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[Music] Hey everyone welcome to today’s session I am brendon schalkensie now the chief Commercial officer of vcents the leading Ai solutions provider for retailers Brands and marketplaces now during Today’s session we’re going to talk About how online retailers can increase Their revenue with transformative retail Ai solutions we’ll discuss some of the Trends and observations that we see Across the market and hopefully give you Some tips and Hints on how to adopt that for your Success now before we get started let me Remind you if you have any questions uh Feel free to post your questions on the Side chat box and our team will answer Them as we go Now our guest today is lexi willetts Founder of little black door Uh lexi you’re very welcome to our Session today Thank you for having me great to be here Now you’ve just taken up a role as a Brand and digital director of alicia j Diamonds congratulations Yes Just when i thought i’d played all of my Cards someone offers me a role with Diamonds and digital Sounds like a great combination i’m sure You put into good work Um

So lexi we’ve got a few topics to cover Today and hopefully we’ll get through Within our within our schedule um but Let’s uh let’s jump right in and start With social commerce it’s it’s really Become more than a trend you know Gen z’s and and more increasingly use it For inspiration and and uh and searching And finding products faster i’d love to See i’d love to hear your thoughts on How are brands how do you see brands Adopting good social strategies to Deliver better engagement the social Commerce piece is quite enormous isn’t It um It’s And i think it really kind of depends What you are as a brand what products And services you’re selling and what’s The audience that you’re trying to Target as to whether you engage with it Or or choose not to immerse yourself in It um When we look at the the kind of evolving Social commerce piece Fashion Uh consumer electronics decor for sure Are looking likely to be the most kind Of um brought categories within that Space on on social media platforms Um and there are certain audiences i Think geographically as well that are Are making Huge use of social commerce’s vehicles

To buy products Uh specifically china i think eight out Of ten users are buying within that Social media space environment it’s Amazing Also uh brazil whereas curiously still The us and the uk Are Less likely to engage with that space as A buying Opportunity Um And that i think still lends a little Bit of nervousness I think accenture ran a report not that Long ago and of their respondents 50 Are anxious to buy within the social Media environment because they’re very Worried about Is the product refundable actually is This a genuine Seller within that environment because They’re very worried about scams But i think that probably then gives an Opportunity for brands to build social Dynamics within their own E-store environments um Really to make most of some of the Social features that they’re seeing Online and the kind of expected social Features that they’re seeing in other Places that they’re spending a lot of Time

Yeah So i think is so i guess it’s it’s that It’s that um well-worn trait of you know Copying your competitor in many ways and And and seeing how you can Find what’s working and adapt it um you Know within your own environment it’s Interesting one of our customers zelora Have been using uh Uh you know our visual ai services to Link their instagram images tagged Images with For several years now and it’s really Proven to be a great source of Inspiration for their customers it’s Interesting what you say around The the trust aspect and how comfortable Shoppers are today to to shop within Those i guess walled garden environments Right that the social platforms uh Create uh but certainly i think from an Engagement point of view from Inspiration point of view there’s no Doubt it’s working really really well Today i guess the challenge there is is For them to translate that into into uh You know into shopping behaviors um and Equally for for brand.coms you know Learning from how customers are using Those platforms for inspiration and Seeing how they can adapt uh to that Um you know that’s social as it stands Today right you know it’s it’s in its Instagram it’s pinterest and so on but

What about the future now recently you Know we’ve had a lot of noise and some Activity around the metaverse and a lot Of thinking around how brands can maybe Expect to play a role there in the Future we hear a lot about virtual Stores how do you see that aspect of of I guess the future of social commerce Evolving you know as it relates to You know ar experiences and and the Metaverse one of a better term I think it’s already evolving and that’s Right you know that is clear you’ve Already got brands engaging on this Level Covid has created um This kind of hyper online shopping Behavior you know we were up to Something like 98 99 Of transactions were made online during Covid And That may have fallen off slightly but It’s changed the behavior in people over A period of 18 to 18 months to two years absolutely it has Now The curious thing about Um augmented reality is that it instills This kind of almost trust and validation Um piece online Which you know you’re taking this kind Of gamified very immersive technology That maybe you’re seeing in other places

