just driven by segments, is now becoming feasible and is an area we continue to explore to help our customers find what it is they are looking for. Because we work with designers to bring their collections online right from the runway we are always looking at how technology can help us streamline our production processes and capture the runway experience and the designer’s looks in more engaging ways.
I think conversational commerce is starting to become more feasible. Through our in-house stylists we’ve been engaging in conversational commerce for many years by leveraging actual human beings, but looking at how technology can increase the effectiveness of these conversations and scale the number of conversations we can be having is very interesting.
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