Aldo's Digital Redesign and Alibaba's Runway Investment
ALDO'S REDESIGN SUCCESS
It's been a year since the unveiling of Aldo's revamped desktop and mobile site, and its redesign is paying off. The shoe and accessories retailer has seen mobile traffic increase 75 percent, all of which is directly correlated to improved user experience.
The new site was made to accommodate modern consumer behavior, including features like high-quality photos and imagery, a simplified checkout and payment system, and "buy online, pick up in store" options. Like most retailers, Aldo plans to adopt product personalization by targeting regional and local demographics using customer data, and integrate user-generated content into its social media platforms.
“We’re doing everything we can do to better connect the store with the consumer, and adapting the way we display products and stories,” said Grégoire Baret, general manager of omnichannel experience.
DIGITAL FIRST ACCELERATES GROWTH
Neiman Marcus' recent focus on emerging technologies and digital marketing tools has stabilized and positioned the luxury retailer for accelerated growth.
Its "digital first" strategy raised online and in-store sales, as innovative investments delivered unique luxury shopping experiences across all channels. The company's e-comm platform accounts for more than 34 percent of total revenue. While luxury brands are notorious for being late adopters when it comes to hopping on the digital and e-commerce wagon, Neiman Marcus was an early mover in the luxury e-commerce space.
As more luxury retailers look to accelerate digital credibility, competitors like Nordstrom are taking steps to integrate technology further into its business model. The premium department store just announced the acquisition of two tech startups; BevyUp and MessageYes. Both tools include digital selling and conversational commerce, aiding Nordstrom's effort to give sales associates mobile suite capabilities when interacting with customers.
CLAIRE'S FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Pre-teen accessories chain Claire's will be filing bankruptcy, joining Walking Company and Bon-Ton. The passing of ownership from Apollo Global Management LLC to capital lenders will ease a $2 billion debt load, and give Claire's an opportunity to re-address its overall strategy.
Like many chains with a heavy mall presence, the accessories retailer has to contend with declining foot traffic and an increase in online competition as major retailers like Forever 21 offer affordable accessory options.
We hope for a turnaround, but in the meantime can expect Claire's to eliminate further debt by closing more underperforming stores in the future.
ALIBABA INVESTS IN RENT THE RUNWAY
Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai have invested $20 million in Rent the Runway, giving the company a valuation of about $800 million. As Alibaba looks to expand into new markets outside of China, industry insiders speculate the investment to foreshadow an acquisition. Rent the Runway increases Alibaba's US presence, a growth market for the online giant, while Alibaba serves as an outlet for Rent the Runway's global aspirations.
Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder and CEO of the of the women's clothing retailer sees the investment as a rare and advantageous opportunity.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
The world is struck with 90's nostalgia. The era has resurfaced in fashion trends, bringing back oversized pants, bandanas, and dark lip liner. And Tommy Hilfiger, a top brand from (arguably) one of the best decades is giving consumers what they want, now.
The All-American brand's “see now, buy now” initiative has garnered success, transitioning its collection to align with the consumer calendar and erasing the standard six-month retail waiting period.
Consumers can shop the label livestream, through the company website, social media, and TommyNow Snap, an image-recognition app. Users spend an average of five minutes per session on the app, and 87 percent use it again. Social media impressions across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter hit 2.6 billion in 2017, up 100 percent from the previous year.
It's hard to contain excitement as Tommy's digital efforts flourish. Who plans on bringing out their vintage Tommy jacket?