Direct to Consumers: How Brands and Manufacturers Execute Digital Strategy



When a brand or manufacturer fails to execute a strong digital strategy, it risks falling short of customer expectations.

“Consumers today do not distinguish between channels, or even brands vs. retailers, but they do have high demands of a seamless shopping experience at all touch points.” says Bernardine Wu, founder of Fit For Commerce, an ecommerce consultancy specializing in website technology, ecommerce strategy and ecommerce marketing analysis. “An omnichannel strategy allows brands to remain competitive, which can result in greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, new customer acquisition and sales. Since consumers are finding your brands and products through multiple channels, brands must ensure that their digital and ecommerce strategies

Many direct-to-consumer ecommerce businesses struggle to manage their customer relationships, channel complexities, and digital marketing. And Wu recognizes the challenges D2C businesses face are typically not covered in-depth by ecommerce conferences. Thus, Fit For Commerce and IRCE have teamed up to deliver a unique, focused event on B2B / D2C commerce that happened May 18-20 in New York City.

The conference was packed with speakers from industry-leading companies including Isaac Mizrahi/Xcel Brands, Puma, Juicy Couture, Stanley Black & Decker, Vince Camuto, Steve Madden, The Jones Group and W.W. Grainger. As an interactive conference, the focus was on specific, actionable advice, and each attendee received a supplementary workbook to put insights into action.

Get Elastic caught up with keynote speaker Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands, Isaac Mizrahi who will be speaking on Total Omnichannel: The Convergence of the Customer Experience through Brands, Stores, Web, Mobile and TV to discuss the impact of omnichannel strategy for D2C brands.

What’s your definition of omnichannel?

Engaging with and selling to our followers (customers) in every place they shop, socialize and seek information and exploration. Our philosophy is to create one brand experience across all channels, not a channel within a brand. We strive to speak with our followers not at them.

What are the key luxury consumer trends that influence your omnichannel strategy?

We don’t believe that luxury trends alone influence our omnichannel approach. We look to trends in art, music, film, technology, social media, and architecture to best develop our strategy to maximize follower engagement and achieve our objective to crystalize our single view of the follower in coordinated strategic ways. It all really comes back to speaking with our followers, not at them.

What role do you believe mobile devices play in the in-store experience?

The future is now — the way people shop is changing and the rate of change is accelerating. Mobile commerce will soon trump desktop online sales and consumers will increasingly turn to mobile devices in stores for information and exploration. We plan to use them to allow our followers to get behind the velvet rope.

How can high-end fashion brands use digital to drive sales through channel partners like department stores?

By providing department store retailers with massive amounts of online content.

What’s your take on iBeacon technology – will it have a place in the Isaac Mizrahi omnichannel experience?

Yes, in our owned stores. This may be a good device to deliver highly targeted and unique pre and post purchase messages. We are evaluating this technology now. We have some concerns related to how this technology engages our followers.

Reprinted by permission

Image credit: CC by Stefan Erschwendner

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in Silicon Alley!

Don't miss any of the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.