Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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of a sudden, it happened in fashion. The power went from having the ability to run a six-figure sum adver- tisement as the only way to be seen by your audience to utilizing social media every day, every time — ungated — to reach your audience directly. People got excited about social media as the new shiny toy. Originally, it was the place to be seen by your audi- ence; the truth is that social became the first place for brands and retailers to see their audience. And that's how we're engaging our audience. It's about data sci- ence, analytics, and math. We analyze where and when she responds, what she likes, what yields engagement growth, and her patterns of behavior. We're able to see our customer, and this has become a major focal point for us. Early on, we started noticing people were tagging us 225,000 times on social media. We partnered with Curalate to analyze the data. We took social media im- ages from real people, not just models, and put them on the website and in the store, and the results were stag- gering. We generated millions of impressions — and the average order value is 30 percent higher when someone interacts with these images. And, more than 50 percent of our customers view our products on mobile devices. They're coming to us via mobile, interacting with our brand, and we've seen a 30 percent uptick. We've syn- chronized stores and the website, which has proven to provide impactful marketing leverage. Also, social media has taught us that people are now comfortable telling us who they are. Consumers now feel that retail- ers are more like them than they thought. They want to be treated a certain way; for example, don't target me as an 18 to 34 Caucasian male. I am an individual with 50 parts to my personality, and brands should talk to a portion of my heart and understand why I don't identi- fy with only one store. I'm a believer in all but abolishing "touchpoints" in favor of focusing on the customer journey. How does Rebecca Minkoff define and identify the customer journey? MINKOFF: I have a background in soft- ware development, and there's a way in which software developers go about creating the user experience (UX) via a decision tree (e.g., user enters here, if she choos- es this, then this). We employ that methodology in our thinking at Rebecca Minkoff and work through the se- ries of decision trees that our customers may use. With decision tree formatting for our stores, we begin by ri Minkoff is CEO and cofounder of Re- becca Minkoff, one of the fastest grow- ing brands in the fashion industry and the largest global fashion label led by a female millennial designer. Uri is well known as the most for- ward-thinking CEO in fashion, espe- cially when it comes to the innovative use of new tech- nologies and the omni-channel customer experience. In 2015, Uri was credited with leading the fashion indus- try towards a "see now, buy now" calendar for runway shows. Uri is also the driving force behind what Mor- gan Stanley describes as the "stores of the future." He founded the company in 2005 with his sister Rebecca and serves as the creative director for the Uri Minkoff men's accessories, footwear, and apparel line. As of to- day, Rebecca Minkoff is a full lifestyle brand distributing accessories and apparel to over 900 stores, with retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago and international retail stores in Korea, Hong Kong, and Dubai. In 2017, Rebecca Minkoff is on target for substantial year-over-year growth and expansion in markets around the world. Rebecca Minkoff, and specifically, you, Uri, are known for industry-leading social media strategies. How are you further engaging your best customers via social media? MINKOFF: Regarding both digital and so- cial media, I'm not saying social is a mature platform today, but Rebecca Minkoff was already at the height of the social media discussion four or five years ago. Since then, best practices have been documented and imple- mented, and yes, retailers and brands have done some innovative things on social media. When we launched Rebecca Minkoff, social media was a new outlet, and a few key editors, buyers, and brands were controlling the fashion world. Twenty to 30 people had influence over the fashion industry. Coupled with the 18 to 34 age demographic, there was little competition, and brands had the ability to own a customer segment. The inter- net, but in particular social media, completely changed everything. All of a sudden, anyone can have a voice; we've evolved from the power of a few to a peer-to-peer network. In George Orwell's Animal Farm , all pigs are equal, but some are more equal than others. Retailers are all similar, but some are just better. We saw this in the computing space and in the music industry, and all U RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 19

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