A2 Basic US 39 Folder Collection
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LISA GREEN: OK.
Thank you guys.
Thanks everyone for coming.
First, I'm Lisa Green.
I run our Luxury Fashion Group.
And I'm thrilled to have these four guys here
to talk to us today about how shopping has changed
in the modern day, and give any advice that any of you guys
have about that specific topic.
So we'll go ahead and start with Lauren.
And then we'll just go down the line.
LAUREN SHERMAN: My name's Lauren Sherman.
I am Fashionista's editor-at-large.
I'm a freelance writer as well.
And I write for a bunch of different publications.
My expertise is kind of the intersection
of fashion and business.
So I write for consumer publications.
I write for business publications, trade
and-- So I've been covering this stuff for about 10 years.
And e-commerce is obviously a big part of my beat.
So I guess that's basically it.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Hi.
I'm Leah Chernikoff.
I'm the editor of Elle.com.
So that means I oversee all editorial, content, strategy.
Before that I was at Fashionista with Lauren.
She hired me.
And before that, I was a reporter at the Daily News,
covering features.
And then I focused on fashion from there.
And also decided to go digital, when,
I think I experienced the fourth round of layoffs.
So I'm happy to be online.
And so-- yeah, my expertise is more
of sort of a general view on fashion,
and having watched, sort of, things
go from analog to digital.
LISA GREEN: You've got it.
STEVEN ALAN: Hi I'm Steven Alan.
And I started my company about 20 years ago.
And started as a multi-brand retailer and then from there
started representing designers, and then from there,
started manufacturing.
And today, we do all three, kind of three businesses
within a business.
And I think each business is very much complementary
to the other business.
BRETT HEYMAN: Thank you.
Hi, my name is Brett Heyman.
I have a brand of handbags called Edie.
Parker, which I launched about four years ago.
And before that, I had a PR background.
I worked in PR for Gucci and Dolce Gabbana covering
accessories, mostly, and ready-to-wear.
LISA GREEN: Cool.
Well thank you guys.
Thank you again for being here.
We're just going to kick it off by asking
what the strangest thing that you've ever bought online is?
So, Steven, we'll start with you.
STEVEN ALAN: I remember buying a car online,
which for me was pretty weird.
Without seeing it, and it was on eBay,
and it was one of those bidding things--
And it was a particular-- it wasn't
any amazing-- it was just an old Volvo.
But I wanted a stick-shift.
And so I ended up going up to Pittsburgh and picking it up .
It wasn't that weird but--
LISA GREEN: It's a big purchase.
STEVEN ALAN: Yeah, it was a big purchase.
00:02:50,468 --> 00:02:51,216 LISA GREEN: Brett.
You want to go?
BRETT HEYMAN: Well, I'm excited to hear that because I'm
mulling over a Grand Wagoneer online, and through eBay Auto.
So I'm happy that it worked for you.
I don't think I buy a lot of weird stuff.
But I do buy a lot of geodes and rocks,
and I buy them all online on eBay.
LISA GREEN: Well, I'm just going throw in what my weirdest
thing was-- to maybe help you guys
along the continuum of weird-- I once bought a smitten, which
was actually a glove for two people.
So that you could hold hands--
[LAUGHTER]
--while walking down the street.
It's really-- I've been married for 10 years.
So clearly that was more than 10 years ago.
[LAUGHTER]
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: We were talking about this before.
I'm like kind of co-opting my boyfriend because he
buys a lot of weird drugs online.
[LAUGHTER]
And, they come in like strange--
LISA GREEN: Remember, we are video'ing this.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Yeah, that's fine.
They're all legal.
[LAUGHTER]
LAUREN SHERMAN: Now, I really want
to know what kind of legal drugs?
Is it like through Canada or something?
[LAUGHTER]
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: [INAUDIBLE] from Asia.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Oh, interesting.
OK.
We can talk about this offline.
I think the weirdest thing I've ever bought
is like a dog DNA test.
I don't know if that's that weird though.
I mean, you guys are doing stuff like that now.
LISA GREEN: It's weird.
LAUREN SHERMAN: And I've tried to buy my own DNA test.
But there are weird rules in New York.
And I've also bought like, the "National Geographic."
It's like the "23 and Me" thing, but what they do.
And it's $100 bucks.
But the doggie DNA was probably the weirdest.
And it confirmed what we already knew.
So it was also a waste of money, but--
[LAUGHTER]
--it was good.
STEVEN ALAN: What was that "National Geographic"?
I'm just curious about that.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: It's all about her ancestors.
LAUREN SHERMAN: You like-- it's another story.
It's too long.
But, you like-- they take your DNA.
And they find out one-- I think it's
like your grandmother's grandmother.
Or guys can do-- women can't do the guy's lineage too--
but you can find out like one path of your lineage.
And again, it was everything that I already knew.
It was not-- there was nothing exciting in there, except one.
But yeah.
So.
00:04:59,384 --> 00:05:00,000 LISA GREEN: All right.
Well, thanks guys.
Now, the rest of this is gonna be so boring in comparison.
But, let's just start pretty general with what's
the biggest change that you see in the way people are shopping?
Leah, you've got the mike, so why don't you--
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Um, I think what I've noticed most,
and what I'm guilty of myself, with everything being online
now, is if you see one thing online,
I immediately go to like 10 other sites
to see which site has it at the cheapest price point.
So I think that's really changing
the way-- people aren't just maybe going
to one online shopping destination.
But sort of scoping it out.
I don't know.
We were talking about the death of Huckster,
but that's kind of what that did, right?