As a user But it allows you to instill a Confidence within the sale So Can i try it on can i see how it looks Or will it fit me um it kind of almost Helps to answer the questions and to Provide a confidence within that Purchase and sale Gucci have been particularly brilliant At adopting this um Using that you know ar experience to Create triumphs of shoes Um Alongside of that you know you’re seeing Brands like charlotte tilbury who just Released their their virtual store Online Now they they suffered um Certainly in the beginning of lockdown Um To be able to Engage with uh Customers in a very personal way Bear in mind if you know their store Environments lend to makeup artistry So how to replicate that experience Online um and they’ve clearly worked on That very hard to release that new Latest store That store is fabulous it’s immersive You can actually shop with friends as Well within that store environment right You know you’re bringing in this

Component of trying on suggested um Items within the store plus being able To Have a friend to shop with you within That environment so you’re really kind Of blending into this social piece um And i think that will only improve and And will only become more common across Those types of brands Yeah It it’s really interesting yeah it could Be the real evolution of social commerce In that it’s it’s it’s truly social Not a social platform commerce um really Interesting i think i think you know What you say there around around luxury Brands is very true how do you replicate That batik environment uh that store Environment which is a big part of the Brand and the customer experience how do You replicate that online and do it Effectively so great to see Uh great to see in here uh you know Brands exploring that i think there’s a Lot more to come Um so you know wonderful insights and You know clearly a lot happening already In in in the social commerce and Emerging ar space um i think it’s still Early but it’s gonna be really Interesting to see that that evolution Of how brands use social platforms or uh Social behaviors that consumers are more Used to over the coming years let’s

Bring it back from the virtual world to To the real world and chat about some More present topics that our audience Can learn from and maybe apply to their Businesses today Um Growth you know it we touched upon it It’s it’s there’s a lot of online Traffic you know um the last two years Has transformed our our behaviors and Retail so in a crowded online world Getting discovered is one of the key Priorities how do retailers best address This Yeah i think Growth of traffic is probably Umpteen strategies that you can employ Here to kind of you know how do you Direct traffic to your site You know make the attractive force but You know There’s also the technical mechanics to To building optimization there Internal links are arguably one of the Most neglected Link building tactics i mean in seo  Learn How To Start Your Side Hustle The Same Way I Started Mine In Just 90 Minutes">Marketing um And very Plainly speaking Link building is the kind of practice of Acquiring links from third-party Websites to your website Um in seo these are kind of called Backlinks

And getting backlinks from very high Quality external sources Gives you an authority To your site which helps feed into your Ranking Within search engines So you know How are you going to do that Maybe a lot easier for an existing site That’s got strong trading history but if You’re a new site a new player coming to The market How do you kind of improve your Discoverability online and create this This back linking structure Now some of the The easier ways to do that It very often starts with creating Incredible content so there is something Strong to refer back to And so that other sites may link back to That content whether that’s visual or Video Um Using third parties to kind of guest Blog about you so that they have already Some existing credibility that you can Kind of use and make use of within your Own site um Also some social media promotion I’ve seen some strategies about pursuing Uh competitors backlinks too I’ve also seen some very dark behavior On this i think not long ago as a brand

And alicia jay was Contacted by a third party who was Representing a brand who almost Threatened us that if we didn’t um have A back link to them that they Quite so this very very murky behavior That goes on here too Um But it’s trying to help me the potential To be discovered um and that really Lends into this kind of authority piece Um To help with you know your ranking Within just a basic research Yeah Yeah it it’s interesting and one of You know i think this is the discovery Of getting people to your to your Platform and then when you get them There how do you you know how do you Help them find those products right that They’re looking for how do you make that Easy so i guess it’s a Do you say it’s a growth for traffic uh Conundrum and and uh objective and then It’s the growth for revenue once you’ve You know succeeded in the first part It’s interesting when When um when i speak we speak with Customers and and uh e-commerce platform Providers one of the things they always Highlight Is you know the product data product Data quality is a real issue um and it

