STEPHANIE TAM - Lorna Jane - Q&A

 
STEPHANIE TAM - Lorna Jane - Q&A
Q&A

                    STEPHANIE TAM – Lorna Jane
                                      by POPAI Australia & NZ

                                                          Stephanie Tam, Sales Manager of leading
                                                          active wear retailer, Lorna Jane recently
                                                          shared her brand engagement insights at
                                                          a POPAI Women’s Event.

                                                          As a result of being crowned Australia’s
                                                          2012 Young Retailer of the Year,
                                                          Stephanie took part in Westfield’s 2013
                                                          Retail Study Tour, taking her to Shanghai,
                                                          Los Angeles, New York, London and
                                                          Istanbul. We asked her why and how
                                                          certain retailers are making such an
                                                          impact with their customers.

                                                          Q: On your recent Westfield World Retail Study
                                                          Tour, you identified some ground breakers,
                                                          game changers and rule breakers. What
                                                          separated them above all others?

A: Travelling around the world, it was easy to identify retailers who are excelling in particular areas – whether it
is customer service, product offering, innovative technology or marketing strategies. This definitely differed from
market to market, too. However, the retailers I profiled are presenting some consistent trends that allow them to
not only engage their customer on the ground, but future-proof the growth of their businesses. These businesses
are investing in knowing their customer intimately; they are tailoring their shopper engagement around this and
managing multiple platforms in order to present a 360 degree shopper experience. They are satisfying the
customers and using this as their growth strategy to increase brand awareness.

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STEPHANIE TAM - Lorna Jane - Q&A
Q: How do you believe retailers can create more relevance in this connected world?

A: As a consumer, I have a higher expectation of brands now that I have more accessibility. This is pretty typical
for most customer bases now – they want to know that no matter where they engage with a brand they love; they
can get what they want and when they want it. Retailers who are invested in learning their customer profiles are
able to individually target through product launches, strategic sales offers and communication mediums. This
means that you can separate your VIPs, online shoppers and regulars. You can protect your margin by pushing
categorised offerings that trigger a reaction from a particular customer type rather than a flat line discount across
all categories. And of course, you can build a real sense of personalisation to each form of communication you
have with your consumer across all platforms, not just sales outlets.

                         Additional notes: From bricks and mortar to online stores, brands can also filter their
                         targeted strategies social, mobile, direct mail, print marketing and even CRM to create a
                         relationship that translates into more consistent interaction with their brand across
                         every single touch point. I was really interested to hear from IBM earlier this year that 55
                         percent of customers surveyed wanted retailers to utilise their prior purchasing history
                         to offer relevant promotions, and almost half would like to be recommended new
                         products, invited to events and be involved in providing feedback around new product
                         ideas. The fact that you can shape your consumers’ future interactions with your
                         business to this level of detail with the right data is so powerful.

Q: Can you tell us what 360 degree retailing is, and why it’s so important today?

A: I would say that 360 degree retailing is managing a cohesive and seamless relationship with your customer
across all touch points in order to ensure you never miss an opportunity to connect.

You need to build an ecosystem to seamlessly connect the digital and physical shopping experience throughout
the purchase process. Whether it’s introducing technology in store that manages unique triggers throughout the
path to purchase, connecting your off-site and on-site shopping channels, or pioneering social engagement
strategies, 360 degree retail has just two key objectives:

    1.   create a direct relationship with the customer, and
    2.   drive more foot traffic and conversion to multiple platforms from multiple locations.

Overall, this should allow a business to facilitate and influence total commerce and therefore profitability across
all channels. This also allows you as a business to have a 360 view of where your customer wants to interact with
you, ensuring that you can constantly review process and offering to meet demand, and never miss an
opportunity to satisfy or excite your customer.

Retail is in a stage of experimentation and without repeating what is already known, omni-channel is the real
deal. The best retailers understand you have to embrace technology, but also know that you don’t need to become
a slave to it. It’s important to invest in what’s right for your key audience and use them to be the advocate for your
differentiated experience.

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STEPHANIE TAM - Lorna Jane - Q&A
Q: In your opinion which retailers are doing it well; how and why?