LISA GREEN: If anybody else has anything to add,
or we could move on to the next.
You've got something, Steven?
STEVEN ALAN: No.
Go ahead.
LISA GREEN: Nothing?
OK.
In terms of devices, I think that's kind of
been the big theme lately is, we're all
talking about being multi-screen and going from one device
to the next, and kind of switching it all up?
Which one do you think has become the most influential
on purchase decisions?
So not necessarily which one is the one with the last click,
because I think that we're all aware of what that is.
But what do you think?
You know, from TV to a magazine, to a phone, to a computer,
to a billboard, to in-store signage-- what
do you think really has the most influence on purchasing
decisions?
00:06:27,080 --> 00:06:27,579 Steven.
STEVEN ALAN: I think that, I mean,
mobile is definitely the most important thing.
And I think that now what we're seeing
is definitely sort of the tablet gaining more and more strength
compared to the phone.
Just because people are just able to carry it around in.
They're smaller.
And even the phones are becoming more like tablets.
So the line is getting blurred.
LISA GREEN: The phablet?
STEVEN ALAN: Yeah.
I guess.
LISA GREEN: Anything else you guys think?
Like, why do you think mobile and tablet are becoming so big?
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
Obviously I agree that mobile is huge.
I just did a story this weekend on buying fine jewelry online,
for the "Wall Street Journal"'s Weekend Section.
And a lot of these fine jewelry retailers-- people
are buying $60,000 pairs of earrings on their phone.
And I mean, that's been happening in Asia for years.
But now it's becoming more prevalent here.
But I also think that the phone and the tablet connect you.
If you're in the store and you see something-- and all
this cross-channel stuff that people call Omni Channel
or whatever-- is those things are the connectors.
So whether that means going into a store
and them having tablets for you to buy more stuff.
Or that means you looking on your phone, that's
the thing that's really connecting us,
is the mobile aspect of it.
And
LISA GREEN: And what do you guys think is that big opportunity?
I think Lauren makes a really good point about how
mobile kind of connects you while you're in store.
If you could sort of create-- Steven,
maybe for you in your stores?
How do you feel like your-- you guys should be using mobile
once somebody is already there?
STEVEN ALAN: We do.
I mean we have iPads in the stores.
And people come in the store and then,
if we don't have something, then usually the associate
will go online and see if we have it online.
Then they'll be able to help them and complete
that purchase online.
Or, if another store has it, again they
can check inventory with the same app at and other stores,
and sell that.
Had
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, it's such a simple thing.
But my husband's a big fan of Steven's stuff.
And he-- that, like, sea-green sweatshirt you guys
did for spring?
He really wanted it.
But it was sold out on his size online.
And it said on there that it was available in the Tribeca store.
So he went there.
That's something that's been around for a long time.
But I feel like people are really using it now.
Whereas maybe five years ago, he wouldn't have even thought
of checking to see if it was available in a store,
or he would have picked up the phone and called,
instead of figuring it online.
STEVEN ALAN: That's also-- I mean,
for us, that was definitely like 101, was being able to do that.
And if we didn't have it online, just have it pop up and say,
sorry we're out of that.
But we have it.
And it would be by the SKU.
So it won't tell you to call a store if they don't actually
have that size in that item.
But then, 2.0 would definitely be--
online would actually just start scanning all the stores.
And then be able to just continue that order without you
having to call the store and have the store ship it
to you and all that stuff.
The store would still do that.
But you wouldn't necessarily know that.
And so I think that for me, as a retailer
I want to really make that whole experience as seamless
as possible.
So sometimes you don't want to even necessarily buy it.
You want to kind of see it, or touch it, or feel it.
So, to be able to be at home at 2 o'clock in the morning,
go online and just shop, but actually not purchase and say,
you know what?
Tomorrow I'd like to try that on.
I'll be in the store at 2 o'clock.
And you know, have that whole experience happen.
That's something that-- I don't know who's doing that at all.
But that's something that I want to do.
Because I think it's important.
You want to be able to do that.
LISA GREEN: I saw a study recently
that said that people would prefer
to consult their phone than a sales associate.
So even when they walk into a store,
the first thing that they do is they look at their phone,
rather than ask for help.
And in fact people will say, is there
something I can help you with?
Can I help you?
And they say, oh no no.
No thanks.
And there they are, on their phone.
So what do you suggest?
How do you think you can use that to your advantage?
Or how could a retailer use that to their advantage,
rather than it being something that's
coming between the customer?
STEVEN ALAN: I mean, that's definitely something
that we're seeing.
People are coming into the store,
and they're definitely trying to get more information
on products while they're in the store.
And I think in the future, whether it's
QR codes or something, where you can actually really do a deeper
dive-- Because I think that even the people working in the store
have a limited amount of information.
But what you can actually-- you can videos.
You can do anything, depending on the product.
LISA GREEN: Maybe Brett, maybe we
can loop you into to the conversation a little bit,
in terms of, what brands do you think
are doing interesting things with all
of these-- the direction that shopping is moving in?
Have you seen anything interesting?
BRETT HEYMAN: Well, I myself am obsessed with personalisation.
Like, we launched our website mid-June.
And we have a bespoke component where you can type in your name
and see how it would look on a bag.
And so I would love to develop that further.
And so in that vein, I'm obsessed
with the Nike interface, when you can do the bespoke.
But I also love how Warby Parker does
the-- you can upload your face and try on the glasses
virtually.
It is my dream to have a virtual dressing room for my body,
and just have your body up there,
and have your virtual clothes, and never ever ever
have to try on anything in real time.