Impacts your businesses when it’s not Addressed and i guess you know to your Point around Uh backlinks and and how you do that Another strategy there is to you know Update and and augment your product data And then incorporate that data across Your site whether that’s filters um you Know a way to you know really make those Um that product data work for you both From an seo ranking point of view but Then importantly from your product Discoverability point of view when when You get customers to your site um and It’s a real struggle you know many many Brands you know have weak data or They’ll they’ll spend you know hours and Struggle with you know manually Generating consistent product tagging or Product attributes or they don’t do it At all and you know they suffer the Consequences i recall there was um i Think it was a coveo qubit survey last Year and i found about 80 86 87 of shoppers say you know They’re faced with such an overwhelming Amount of product choices you know to Some degree And and it’s it’s that’s the challenge You know when you get customers when you Get customers to your side and you make Those investments to get those customers There you still have to make it easy for Customers to find those products right

And i think that’s where effective Search uh in addition to you know Improved search rankings that really Does become critical and that depends on Retail is having good Product data um You know on top of that i think when you Get customers there you know tech search Is still prevalent prevailing activity For customers to find products but we’re Seeing great adoption in in markets like India for visual search because in Markets like that it’s so much easier For consumers to use the visual product Searches to find products Than it is to you know uh to to to use Tech search uh given that the range of Languages and and dialects uh across the Market so wide so yeah lots of different Ways to uh to address that um we’re Getting through a lot here so i i want To i want to keep moving um The The next area um the next topic i wanted To to touch upon Is um is optimizing all right i think It’s you know it’s uh Today i guess personalization is such a Hot topic right um and i think You know i think we can all agree to Personalizing a customer’s online Shopping experience is one of the keys To helping keeping them satisfied You know consumers may want help to find

The products that they need or you know They may value a more tailored Experience There was it was a mckinsey 2021 research paper which showed that uh 71 of consumers expect Companies to deliver personalized Interactions Uh and 76 percent get frustrated when That doesn’t happen you know so it’s Important to consumers um i know one of Our partners i buy direct They generated a significant increase in In average session value 2.4 percent in Average session value 20 increase in Click-through rates and overall a 29x Roi and it did that through delivering Eyewear recommendations that were Tailored to the shoppers interest you Know the the kind of frame they were Looking to buy so you know it definitely Works Um what what are you seeing actually What what’s your thinking on this Yeah for sure and i think it kind of Goes through all aspects of your your Buying journey or the purchase journey Um I think as consumers we are highly Expecting some very personal ux now So you know gone of the day is generic Language um so you really need to kind Of tailor The feeling of the purchase that this is

All about me And that’s probably because we’ve Shifted from offline potential personnel Interactions in store And trying to kind of replicate that Within the online environment and so our Expectations as we make use of online Environments become greater and greater Towards this personal behavior I think curiously when we um we were Building out a little black door it was Super curious to To watch the behaviors of friends Within a shopping environment And just a cursor review of Interconnected wardrobes if you like so Within our environments we Catch what users buy Within Accessories and they house that within Their digital wardrobe Quite frequently People who had um Or friends or family members Would very often buy the same types of Goods they would very often buy the same Colors the same brands very often the Same pieces and they would be replicated Over and over within their friends Clusters So This personalization topic um Is super interesting to watch just how People’s social interactions

Whether with their friends or family or Even you know who they’re watching Within their social media environments You know certain influences that they Will watch they will replicate they will Copy within their purchase behavior There are some very definite patterns to Kind of help lend to that Hyper personalization approach that Brands can plug into there Yes It’s it’s almost scary what you’re Saying you know whether it’s a conscious Coupling or a subconscious coupling Across our across our network it’s uh It’s amazing that you you’re getting Those insights and and and terrific to See how brands could could you know if They can capture those kind of insights How they can put them to work uh for Themselves Um Really really really interesting i’m Gonna move on to the next topic which is You’re really focusing on cross-sell um How should retailers think about you Know optimizing the cross-selling of Products This is very often again down to the the Ux of how you’re being offered um Again if we’re kind of playing that Personalization experience you know gone Are the days language i think which is Other shoppers bought this too i don’t

Specifically want to know what other People have bought i want to know what i Should be buying so i think there’s this Kind of language brushing of how you Deliver this um And i think probably the Delivery of bundling Should be kind of more personalized and Probably made more gamified So that it feels like a natural Um A natural sales position rather than it Being a very forced aggressive look what You could also have i mean let’s be Clear what you’re trying to do here is Create this kind of clustering or Bundling environment Whereby customers will buy not just the One piece but the entire outfit so that You’ve got a chance to kind of Increase sales around that one item But i think that there are Ways and means Of how you can deliver that experience In quite a playful way And maybe The kind of virtual store environment You know could come into its own um that You’ve got you know the potential Virtual Um personal shopper who is kind of Almost delivering and suggesting those Pieces with you And if you’re shopping perhaps with

