Kate Spade's CEO's Vision for the Future of Retail
During yesterday's keynote session at the Fashion Digital NY show, Kate Spade's CEO Craig Leavitt talked about the brand's mission and shared four key strategic areas it's focusing on.
"We want to be there for our customer whenever she wants to access the brand. We're channel agnostic, and brand and customer centric. We're first and foremost about the customer. The four areas we try to focus on to get to know and reach out to our customer are our website, social media, brick-and-mortar launches and, most recently, Kate Spade Saturday."
Website: While discussing the benefits Kate Spade has realized online, Leavitt revealed that 20 percent of the brand's sales come from its e-commerce site. The platform not only provides service to consumers in areas without a nearby brick-and-mortar store, it furthers brand awareness and engagement. With promotions and mobile- and tablet-optimized sites, Kate Spade creates a uniformed style and easily accessible purchasing platform for shoppers. However, Leavitt recognizes that his millennial, digital-savvy customer base is more "omni" than just one channel.
Social media: Leavitt shared that Kate Spade's customer base finds out about most promotions and engages with the brand on social media, specifically Instagram.
"We recently launched a store in L.A and took a survey of how our customers found out about the launch, and we were amazed that the majority of the women said Instagram."
Kate Spade has one of the most engaged social media fan bases, with 900,510 likes on Facebook; 508,553 Twitter followers; and 417,000 Instagram followers. The luxury retailer is committed to creating an engaging experience on every network, and is immediate in its response to comments and customer service questions.
Brick-and-mortar: "I'm a retail guy, a brick-and-mortar retail guy at that," Leavitt confessed to the audience. Kate Spade integrates its uniform approach and brand experience (i.e., exceptional service) within its brick-and-mortar locations. While there aren't many across the nation, Leavitt noted that it's important for the brand to offer community engagement in all channels, including stores.
Kate Spade Saturday: "This was an initiative to converge the online and offline experience," Leavitt said. He went on to say that Kate Spade studied and reached out to its customers to learn what they really want, and how technology helped foster a new, creative and unique experience.
Recognizing that eBay is more than just an auction site, Kate Spade partnered with the company to offer something consumers haven't seen before: shoppable windows. The shoppable windows have been a huge success and will be a permanent fixture for the brand. "We embraced the technology and the fact that our consumer base expects high quality and immediacy," Leavitt said. "Consumers really want to engage with us and understand what our company DNA is all about."