A: Overseas, my favourite retailers were Kate Spade and Warby Parker. Both saw opportunities to drive traffic
back to their core businesses, but needed to differentiate their offering to attract a new customer base.

Natively an e-commerce-only business, Warby Parker embarked on a mission to continue to drive new business
to its core revenue platform. It opened its first retail space in New York earlier this year, purely to draw a larger
audience. As a brand, it understood that many customers - in particular new customers - want the option of
multiple entry points to a brand. New customers also want to see who’s behind the brand and a bricks and mortar
store allows them to do this, whilst ensuring the business continues to complement its online experience. Warby
Parker doesn’t keep any inventory on-site, instead it engages the customer in a consult and experience on the
shop floor, then processes all sales and dispatch through its original platform.

    •    EXPERIENCE: $50 eye exams.

    •    EXPERIENCE: personal styling sessions.

    •    360° RETAILING: no inventory on site, all orders placed online after trying in store and direct-shipped
         to the customer.

    •    DIGITAL INTEGRATION: photo booth to share photos with friends or print Polaroids.

    •    SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: do-good program – buy a pair, give a pair.

                                            Kate Spade saw a similar opportunity, introducing its off-shoot brand
                                            Kate Spade Saturday to engage the interest of a new audience,
                                            targeted a little younger, but just as, if not more sophisticated than the
                                            core customer in interacting and promoting the brand. With the
                                            shoppable windows concept and surprise and delight in-store
                                            experiences, the idea was to create buzz within the 18-24 category that
                                            would eventually lead to loyalty and upgrading to the core Kate Spade
                                            line.

Here in Australia, I love the West Elm and associated brands (Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn
Kids). With its first superstore in Bondi, and then a charming stand-alone location on Chapel St, the whole
concept is reshaping house to home and putting control in the customer’s hands. In-store you see the culture of
pride from the staff and the level of service is extremely consultative.

EXPERIENCE: Free in-home stylists, on-site cooking school and in-store coffee shop.

360° RETAILING: a big focus is placed on driving the ecommerce business in store to meet any product needs
that aren’t displayed. From inception, the brands have made inventory available for direct dispatch in Australia
so they can satisfy the customer instantly, rather than waiting for dispatch from North America. With the hype of
a new brand, this was integral and has clearly allowed the business to drive holistic sales and keep its ecommerce
platform performing to support the bricks and mortar expansion, whilst managing revenue.

DIGITAL INTEGRATION: West Elm, being the younger, trendier sibling to Pottery Barn has entered the market
with a really strong social presence. An example of well-executed campaigns includes Instagram competitions
that allowed for winning photos to be sold in store!

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STEPHANIE TAM - Lorna Jane - Q&A
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: a real sense of community is being driven back through the brands, with in-store
events including local blogger/small businesses allowing for like-minded customers and providers to share
common interest. The stores also feature local artists monthly, allowing them to sell their products in-store!

Q: What do you think is holding Australian retailers back from 360 degree retailing?

A: I think there tends to be a very one-dimensional view towards investing in new technology in Australia. The
first question that’s frequently asked is whether the initiative will drive fast revenue. I think businesses need to
focus on seeing the bigger picture – by investing in this for your consumer you aren’t going to just trigger sales
that lift the bottom line. You have the potential to add value in so many areas. Operations, inventory management
and the lifecycle of your product can significantly be reduced, thereby protecting your margins. The value and
perception of your brand can increase if you are pioneering customer experience. This can lead to new customer
acquisition, collaborations with other brands, press opportunities and so much more. By implementing processes
and technology that empower staff to secure sales and satisfy customers, you have the potential to increase staff
engagement and productivity, too. The opportunities are endless for relevant and well-executed 360 degree retail
strategies.

Q: Can you briefly tell us some of the ways in which Lorna Jane is bringing this 360 degree
retailing experience to Australians?