Friends in that virtual store Environment that you’re you know you Could ask your friend what should i wear With this And that suggested behavior um could be Played into the way that you’re Presented these products You can have this you can have this Because i think the um Certainly i think in Developed  Learn How To Start Your Side Hustle The Same Way I Started Mine In Just 90 Minutes">marketing countries we are Very attuned to being sold to And You know probably the palettes of the uk And the us don’t particularly like to be Aggressively oversold to Yeah There’s a lot i think You can tackle this a lot with Presentation Um But also there’s a big data play on this You know There’s the one piece here is Presentation but what i mean what i’m Actually being presented with you know What types of products are suited to me As long you know in connection with the Piece that i you know the primary piece That’s attracted me to that cell what Else can i be offered and There is a huge data um possibility There to kind of really understand me And my preferences

To be able to offer up the right Um [Music] Products to be bundled up With my primary product That’s that’s a that’s a really Interesting suggestion the gamification Of of recommendations i love it i was i Was at shop talk us in las vegas Recently and and that idea arose there Too um maybe too much time since spent On the gaming halls uh-huh but i think Look i think you’re right i think There’s there’s the your data is Important um but i think you know Technology has as a real world to play Here as well i know when we talk with Customers you you touched upon that Um you know from crossover point of view Increasing the basket size right so if I’m looking for a product what Associated products Might Be presented to me in a way that’s Engaging and appropriate you know Contextually correct And um You know i i know you know we’ve Talked about uk we’ve got quite a few Customers in the uk who who use our our Shop to look uh recommendations engine To to do that very well and very Effectively one of the key reasons they Use it

Is because With from a technology point of view You’re able to incorporate things like Inventory availability all right um you Know whereas when when these kind of Capabilities have been Uh created by you know curated manually One of the challenges there is a simple Simple updating of it right making sure That what’s being recommended from a you Know product outfit to increase Uh the purchase likelihood is in stock You know you’re not giving actually You’re not giving customers a negative Experience um when trying to give them a More engaging experience and you know Increase your basket size so um yeah Lots uh Certainly certainly data is key to it And how you use that data and how you Incorporate i think the right technology Around it is critical Now just you know keeping keeping on Data Um let’s let’s look at analysis you know Obviously retailers are getting smarter About using data Right around the world to to better Understand their businesses Uh and your consumers you know whether It’s you know price comparison or Understanding your catalog better or Deriving insights that you know can help You engage the right consumers

Um you know data is simply huge you know But it’s it’s a challenge you know it It’s not an easy problem to solve it’s Not an easy tactic to get right or Strategy to get right What advice do you have for our audience On on how to approach this challenge One of the the kind of fundamentals of Kind of this data gathering Exercise to create quite a personalized Approach to customers um Is that it’s reflective of customers Habits but it’s also enough to be able To predict what they might do in the Future So it’s important there’s enough account For the kind of statistical Deviations and variations within that Data set When you look at companies like Stitchfix You see their kind of real attention to Detail to try and understand who the Customer are and arguably their Onboarding process for each customer Is quite extensive but obviously they Work on you know a subscription model Which is designing A personalized approach To to buying key wardrobe pieces But they will oh you know it’s quite a Laborious um Data entry exercise to understand your Preferences in the first instance

But actually it doesn’t stop there um It’ll be quite granular they then Continue to take this dynamic approach To understanding Who their customers are And very often you know customers may Indicate that they are x but actually By returning x all the time they are not X and they’re possibly one Um They constantly record What customers are keeping what Customers are returning so that you have This kind of dynamic ongoing data piece Around that customer Um and then you can obviously kind of Start to really build out more fuller Richer understanding Of the clients along that journey You’re probably layering on other data Sets Um Maybe you’re kind of capturing what They’re looking at online um and really Feeding that into a whole blending pot To give you a better understanding of The times in totality As well as just what they tell you Interesting and indeed i think you know When we when we think about even Analysis it’s You know it’s not all it’s not even Always directly about a consumer right It’s