[LAUGHTER]
LISA GREEN: What about you guys?
Have you seen anything, any brands that you would call out
as doing anything really interesting?
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: I don't know.
Nothing comes to mind for me.
LAUREN SHERMAN: I think Nike and personalization stuff is cool.
I mean, I think there are the obvious ones.
Burberry and you know, that get called out again and again
and again.
But I think, there's a brand in the UK called "Matches."
They sell a lot.
They have a huge presence online.
But they sell a lot of-- they have a bunch of boutiques.
They sell really expensive clothes.
And they have a thing.
They sell tons of SKUs online.
Tons of denim.
Tons of contemporary.
So most of you work, I think, in ad, fashion ads,
so you probably know contemporaries,
like mid-price stuff.
But they don't have much of that in the boutique,
because they don't have a lot of square footage.
They only have dressed that are $1,000 or more.
So when they're in the store, they have iPads out.
And they're kind of training their probably very
well-paid customer service people to kind of loop
in the stuff on the iPad.
And anecdotally, they've told me that a lot of people
who have never bought stuff online
before are buying jeans through them, or a pair of earrings,
or something like that, while they're in the store.
So I think that kind of stuff, it's still clunky.
And it's not where it needs to be.
But the more that happens, the more exciting shopping
is going to become.
LISA GREEN: And a little bit in the personalization vein,
we were discussing a little bit earlier
that, I read an article this morning
about how big data can really play a role in personalization.
The article was about this guy who had received an email
to install solar panels on his home.
But it was really personalized.
The company had used the Google Maps technology
and overlaid their own API, whatever they did.
And they said they found that this guy's house was
perfect for installing solar panels.
And so the email said that.
It said, we've done some research.
And your house is great for solar panels.
And he clicked on it.
And the link brought him to another personalized place
that had Google Earth imagery.
And said, here's what we would do with your solar panels.
And the next clip was to a rep, who
already had all his information and was ready.
He didn't have to say anything.
It was such a powerful way to use data,
instead of it just being, oh, well
you bought a pair of jeans.
So you should buy more jeans.
Here's 30% off.
What do you guys think could be done in the fashion space
with all this data that we now have access to?
00:14:41,415 --> 00:14:44,180 STEVEN ALAN: I think that it's interesting.
Because I was just in L.A. last weekend.
And I started getting emails-- and I'm not even sure
how this was done, but-- I started getting emails
for companies that had L.A. stores,
but where I never received the emails from those stores.
I don't even know how they knew.
I was just thinking about that.
But I think that-- Definitely, like for example right now,
another initiative is, if you come
into the store as a customer, you
have your history of what you've bought from the store.
And then we have a history of what you've bought online.
But the sales associates can't really
access what you've bought online, yet.
I mean, they will be able to.
But I think that is really important,
to be able to see sort of a complete profile.
And another thing that we're going to be using
is a technology called Digital Marvels or Touche.
I'm not sure which company.
But it's interesting.
What they do is, they allow the person
who's at the store to be able to sort of drag and drop
very easily.
So if you're a customer, and you want to find out information
on a particular brand-- you're interested in acne, say,
now what's happening is you might
get an email with a couple links on different items, whatever.
But with this, you'd could actually get-- I mean,
it's an app.
You'd have to download the app.
But then it would just be really easy for the associate
to just sort of drag a bunch of things
that they think that you might be interested in.
And then you could drag a bunch of things
out that you're not interested in.
It just really facilitates a great experience.
00:16:23,926 --> 00:16:24,800 LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
I'm actually working on a story about this right now.
And I think Gilt does a really interesting job
with this stuff.
They have a ton of people working
on their personalization.
They have a huge team of engineers working on it.
And I think that they've actually done the best job.
You know, they think about climate.
They think about where you are.
They think of your size.
And they really try to whittle it down.
So you get an email that is only the products
that you'd actually want.
Does it always work?
No.
But they're doing interesting things with.
And I think also it can help in the buying
process for a lot of big retailers.
The way that retailers buy things
is kind of very-- they look at past data.
And now they'll be able to look current data,
and say, oh, people across the internet
are buying green shirts or whatever.
Maybe we should order or we should
get some green shirts made, things like that.
So I think there's a lot of different ways
it can be applied.
Some of them, it might not be worth all the time
and effort, the end result.
But I think, especially if you're
a big, big multi-brand website, to be able to kind of figure
out what's available in people's sizes, in the things
that they'd already like, is exciting.
And the better that they get at it, the more-- I guess,
the less people will even notice,
or, hopefully it will result in better sales.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: [INAUDIBLE].
00:18:02,980 --> 00:18:03,780 LISA GREEN: OK.
So what about shifting gears a little bit?
What about social?
What platforms do you think are really making a difference?
I think that what we see is brands
are really going after kind of every platform.
They're on Pinterest.
They're on Instagram.
They're on YouTube.
They're on Facebook.
And in fact, their marketing has every little icon next to it.
Which ones do you guys really think
are actually having an influence, driving purchase?
And as a brand, which ones do you
feel like you are best able to sort of communicate
your own messaging from?
And from where you guys sit, which brands-- what's working
and why?
STEVEN ALAN: I mean for us, I would
say Instagram is probably the most effective.
Because it's just so visual.
00:18:50,960 --> 00:18:54,840 I think that we can sort of connect the dots with Instagram
better than anything else.
And then with Instagram, goes to Twitter, goes to Facebook.
So it's very strong.
We're about to launch another app called Spring, which
will be-- I think it's going to be very
significant in the fashion space.
Because it will actually be a shoppable visual platform.
So I think I'm excited about that.