 Lorna Jane’s new retail concept – the Active Living Room - combines a café and studio
                                                                                         A: Lorna Jane has been investing in building a support
 with its retail store, allowing customers to practice the company’s move, nourish,      framework for our customers outside of our four walls
 believe philosophy.
                                                                                         for over three years, with a genuine intention to
                                                                                         encourage our customers to live their best active life.
                                                                                         We understand that if we can support our customers on
                                                                                         their active journey and teach them the move, nourish,
                                                                                         believe foundations that our brand is built on; they will
                                                                                         continue to interact with us, tell us how we can improve
                                                                                         our offering for them and enjoy our product. We follow
                                                                                         this through all channels – whether it’s our physical
                                                                                         retail stores, our online store or our wholesale
                                                                                         functions. The idea is to keep our customer connected
                                                                                         and excited about where we can add value to their
                                                                                         lifestyle.

                                                           As a brand, we have pioneered social media in the
                                                           Australian market, with impressive stats. We have a
                                                           community of 826,000 interacting customers with us
                                                           on Facebook (the largest women’s retailer network on
Facebook in Australia), which has more than doubled from the well-publicised 350,000 milestone achieved in
May 2012. We allow each of our 126 stores to drive their own personal page as well, encouraging a real sense of
community between our stores and their loyal customers. Instagram is a huge channel. Lorna Jane Clarkson
herself has 50,000 followers and the brand 205,000. We have seen product images regularly achieve over 6000
‘likes’, allowing us to follow this information back through to our operational and marketing strategies and show
the customer what she wants to see when she shops in store or online. With social media, we always demonstrate
to our customer that she is our number one priority, and she is being heard.

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In addition to this, the investment in valued and trusted content for our movenourishbeleive.com hub has been
truly transformational for us in allowing our customers to understand what we are really about. The channel is
not about sales; it’s about a daily source of inspiration that encourages our customer to see what we are doing
every day – think recipes, work out ideas, community profiling on ambassadors, local businesses and service
providers, inspiration and motivation.

                                       We have invested in pioneering exceptional in-store experiences for our
                                       customer that add value and convenience, ensuring that they never leave
                                       unsatisfied, and we never miss an opportunity. Some examples include
                                       SWAPSHOP which allows our customers to donate their pre-loved active
                                       wear to those in need and be rewarded with in-store credit.

                                       We also offer City Delivery in a selection of CBD stores, which allows for
                                       same day office delivery within 2km of our stores if orders are placed by
                                       3pm. The most popular is probably the Lorna Jane Angel Service, which
allows both customers and retail staff to utilise a service that will track down a Lorna Jane product not available
in a particular store and arrange express delivery to the customer’s home.

Externally, Lorna Jane is also very proactive in supporting our local communities by empowering our staff to
build valuable networks that lead to cross-promotions and support through local and in-store events.

In summary, it’s not always about technology – yes we use technology to track and react, but the soft investments
in being relevant, transparent and available across every single platform allow our customer to have a voice and
trust us enough to consistently shift from multiple platforms with ease.

Q: If you had one message for our retailers as they prepare for Christmas, what would it be?

A: Adapt and reinvent constantly! Retailers who deliver an exceptional experience are always one step ahead in
satisfying the customer, but what I often fail to see is an adaption of their service process to a changed demand.
Customers still want attention, but their dwell-time has shifted, their patience is thin, they are shopping for a
variety of customer types and they are spoilt for choice.

Adapting your service approach to remain sensitive to these behavioural shifts, whilst ensuring you still explore
all opportunities for recommendation and cross sell will ensure happy and spending customers, and therefore
happy retailers. Coming out of traditional peak retail periods, your customers tend to be immune to aggressive
campaigns, so it is important that retailers use this time to review their strategy in order to spark interest and
spending again. The best retailers are constantly innovating and reinventing in order to remain relevant. They
remember that every idea has an expiration date and that customers are smarter and faster than ever!

 POPAI would like to extend an enormous thank you to Stephanie for generously sharing her time and valuable
                           insights at POPAI’s Professional Women’s Info Drinks.

                            Click here to download a copy of Stephanie’s presentation.

                                            __________________

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_____________

                                                ABOUT POPAI

POPAI is the global association for marketing at retail. With over 1,700 member companies, representing Fortune
  500 brand manufacturers and retailers as well as producers and agencies, its focus is on research, education,
globalisation, technology, advocacy and networking. For Australian membership enquiries contact Kristen Gadd
                                   on 02 9938 5150 or visit www.popai.com.au

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