Uh it can be about other parts of of of The business i know we recently Concluded a really interesting pilot With the major global retailer Where we were analyzing trends uh using A new product clustering algorithm that Our team developed and it really excited Them and sparked a lot of ideas about How you could use Such capabilities to improve different Aspects of their business Um So you know it it it’s it’s interesting The different areas we’re seeing more And more businesses more retailers look For Innovative ways To uh To you know take the data they have And um and really put it to work and We’ve been working with one of our one Of our major customers to combine you Know their sales data their product Forecast data Um And other data and applying our ai Solutions to it to develop an integrated Assortment planning module so nothing to Do with spread nothing to do with Consumers very much around you know Behind the scenes operational Know every every retailer needs to go Through but the plan here is do away With the many spreadsheets that buyers

And planners use Um you know and and deliver more um more Sophisticated capability that can Deliver better outcomes you know and our Tests are showing great results against Their benchmark performance resulting in Greater profitability with less Expenditure and a lower level of Inventory so you know fantastic Potential for I guess improving sustainability As uh as well as profits So according to the binary institute Almost 70 percent of online shopping Carts are abandoned you know think about That Every 100 potential customers 70 of them Will leave without purchasing something That they’re clearly interested in Now we associate retargeting typically With email campaigns is that the future Or is there a better way to re-engage This probably comes down to the question Of who is the audience um who is your Customer base and what do they do on What’s their Main kind of channels of communication I think when you look towards um Late millennials jen zeds made Generation alpha There is a skepticism that emails Are their main communication tool of Choice um or be it that it’s it’s quite A neutral ground

It might belong to them as a you know Personal method of communication but it Feels like it’s it’s okay to be able to Communicate with Um people in that environment Gems ed’s in particular are quite Skilled in the arts of setting spam Filters Much more so So if you are retargeting in that email Environment there is a high chance that Your email will be lost Um Curiously i think the direct to consumer Brands are Much Happier to communicate with Text message environments so if i think Of you know brands like nadine maraby Who’ve grown exponentially over the last Two years They will retarget in a number of ways They will re-target on email they will Re-target in text message And Maybe that you know for some users Depending on You know your attitude to sliding in dms Um That’s comfortable others might not Perceive that as comfortable I see other direct consumer brands also You know working within your your social Media environments as well as they’re

Sending you social media messages or you Know very happy to communicate with you In whatsapp as well Um I think you know to try and follow up to Convert that interest in the sale is not Necessarily just fence to the email Environment um And there’s you know Platforms like um Clavio are Are designed to help you kind of Communicate within email and Sms I guess you know that retargeting piece Um again depends on how you’re offering Your sales journey You know you have platforms like uh you Know forte outnet asos for instance They’ve all designed their own apps in Order to be able to kind of Purchase a product In the event that You’ve filled your basket and left it They can obviously use um Notifications to remind you that that’s Still there as well So I think it’s very much of how you Organize your kind of Online self in your online purchase um But be very mindful that perhaps email Is a dying art so what can i do to do That

Big budgets perhaps More retargeting um within social media Environments you know we’ve all had We’ve all had the uh experience of Browsing something online Facebook pixel picks that up and then Within seconds you know The next hour i’ve just seen that same Item in my feed But maybe that is far more powerful than Just retargeting me in my email Environment Very interesting i think you know you You touch upon apps there and the power That obviously gives brands to To engage directly i think you know it’s It’s it’s wonderful it’s the challenge Of getting those apps You know adopted uh is is this comes Back to that you know driving traffic And driving the right kind of traffic um But yeah i love the way adidas Daddy does bring it to you um for Bringing to me functioning in store Uh you know is is a great example of You know it using that app as one Delivering a fantastic customer Experience at the right point of time Um But also you know You know being able to capture those Points of interest those products of Interest uh you know when when i’m in a Retail store and being able to use that

To You know deliver me better retargeted Recommendations and and products so Again you know building about comes back To personalization Recommendations goes back to engagement So lots of things being joined up we Think about that Um lexi we’re out of time it’s uh it’s Been a pleasure talking with you i love Hearing your insights uh i look forward To catching up with you next uh next Time in london um but to our audience uh Thank you very much for attending the Session I hope you enjoyed the sharing and um And we look forward to uh to meeting you Again in the next webinar lexi many Thanks [Music]

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