BRETT HEYMAN: For us also, Instagram's the most important.
Being a small brand, and just communicating directly
with the customers, anytime I post a picture
that people like that, I have so many people
asking if we'll ship to Mexico?
If we'll ship here, and how much bags are.
So I can directly interface with the customers.
And I get so many screenshots of an Instagram post
sent back to our customer service
saying we want to order this bag.
Where do we get this bag?
So it's great.
And then if there were ever-- if we want to do sales,
or now launching the website and promoting sales on the website,
we use Facebook.
And I feel like that customer is much more into what
your sales are, what deal can I get.
It's much more commerce-driven than the visual, Instagram.
00:19:53,784 --> 00:19:54,700 LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Yeah.
I would say Instagram too.
And I also think that Spring is going
to be a game changer, maybe.
I don't know if you guys know what it is.
But as I understand it-- and I'm getting a walk-through tomorrow
actually, of the app.
But I've seen it in its early stages too.
It's like an Instagram feed, but you can click to buy.
And it's really, really beautifully designed,
and really intuitive.
So, I don't shop online that much.
That one makes a lot of sense to me.
So I think that-- and every major brand
is signing up with them.
So I think that will be a force.
But other than that, yeah, I think
Instagram is such a great way for brands
to present exactly the image that they want.
But then also you see Style Bloggers,
and I think, what is it, Like To Know It?
LAUREN SHERMAN: Like To Know It.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: I did talk to a few bloggers.
They are seeing commissions.
So I think it's working too.
It's another way to make Instagram shoppable.
That one seems like more effort to me,
like, you have to sign up.
And then more steps.
But I think, when somebody sees something on a girl
that they think looks really cute, and they want the dress,
it's a good way to get it.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, I agree.
Instagram and Spring-- I'm also really excited about.
I think, if anybody's going to be able to do it--
what companies like List and I'm trying
to think of what the other ones are called, and Fancy,
have tried to do with fashion and have not been able to.
I really think Spring might have a chance to do it.
Especially because it's-- they're doing partnerships.
It's not affiliate-based as I think I'm correct?
STEVEN ALAN: What do you mean?
Partnerships as opposed to?
LAUREN SHERMAN: As opposed to just a feed, API.
STEVEN ALAN: Oh, no.
It's total partnerships.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
So it's not an API.
So it's just very interesting.
And I think that when that launches, if it takes off,
it's going to be huge.
Or it will flop it.
But I have a feeling it's going to be really good.
LISA GREEN: So it'll be good, or not good.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: But you create the imagery, right?
STEVEN ALAN: Yeah.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: So every brands creates--
like, they have complete control.
So I think that that's part of the reason it
will be so successful.
LISA GREEN: So, in that vein, do you
think that there's a danger of kind of commercializing what
consumers feel like is somewhat organic at this point?
So, in the same way, like maybe, if I think about it
from a video aspect, should brands
be making their videos more shoppable?
Should there be this sort of seamless interaction
between a beautiful brand video that you could actually
click to buy?
Or do you think-- because it sounds
like what you guys are saying is, Instagram's awesome.
And it'll be more awesome if you can buy from it.
So do you think it's the same with video?
LAUREN SHERMAN: I don't think many people watch fancy brand
videos.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: [INAUDIBLE] actually launched today.
Cinematique, did you see that?
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
They've been doing stuff on [INAUDIBLE] for a while.
But it could work.
And it's interesting.
But I think what sells are YouTube people, like vloggers.
I think that they can really sell product via the web.
And I think on the really high end, I mean,
I think occasionally it does work.
And there are certain viral fashion videos
that have done well.
And maybe if they had click to buy on them-- like,
Rachel Antonoff does some really cool ones.
If they had had click to buy, maybe it would have done well.
But I think that that's something
that bigger brands haven't figured out yet.
STEVEN ALAN: I'd heard the other day
that I think there was 15,000 people on YouTube that
have a greater following than Vogue.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Oh yeah.
STEVEN ALAN: It was just amazing.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, and even if people are watching things
on Vogue-- I mean, Leah could speak to this more
because I haven't been editing a site for a while.
But it's really hard to get people to shop via editorial,
when you're a really big name.
If you're a blogger, it's easier.
Because they have a closer connection.
But to get someone to buy something via a story,
it's not really why people are going to editorial websites.
I don't know that's changing.
Do you think it is?
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: No.
I think it's easier online.
Because throughout the day, we have smaller market stories.
And they're much more focused.
Or maybe one is really centered around an editor who functions
in that way more like a blogger.
Because then you sort of might follow that editor
on their social channels and feel
a more personal connection.
So if they pick the product, maybe wear it themselves,
you might be more inclined to buy it than maybe
if you just saw like a roundup of like 100 boots.
But you might get a sense of the direction you want to go in.
I still think it offers guidance, but not
in the same way of an immediate sort of drive to sale.
And then this thing that-- I got a walk-through of Cinematique
which makes shoppable videos.
And it launched with Net-a-Porter today.
And I still, I mean as someone who runs a site,
it's hard to get people to watch videos.
Like, we don't have a user's attention for very long.
And so the videos have to be short.
And I think, it's also just going to--
you have to change the way users interact with video, to let
them know like, oh, you can hover over the video
and click things in.
And I think that's just not-- it's really
going to have to be a behavior shift
to let people know that that's possible.
LISA GREEN: Cool.
I'm going to open it up for questions.
I can keep asking them.
But I don't if anybody in the audience has anything.
You can just raise your hand if you've got any questions.
Oh, OK.
