A Chat With Beth Guastella, giggle’s New President and COO, Part 2
In the second and final part of this interview with Beth Guastella, the recently named president and COO of giggle, a specialty retailer of upscale baby products and resources, we discuss giggle's digital business, its partnership with J.C. Penney and Beth's tips for being a successful omnichannel merchant. In part one of our interview, we discussed what attracted Guastella to giggle, what specialty retail means to her, and how giggle's catalog business works.
Melissa Campanelli: Can you discuss giggle's plans for the digital/e-commerce side of its business?
Beth Guastella: We're constantly looking at our site and the overall performance of it, as well as our overall digital marketing strategies. Right now we're starting to look at how to test variations of homepages, landing pages, etc., and moving toward more A/B testing to understand what will make our consumers respond in different and more meaningful ways.
MC: I know that earlier this year giggle entered into a partnership with J.C. Penney. Can you talk a little about that?
BG: We're super excited about it. Based on JCP's store-within-a store "Shops" concept, giggleBABY, our new baby shop, will open in more than 500 JCP stores this October. The shop will feature an exclusive diffusion line that will have a look and feel very similar to giggle brand, but will be slightly different.
MC: Can you give our readers a best practice or tip around how to be a successful omnichannel merchant in 2013?
BG: I love this quote by Piers Fawkes [the founder of design consulting firm and think tank PFSK]: "Everywhere will be a store. Everything will be available to buy. And everyone will be involved in the sale." For me, what that means is we're no longer in a day where brands decide, "This is what you will you buy from us, this is when you will buy from us, and under our terms."
Because of technology today, the consumer truly decides when they'll shop, where they'il shop and how they'll shop. So it's up to the brand to figure out how to serve that consumer. It creates a cultural shift from being transactionally based to being experientially focused. It really becomes all about the experience — and it's the online with the offline experience. Consumers today are saying to retailers, "Remember me, make it easy; connect online and offline; and do more for me than sell."