LONDON — Personal relationships, customization — of merchandise and data — and a sense of community are key to a thriving business, according to retailers speaking at the WWD Retail 20/20 forum that took place at Ham Yard Hotel here on Tuesday.
Retail may be in flux, but innovative approaches to reading data, a rapid response to customers’ needs and tailor-making retail environments — and software — to capture shoppers’ attention is critical in an increasingly crowded and competitive environment.
Some 130,000 new e-commerce businesses opened on Shopify alone in 2016, according to Apu Gupta, chief executive officer and cofounder of the digital marketing platform Curalate.
Below are the top takeaways from the 10 speakers, with full coverage of the event to follow in early May.
— Bricks-and-mortar stores aren’t as much profit centers as they are marketing opportunities. — Tom Chapman, founder and co-executive chairman, Matchesfashion.com
— “Experiential — it’s just a new way of retailing properly.” — Paul Wheatley, global property director, Lush
— Service is an integral part of the retail experience. Customers will remember it more than they will the product. — Chris Sanderson, cofounder, The Future Laboratory
— We used to be androgynous, now we’re more gender-specific, and we need to keep pushing on the female platform. — Richard Hurren, vice president, North Europe, Levi Strauss & Co.
— How do you embrace data across an entire organization? It needs to be chopped up and embellished. If data use isn’t symbiotic across an organization, “then Amazon will kill us all.” — Charlie Cole, chief digital officer and vice president Tumi and global chief e-commerce officer, Samsonite
— E-commerce is at a tipping point. It’s 20 years old, and sites are not built for browsing or discovery. “How do you navigate when there’s so much on offer?” — Apu Gupta, chief executive officer and cofounder, Curalate.
— The average order value is $1,900, and the customer shops up to 10 times a year. — Deborah Nicodemus, chief executive officer Moda Operandi
— “I hate the word ‘store.’ That word should be forbidden — it should be banned.” — Lana Hopkins, chief executive officer and founder, Mon Purse
— “Have a higher purpose, a cult manifesto, facilitate people’s dreams and desires and have a space — physical or online.” — Sharmadean Reid, founder and chief executive officer Wah Nails
— The digitized shop floor is still an immature concept. — Nicolaj Reffstrup, chief executive officer, Ganni