AUDIENCE: What do you think is the next big thing
in e-commerce in regards to shopping?
Or what would you like to see next?
LAUREN SHERMAN: I think that beauty
is something has a lot of opportunity.
There's a ton of opportunity via YouTube
and beauty, which is already happening.
But I think that the beauty space-- a lot of beauty brands
have a weird rule that if you don't have any brick and mortar
store, you can't sell their stuff online.
And someone explained to me why that is the other day.
Because every beauty person I meet, I ask them why that is.
But they're really strict about it.
So a lot of beauty sites that don't have brick and mortar,
they don't have a lot of big brands.
And I think that that's going to start-- I mean,
Amazon has everything.
Because they pool from-- it's not regulated.
And obviously you guys know how that works.
But I think beauty is a huge space.
It doesn't-- as much as people say you need to try on product,
people have been shopping via Avon catalogs for 100 years
or whatever.
I don't think that that's a barrier.
And I think there aren't that many big players.
There's Amazon.
There are the bigger websites.
And there is Sephora.
But there isn't a ton in that space.
And that to me, that's what I'm looking at,
at different e-commerce opportunities in there.
And I also think just the closer connection with in-store.
I mean, there was some survey that
said that people still prefer to shop in-store.
I haven't looked at the data enough
to know whether or not it was BS or not.
But I think that people are using the web.
Regardless, every purchase is made with web.
So just the closer the connection is between the two,
the better off the retailer is, I think.
LISA GREEN: You guys have anything about e-commerce.
STEVEN ALAN: I would just-- I think when 3D-- I mean,
that's going to be revolutionary in shopping, I think.
And just quality imagery in general.
When we photograph things, it's always just the lighting
and being able to really see color.
So I think as technology advances,
that's going to really help with things like that.
LISA GREEN: One of the other questions
that I have which, I haven't gotten to ask yet,
which seems like a right to ask it is, so if Google could
design the perfect product for fashion brands, what would that
look like to you guys?
What's missing in this space that you think you really
need to drive your sales, or to promote your brand,
or that you really think is missing to make fashion
more exciting, more accessible, more Interesting?
00:28:27,270 --> 00:28:27,770 Leah?
I'm gonna call on Leah.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: That's a really big question.
LISA GREEN: OK.
Brett?
BRETT HEYMAN: I'm sticking with virtual dressing room.
LISA GREEN: That's right.
You nailed it.
BRETT HEYMAN: It's applicable for beauty, too.
Uplighting your face, what colors work?
I just feel like that's going to be everything.
00:28:44,888 --> 00:28:47,439 STEVEN ALAN: I think checkout, too, is a big deal.
I mean obviously, like Amazon checkout,
it just makes it so easy.
But I think just having this sort
of seamless one-click ability to do
that, I think it'll help with that.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: And making returns as easy as possible,
too.
I mean, I think that's the number one thing that stops me
from shopping online is because I know that, if I get it,
and then I wait too long, I'm screwed.
And I've got it.
So I tend to only make purchases when I really
know that it's something like-- brand
that I love, the size of that fits me.
And I know all these things work.
STEVEN ALAN: And you were saying in the beginning,
you were saying about checking different sites
to see who had it at a lower price?
I would think that if there was an app that actually could
do that for you, where you just automatically
have whatever the sites that you would check.
And it would just tell you, OK.
Buy it.
It's cheapest.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: And you would have a definitive answer.
STEVEN ALAN: So they do it with air fare now.
So it seems like, if they do with airfare, they could do it.
LISA GREEN: We have-- there's a particular brand
that we work with who's in the sort of accessible luxury
space.
So their goods are about $400, kind of in that range.
And what we've found that's really interesting,
that their shipping is actually quite expensive.
But for some reason, they are still making sales,
even though their product is actually
sold by other wholesalers.
What do you guys make of that?
We're trying to figure out, is there
a reason why you think consumers might still
prefer to buy brand-direct versus from Shopbop
or Bloomingdale's or Steven Allan?
How do you guys sweeten the deal?
How do you get people to buy something from you,
even if it's not necessarily price?
Like, why buy it from StevenAlan.com.
STEVEN ALAN: Well, I mean, I don't know.
I guess with anything, if I'm buying a product,
and it's from the source, then I would think maybe it's
in better condition.
It's not coming off of some shelf on a store,
where they're wrapping it up.
And if there is a problem, that I can call that company.
And they'll certainly stand behind their product.
Whereas if you're selling another product,
you can only stand behind it-- well,
you could stand behind it.
But it's not always the same as if you're buying it direct.
I mean, I just-- actually it doesn't relate.
I was just thinking of pillows.
Because I'm buying pillows.
But I can't think of the analogy that I
wanted to think of, so, anyway.
[LAUGHTER]
BRETT HEYMAN: I just, for me, I shop on Net-a-Porter
because it's very expedient.
Like it's fast.
It's same day.
That's something we offer in New York on our site
and would love to roll it out eventually at other places.
And you mentioned Spring.
We just had our Spring training.
And they're only offering one mode and method of shipping.
I think everybody wants things so fast that there's not
like-- you know, normally you check out.
You have ground, expedited, et cetera, et cetera.
And Spring is only offering expedited.
So I just think--
STEVEN ALAN: It's also free.
BRETT HEYMAN: Yes.
LISA GREEN: It's free expedited.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, I think the big reason
would be selection.
So assume that retailer may have one or two things on-- you
can go to Edie Parker and get probably everything
that you've done that season, plus all
the personalization stuff.
Whereas, if you go on Net-a-Porter,
there are probably four SKUs or something.
