Fashion Digital has come a long way from its original inception in October 2012 when it was a one-day event bridging the gap between fashion retailers and technology. This year it was a three-day event (Oct 20-22) with the same task in mind: sharing a plethora of information on eCommerce strategy and bridging fashion retail with technology.
The event had more than 80 speakers and over 900 attendees featuring executives from top retailers and vendors such as Alex and Ani, VF Corporation, Steve Madden, Deloitte, Bronto, Google, and so many others.
Catherine Sadler, who gave a motivating and informative welcome message, kicked off the first day. She has been influential in branding the fashion giants Banana Republic and Coach, as well as others. Her key advice was adapting to change and offering a meaningful customer experience.
The next panel that we were able to exhibit was the “Walk in Our Shoes: Essentials for Re-Platforming Madness” panel. It was a great discussion that stressed various different issues to address when re-platforming. These issues included examining the costs and the native features that are available.
Every platform is designed with a different out-of-the-box experience and it is crucial to understand the desired website capabilities in order to make implementation seamless and reduce the need for external add-ons and extensions.
Furthermore, the importance of testing and metrics were stressed in order to monitor website performance as well as comparing results to the other platforms. E commerce re-platforming is more than just changing your website, it’s equivalent to a business transformation program.
The rest of the day one included numerous panels on a variety of topics including acquisition, technology, eCommerce strategy, even the rise of Instagram models and the disruption in the fashion industry. The first day was concluded by a reception hosted by Corra at TAO Downtown, which was a great time and allowed for some great networking.
The fun continued on day two as a number of interesting topics were explored in detail including some case studies and market research that was mind blowing.
A panel that really stood out was the “How Top LatAm Retailer Dafiti Grew ‘Full-Price’ Sales Transactions” case study. Dafiti, top Latin America retailer, was able to implement personalization via Jetlore by investing in technology that provided adaptive product discovery in daily newsletters.
To explain the concept in simpler terms, if a customer shopped or searched for a certain product , their newsletter would be customized with related products. The results were staggering as revenue per opened email went up by 14.6% and even more so on days with limited promotion, offering increased profit margins.
As someone who is very interested in statistics and the impact of the holiday season, Bronto’s keynote was a real delight. Jim Davidson, Head of Research at Bronto Software, gave an insightful presentation on holiday related statistics.
- Millennials are a crucial target market during the holiday season, especially Black Friday.
- Free shipping has risen as the norm during the holidays as 38% of shoppers will not buy if free shipping isn’t offered. Only 18% of online-only retailers plan to offer free shipping for any purchase throughout the holiday season.
- Nearly two-thirds of consumers will use mobile devices to search for promotions and coupons. Almost a quarter of consumers will make a purchase on their mobile device during the holiday season.
The full holiday report is available online, courtesy of Bronto.
Day 2 concluded with an interactive session on SEM. It touched upon various metrics to look at and tools to take advantage of. For example, geotargetting in Google Adwords can lead to tremendous increases in conversion and ROI.
The moral of this session was that you should always be experimenting with your marketing. Find what works, find what doesn’t and allocate your budget accordingly. The goal is to receive the highest return possible for every dollar you spend on advertising.
The last day began with a real treat with the “Walk the Line: Balancing Fashion Innovation with ROI”. With technology constantly improving, it is important to be on top of the latest trends in terms of consumer acquisition, platform technology, delivery, hyper-personalized digital shopping, and other forms of innovation.
The most common theme was embracing an omnichannel approach. While this term has been rising , it is important to understand what it really is and according to Josh Ehrens of VF Corporation with more than 30 brands, “It’s not omnichannel, it’s retail.”
The remainder of the day was bittersweet as we made our way through various closing panels and even more goodbyes. Overall, it was a very informative event, especially for fashion retailers. I’m sure everyone that attended learned at least a handful of new things through professionals with lifetime of experience. Great job to Sandy Hussain for organizing a great event that has grown significantly since she first started it.