Identifying and responding to a specific customer need is how Levi Strauss & Co. got into the denim business in the first place — they made riveted blue jeans designed to withstand the rigors of gold mining.
Today, the company is essentially doing the same thing, but in a “world that has changed dramatically,” said Marc Rosen, executive vice president and president of global e-commerce at the company during the WWD Digital Forum last week.
Rosen said the retail landscape is vastly different than it was even 15 years ago. “Retail has changed, and the scales have tipped,” he explained adding that as companies develop a seamless, integrated experience for the consumer, Levi Strauss is also transforming itself while aggressively setting goals that include having sales grow by ten times current levels.
To get there, Rosen said the company is going to “solve real consumer problems,” including fit, style and getting merchandise when they want it. To this end, the company is soon to launch an app aimed at “consumers who open their closets and ask: what am I going to wear today?”
And while “fit is a technical issue,” what to wear is a style issue. The app will include scanning technology that is fed into a user profile that makes poor-fitting and the wrong sizing a non-issue. The program sort of works like a personal shopper where, once the data profile is complete, outfits are sent directly to the user.
The platform also includes a “fit finder” feature to make suggestions, and includes Levi’s and Dockers branded goods. Over time, a wardrobe is built and “coordination options” of different outfits are created. Rosen showed a short video of “Adam” who used the application to build his wardrobe. “Adam doesn’t want a brand solution,” Rosen said. “He wants a closet solution.”
The program also leverages social media. For example, it can connect “Adam” to his colleagues via LinkedIn to see what they’re wearing, and then make additional suggestions for outfits and coordinated looks.
Part of this solution also ties into fulfillment. Consumer need and want their apparel quickly. And that could “mean the next day — or the same day,” Rosen said adding that the company is reimagining fulfillment from its 35 full-line stores as well as its retail partners that are across the globe.
“It’s about bringing a unique solution to the consumer,” Rosen said, adding that is exactly what the company did 162 years ago.