I think that's a big part of it is
that, I like to shop at individual websites a lot.
Because it's usually every single product
that they've done that season.
And when it's not, I think, oh, you
didn't buy that for yourself?
And now I have to go-- So you know,
so I think that that's a part of it,
too, is just there's usually a much bigger selection
on individual sites.
LISA GREEN: What about the same day delivery thing?
I mean, you guys hopefully, maybe have bought something
using Google Shopping Express.
But So we recently launched it in New York.
It's been in the Bay Area for quite awhile.
And we've got it in West L.A. as well.
It's this idea that you can not only get it same day,
but you can actually schedule.
Very similar to what you do with Net-a-Porter.
It's subscription-based.
And right now, you get six months for free.
So go home and try it out.
But what do you think about that for fashion brands?
Because currently it's very focused on everyday essentials.
It's Walgreens, Target, Costco, Fairway.
Help me people.
What else am I missing?
L'Occitane.
Costco.
Toys-R-Us.
Yes, how can I forget?
I'm using it all the time.
So what do you think about the likelihood
of fashion brands getting into this space and the ability
to deliver goods same day?
Why would they say yes?
And why wouldn't they do it?
STEVEN ALAN: We've tried it.
We did it in holiday.
We did same day delivery.
We had messengers delivering it.
But I'm not sure.
I don't know what would be involved
in doing it with Google.
Like, I don't know what the costs would be for the company,
and how the whole thing would work out.
So it would be hard to say.
LISA GREEN: So let's take it from-- because I'm not
going to sell you the product right now.
So let's take it from the sort of consumer perspective, right?
Do you think that that's something consumers
are really looking for now?
Or do you think that we've got another year or two where
people are still happy with two-day delivery
or whatever it is?
STEVEN ALAN: I think it's always good to offer.
I mean, all things being equal, I
think it'd be nice thing to offer.
LAUREN SHERMAN: I would use it.
I think we are in a bubble of a world where it's like, oh,
I can't go get that bag that I really want for this wedding
this weekend.
Because I don't have enough time.
So if someone could just get it to me by Friday,
that'd be great.
And I definitely pay extra for stuff.
So I think that people-- there is a need for it.
But it's just just a matter of money and logistics in general.
When you're here, it's easy.
But if you're in Idaho or whatever,
and you need a bag next day, it's, you know,
it seem kind of impossible.
STEVEN ALAN: Another thing too, I
was thinking about before when you were asking about
the-- just when we're talking about the fact
that your selection is so much better in a single branded type
store.
It reminded me of, there's a site
in Japan called Zozotown, which is interesting
because they have all these individual stores.
But it's kind of like a virtual shopping mall, in a sense.
And people have tried to do it here,
but I don't know of anyone that's
really been effective doing it here.
But it's pretty interesting.
LISA GREEN: It's essentially what Google Shopping Express
is, just so you know.
It is.
It's all these different stores.
You're buying directly from the store.
But it's being delivered to you by Google.
So that's the--
STEVEN ALAN: So all the stores are linked on Shopping Express?
LISA GREEN: Yes, so it's basically a mall.
You should go.
Google.com/Express .
[LAUGHTER]
STEVEN ALAN: OK.
I'm going to check it out.
LISA GREEN: But just so you guys know,
it's basically a mall where you can buy from all this--
they're all local stores.
They're stores you would go out--
LAUREN SHERMAN: I definitely have
bought stuff via Google Shopping.
Because I buy pretty much everything online.
So I've definitely done it before.
And I use it to search for products.
LISA GREEN: Yeah.
Other questions from-- wait, I'm gonna go.
Betty Ann?
I'm just trying to diversify the room here.
AUDIENCE: I'm Betty Ann.
I manage our Fashion and Lifestyle Partnerships
on Google [INAUDIBLE].
And I've actually worked on some capacity with most of you guys,
on the channel.
I just wanted to quickly ask about [INAUDIBLE] and iBeacon
technology, and what your thoughts are on that.
You mentioned a lot of mobile and the features
in mobile, but what are you guys thinking about [INAUDIBLE].
STEVEN ALAN: Cautious.
I mean, for me as a retailer , just because I feel like
there's always that-- am I invading your space by--?
But on the other hand, I feel like it's
going to be so prevalent.
And it's going to be so common in the future.
And so it's just a question of doing it
in the appropriate way for me.
00:36:24,894 --> 00:36:25,810 LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Yeah.
I mean, Elle is working with iBeacon as well.
I think it's the same thing.
Like, I still don't quite get it.
I'm like, OK.
So I just walk by something.
And if I have the thing, it pops into my phone.
But yeah, I think it would be about feeling,
walking the line of not being too intrusive.
But if it's offering a service, I think, everyone,
no one wants to-- You know, it's those extra steps
that stop you from making a purchase,
or getting something done.
So if iBeacon makes something like that more seamless,
I think it's really helpful.
LISA GREEN: You have a question?
AUDIENCE: Yeah.
Just wanted to follow up on a thought that I was having.
When you mentioned people price shopping
between different sites, what you've
seen over the last-- probably more than five years--
but an increase in collaborations between stores
and designers [INAUDIBLE] the sense.
[INAUDIBLE] Even bigger, luxury retailers like Barneys,
they all have their own exclusives.
Which in a way, promotes their brand,
that they have all these things, but it also prevents people
from comparison shopping.
So do you see that becoming more prevalent?
More stores trying to wake up with labels
and do direct collaborations to keep
the customer at that store.
STEVEN ALAN: Definitely.
I mean, I think that as much as you can do that.
Sometimes it's a little tricky for some retailers.
