As part of Internet Week New York, DigitalFlash hosted a panel, Capitalizing on the Consumer at Grind Park.
We thought the conversation would focus on emerging technology in e-commerce and the state of retail today. In actuality, the panelists’ discussion focused on the importance of storytelling and authenticity.
Our panel of experienced commerce experts included: Ben Lavely, COO of Best Made Co., Philip Krim, CEO/Founder of Casper, Carla Dunham, a marketing consultant previously at Amazon, and Maxine Bedat Co-Founder of Zady.
As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, we were curious to glean insights on consumer behaviour from the experts. Contrary to our initial presumption, the panelists expressed how brick-and-mortar is very much alive—not dead, but constantly changing.
Technology only part of the process
"Technology is not part of the storytelling, or part of the brand mission," explained Lavely of Best Made Co. "If you want to feel it you go to the store. If you want to buy something you go to the website." Best Made Co. is a company which creates beautifully designed quality tools like axes and saws, and has developed quite the cult following of urban outdoorsmen.
Their showroom in Tribeca is the ideal venue for tangibly experiencing products, and a place to experiment outside of the e-commerce space.
We Can Scale
The question always on company’s minds no matter size nor sector is how to scale—a problem which still exists in the online marketplace. Caspar, Zady and Best Made Co. all focus on creating the best quality products possible, and have managed to scale effectively. “Sometimes when we’re talking about artisanal people assume small, but there can be very beautiful things created with great integrity at scale,” touted Bedat and Lavely explained Best Made Co. is scaling with people and systems.
Build amazing products, tell your story— the rest will work itself out.
Our friends of KITE took a look at a group of eCommerce retailers that are transforming the online shopping experience and maintaining an authentic brand in the process. One standout was Everlane; a “radically transparent” goods retailer, supplying well-made staples at reasonable prices.
Everlane’s clean, simple design and navigation trumpets its online-only business model that and their close supplier relationships. By cutting out big middlemen manufacturers, they offer authentic, high quality goods at low costs, in the same vein as Zady.
A differentiator for Everlane is their emphasis on suppliers. They feature in-depth factory profiles that describe how they found each supplier and what each factory makes, highlighting the factory’s proximity to you.
Everlane takes pride in telling the stories behind their products, adding to the strength of their marketing content. Their customer service is incredibly approachable, one feels like they are talking to their college best friend.
Their latest pop-up showroom, which they are calling an “open house” in NYC highlights many of the themes covered in our panel—dangerous shopping territory.
To learn more about KITE, visit https://getkite.co/.