It’s no secret that when it comes to today’s retail environment, advancements in technology continue to redefine the way business is conducted. However, with so many new technologies constantly emerging, it’s often difficult for retailers and brands to know where to invest and how to ensure their strategies reflect consumer’s increasing demands.
As part of the WWD Digital Summit last week, we attended a beautiful reception honoring WWD’s 10 Most Wanted Retail & Fashion Tech Innovators. Identified by key industry insiders as the leaders and pioneers in the digital and e-commerce space, this group of “Most Wanted” was selected for bringing to market new ways to engage consumers, manage inventory and create an authentic connection on social media. RevCascade was extremely proud and humbled to be among those honored in this group, which also included such renowned industry leaders as Kate Spade, Under Armour, Burberry and Sephora.
From the start of the event, which began with Audi transforming the transportation experience from the typical gritty bumper-to-bumper Manhattan crawl, to an incredibly comfortable, spacious, and beautiful journey, it became very clear to me that innovation is leveling the playing field in commerce.
As we gathered at Gigino at Wagner Park, overlooking the Hudson and Lady Liberty, we had an incredible opportunity to meet with a number of digital innovators that are utilizing highly unique and successful tactics to improve sales, drive traffic both online and in stores, and make transactions easier – all creating better customer engagement.
In addition to those that were being honored, there were also some early-stage standouts that I believe demonstrate that innovation is winning.
- BeautyKind – Representing a new online beauty marketplace, this smart retailer leverages the constantly evolving mindset of today’s sophisticated shopper to offer her a unique and empowering experience. BeautyKind enables customers to buy the brands they love and discover new favorites, all while supporting a charitable cause of their choice. With each beauty supply purchase made on BeautyKind, a charity selected by the consumer receives 5% of the sale.
- Perfect Corp is another beauty company that is changing the game through innovation. With its YouCam super app, Perfect Corp uses technology to provide a fun and productive customer experience that showcases a real time view of how a shopper looks in different makeup colors, and offers application techniques to help with purchasing decisions. Downloaded by more than 300 million people globally, YouCam has generated more than 10 billion “selfies” since launching in March 2014.
- Kate Spade – In addition to these newer companies, there were also large, established ones like Kate Spade, whose commitment to innovation is certainly noteworthy. In fact, this renowned fashion brand learned early on that digital story telling drives customer engagement. And through this approach, along with the promise to think about customers not as a demographic but as an ageless mindset, Kate Spade has successfully secured more than 1.8 million followers on Instagram, over 353,000 followers on Pinterest, and nearly 3 million loyal fans and customers that follow the brand on Facebook.
- King & Partners – One more innovator that I believe is leveling the playing field through technology is Tony King, CEO, CCO, and Founder of King & Partners. In addition to launching Gucci.com, King was the creative vision behind the first digital flagships for some of the most prominent and world-renowned high-end fashion brands including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, YSL and Bottega Veneta. Today, he runs a digital agency, which he describes as being focused on true collaboration with a curated group of exceptional fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands.
As WWD put it, the rise of mobile and e-commerce, together with the shift in consumer behavior have forever changed the way the business of retail is conducted. It was an honor being categorized amongst WWD’s intimate group of tech pioneers reshaping the industry, and as RevCascade continues to help retailers and brands leverage the massive and growing $700 billion global market opportunity that exists via online marketplaces, we can’t wait to see how these other digital and e-commerce leaders continue to innovate.