Because let's say you have one store.
And you want to collaborate with a brand.
Usually the brand needs to reach a certain minimum quantity
to produce.
So let's say it's 200 units.
And that could be huge risk for you,
even though you have exclusive products.
So, it's definitely a balance.
But I think that the more you can do that, the better.
LISA GREEN: As a brand, I mean that sounds
like a bit of a challenge, to be creating
a unique product for every--
BRETT HEYMAN: It's such a challenge.
And every market, every important retailer,
now more and more demands their own exclusives.
They want their own colors.
They want-- they don't want you to sell
that bag to anybody else.
It's really, really difficult.
And I would just say in a-- I love all of my retail partners
but-- I've noticed that, especially with my brick
and mortar retailers, they are very, very
specific about what they.
And they'll design something based on what we design.
And I'm happy to oblige.
Because I'm a small brand.
But season after season, I noticed
that those are the bags that are still
on shelves at the end of the season.
Like, I don't think the customer cares
as much about exclusive to x store as the store does.
STEVEN ALAN: Totally.
And I think that a lot of times buyers
want to be designers too.
And it's sort of like, what if we did this?
And we put the-- And it's kind of like,
are you sure about that?
It's like, oh, yeah.
Definitely.
And we're going to buy it big.
A lot of times it's like a big-- especially a store
chain or something like that.
And it's like you kind of know it.
And then they get it.
And exactly what you said, they're stuck with it.
And then you're like, why did I do that?
I should have just told them not do it.
And, but that happens sometimes.
And it doesn't really merchandise back
with the collection.
It's sort of like this one-off thing.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Yeah.
I think you do see more and more of them.
But they only work when they're really good.
And then they go.
And then you see it on all your social channels.
Like, the message gets out.
Like, Lauren just wrote about Everlane with Langley Fox.
But I think, and you know, Barneys does a bunch
that I think are really good.
But--
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, but whether or not those ones
that they just did one with the NBA player.
Russell--
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Russell-
LAUREN SHERMAN: Russell West-- yeah.
I just wrote a story about NBA player style for Leah.
I obviously know a lot about it.
But I don't know if those will sell.
They did one with Jasmine Soule who's
a fashion consultant who's super cool.
And everybody in fashion's obsessed with her.
And they
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
I don't-- I mean, they probably didn't make a lot of it.
But I think, the one that Everlane
did with Langley Fox who's an Illustrator.
And she's Ernest Hemingway's great-granddaughter
or something.
Who cares?
The shirts were amazing.
And I bought three of them immediately.
But it was cool.
She is cool.
And I was like, well, I would like to look like her.
She's really cool.
She's-- but, it was more about the product being really good.
And I think that's--
I love Steven did with Katie Ermilio.
And it's completely different price point and different kind
of customer.
But I happen to really like both brands, so I got something.
So I think it has to be the right thing.
AUDIENCE: It's either really awesome, or clearance.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
Totally.
LISA GREEN: Did you still have a question?
AUDIENCE: Yeah.
So I work with a company I won't name
that's a global brand, household name, where you can walk out
of here and see a million dollar billboard with their name
on it.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: This is a fun guessing game.
AUDIENCE: And they still don't believe in digital.
And so, for all of you, I'm not an expert
in the fashion industry like Katie is here.
[LAUGHTER]
I work with a bunch of different [INAUDIBLE].
So I'm just wondering, for each of you,
you've seen-- you've been in the industry a long time.
[INAUDIBLE] more watershed [INAUDIBLE]
digital [INAUDIBLE] that could be more organic stuff, paid
media, online catalogs, whatever it is.
For you, what was your watershed moment,
where you saw and realized how important online is
for the modern shopper?
00:41:54,910 --> 00:41:57,470 STEVEN ALAN: I mean, one thing in regards
to what you were saying-- I mean, with online as opposed
to print, obviously, you can track it.
So if you're a business and you're going to advertise,
and you're going to take out an ad in the magazine,
it's just sort of like, OK.
Well let's hope for the best.
It's like throwing darts.
But online, you're actually seeing it.
You're actually seeing the monetization
of what you're doing.
And I think in the future, more companies
are going to look at more the latent
demand of what's happening.
In other words, let's say you're a retailer, a designer.
And you have product on the site.
And you have buy 100 smalls, 100 mediums, 100 larges.
Right?
And you sell all the mediums.
So all you know is, well I should
have bought more mediums.
Because I sold out.
But I think in the future more and more
companies will start looking at that data
not as, well, I sold 100 mediums.
But 1,000 people clicked on medium to buy it.
And I only had 100.
So not only did I underbuy, but I really
should start to think about just how I bought it in general.
00:43:06,050 --> 00:43:07,639 I don't know if that--
LISA GREEN: it's hard to believe that we're still
talking about people not believing in online as just
a communication channel.
Is that why we're silent, I think?
LAUREN SHERMAN: I've had to write
a bunch of stories of brands going online, and brands--
why aren't brands still online?
And I got online because that's where I got a job.
And what are you going to do?
I wanted to work at a Teen Vogue.
And I got a job at Forbes.com.
And it ended up being great for me.
But I was not excited to work in at a financial website.
And then I realized that, oh, 30 million people just
read my story.
And I'm getting emails from guys in India asking about-- like.
So I think that's when you just realize
the power of the web and the influence the web
has over print.
I mean, print still has influence.
And it's still smart.
And I'm assuming that the brand is at a very high price point.
OK, then I don't understand it.
[LAUGHTER]
Like, if you're Chanel or Celine,
which are the only ones that I can think of.
I mean, they don't really need to.
Because A, maybe they will need to someday.
But they sell a ton of-- they sell
enough handbags to send a 5,000 people to Dallas
for their $500 million show or whatever.
But I think that once you see the--
are they not selling online at all?
Or they just don't want to spend on digital advertising online?
AUDIENCE: They sell [INAUDIBLE].
LAUREN SHERMAN: But they don't want
to spend on digital advertising.
Is that the--?
Well.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE].
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah.
I mean.
I think you really just need to see the power of it.
Like what Steven said about the 100 SKUs.
And then 1,000 people click on it.
You see how important it is.
And if they're still not getting that, I mean,
I don't know what their business is
going to look like in five years.
But it's not going to be-- I think
that they need to see its power to appreciate it.
STEVEN ALAN: Also, it's such a great tool.
I mean, for me, it's all about the product.
It's about really building this amazing product
and being able to articulate that message.
So I feel like it's enabled me as a designer
to sort of reach a much broader appeal than I could
with just having stores and let's say, if I was taking out
an ad in a magazine or something.
You can really kind of dig deeper and deeper on stuff.
LISA GREEN: We've got time for one last question.
If anybody has it?
AUDIENCE: I'm curious to know.
So we've said a lot in favor of online.
And I'm the typical online shopper.
I buy everything online.
Do you see a counter-argument against being fully online?
Do you think there's still a place where
you need to have brick and mortar partners?
And you need to have your own storefront?
Or do you think you could very easily
have your entire brand, product line, on a website
and communicate solely online?
Or do you think it needs to be kind of both?
STEVEN ALAN: I mean, I think it could exist.
Certainly.
I mean, there's a lot of companies.
I was talking to this guy the other day.
And the business he picked was the sexy business
of mattresses.
Which is like--
LISA GREEN: Pillows.
Mattresses.
STEVEN ALAN: Yeah.
It just happens.
I just happened to meet this guy.
And he decided he was going to start a mattress company called
Casper.
Casper-- beds.
Or Casper mattresses.
And basically it's all online.
And he's competing with Sleep-Ease
and all the other-- I mean, it's a huge, huge business.
And I just thought it was interesting.
Because you can't see it.
So it's something that-- the mattress of all things.
You want to-- you lie down.
You do your test and all that stuff.
So here's an example where they're
selling a product that traditionally has always
been a touch product.
And very successful with it.
So anyway.
00:47:20,166 --> 00:47:22,942 BRETT HEYMAN: I know for me, my product is so tactile,
that even though we're doing well online,
I think there's still a great benefit to people
feeling the acrylic and feeling the confetti in it and all
the textures.
And I mean, this is obviously a young room.
But there are people in my mother's generation and people
who are very supportive who are still not
comfortable buying luxury online.
I mean like, Amazon, Google-- one thing.
But luxury products-- they still need to touch and feel and try.
LAUREN SHERMAN: I think menswear, too.
I think guys really want to try stuff on.
Or see it.
I was on Everlane the other day.
And my husband was like, I really
want to try those polo shirts.
But I just wish there was somewhere I could go look.
That's why I mean, Bonobos-- that's a whole other thing.
Whether or not I believe in that product,
I'm not going to talk about right now.
But I do you think the idea of going into the store
and at least being able to see it.
And he said that to me just off-handedly.
And I think for men, because they
tend to buy a bunch of the same things-- is that right?
Yeah.
That they need to sometimes to see it just once in person,
so they can just keep buying it again and again.
STEVEN ALAN: Yeah.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: They don't like going into big stores.
STEVEN ALAN: I don't think it's necessary
to have as many stores as maybe in the past.
I think terms of building a brand, you would think, OK.
Well you need to have all these stores in all these cities.
And I think now-- I mean, it's definitely
important to have stores in all these key cities.
But, they're kind of supplementing that experience.
So it really is a place to sort of discover, touch.
And it's OK.
I think the more and more it's seen as something that's
completely OK to go in and not buy
something and just kind of look at it.
And it's sort of like this place to explore.
LISA GREEN: All right.
I'll leave my final question-- I don't need that.
So we're frighteningly already in August.
And so we're kind of hitting that slope
into fall and then holiday.
If each of you could just pick one big trend
that you're expecting to see with the online, digital,
retail revolution, what do you think it's going to be?
And we'll start with Brett and go down the line.
BRETT HEYMAN: Just fast.
Getting everything fast.
That's all I keep hearing.
STEVEN ALAN: I think technology.
I mean, I'm seeing a lot more technical fabrics
than I did before, performance-based fabrics.
I think people are kind of more and more curious about that.
LISA GREEN: Leah, you're up.
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: Yeah, I think speed certainly.
And I mean, because-- I don't know.
I do think people wait till the last minute.
I know I do.
So there's that.
And then if I were to name of a product, I think the jumpsuit.
Yeah.
LAUREN SHERMAN: Yeah, I think that people
are just more and more interested.
And I think stores and retailers are
going to try to do more and more.
They're going to experiment more with stuff in-store.
I know a couple of stories that are opening here
in the fall that are really trying
to make the store experience immersive.
Maybe they're going to go too far.
But people are definitely experimenting a lot
with that type of thing too, and bringing
that whole multi-channel thing into Omni channel, or whatever.
I hate that word.
But you know what I mean.
LISA GREEN: Well thank you guys again.
I hope everybody enjoyed it.
And we appreciate you guys taking the time
to come down here.
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The Modern Shopper, A Panel on How Technology Drives Fashion | Talks at Google

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Liz published on January 23, 2020
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