Retail Brew recently hosted its first ever The SKU event in NYC, and Flowspace was in attendance to stock up on brand insights.
After hearing from so many innovative, rapidly scaling, household name, and newcomer brands a few key themes emerged within the scope of building community, responsible company values, and the holistic online to offline buying experience. To no one’s surprise, customer is still king, but modern brands are achieving this in new and exciting ways.
Building brands that are authentic to their customer base was a repeated sentiment onstage during The SKU. While most brands agreed it was a core value, there were unique approaches on how to achieve it.
Newcomer DTC brand Cadence, the purveyor of magnetic, modular, refillable containers made from recycled ocean bound plastic— focused on authenticity by “Creating thoughtful products so that your customer base not only buys from you, but actually roots for you.”
Cadence only sells via its direct to consumer site, and counts social media as its main advertising channel—they rely on their community to buy into their vision, recommend to friends and support future product launches.
While on stage discussing their wildly popular brand partnership campaigns that have included: Post Malone, Jimmy Kimmel, and Balenciaga—footwear brand Crocs explains a different approach. Keeping authenticity at the forefront of each of their buzzy marketing campaigns and appealing to a wide range of audiences, they exclusively choose their brand partners based on if they are super fans of the Crocs product. Authenticity builds a true community around your brand to increase loyalty, drive repeat transactions and evangelize your brand within different niche demographics.
Another way brands can bring authenticity into the entire customer experience is by providing transparency and open communication with the end consumer, to ensure the journey from clicking “purchase” onward, is seamless.
Choosing a partner like Flowspace, puts the power in the hands of your CS team to communicate each leg of the shipping journey with our Visibility Suite Technology. Users are able to track open orders in one unified view across delivery stages and sales channels so they can get ahead of any mishaps if shipping is delayed, or rerouted. As a result, the return process is also as painless as possible—keeping customers coming back for more.e.
Now more than ever, customers demand accountability when it comes to inclusivity and the environment. Brands that actively show customers that their values are more than a marketing tactic are the ones that earn the respect and loyalty of buyers.
Hillhouse CEO Nell Diamond explained that core values should be reflected…”In your c-suite, your budgets, your marketing and more.”
Underscoring the need for businesses to make sure there is alignment across all components of your brand from product design to shipping to your doorstep. Flowspace helps brands reduce their carbon footprint by identifying optimal fulfillment centers and fulfilling products closer to end consumers with Network Optimization—winner of the 2021 sustainability service of the year award.
Another way savvy brands can avoid sustainability pitfalls like excess inventory is through better inventory forecasting. Flowspace’s easy-to-use platform provides a holistic view of all orders, inventory, and fulfillment activity to make your supply chain as efficient as possible. All of this unified reporting enables users to pull deep customer and sales insights, to take the guesswork out of forecasting, increasing accuracy.
Fly by Jing creator and CFO shared “The modern consumer is shopping everywhere.”
Omnichannel sales strategy is crucial for all brands trying to maximize the reach of their products. While many DTC companies touted the success of their ecommerce models, several were very excited about getting back to brick and mortar. Hillhouse’s Diamond explained that she’s bullish on brick and mortar to give shoppers a really personal and fun shopping experience— to deliver on a promise to be a brand “that makes you feel something.”
Brands have an obligation to their customers to unify their online and offline shopping experiences by working cross functionally to develop strategies on what makes a superb experience from browsing in-store to unboxing on the sofa. It’s not enough to simply sell across different channels, brands need to provide a superb experience no matter where their customer is shopping.
Omnichannel order management systems, like Flowspace, ensure all orders are tracked and fulfilled, no matter where they come from, or where they’re sent. This guarantees a streamlined fulfillment process that delights customers and retailers alike whether brands are stocking in-store or DTC. Flowspace ensures that back end supply chain logistics don’t get in the way of delivering an end consumer a delightful product that makes them feel something.
Brands that are building with their customer base in mind are relying on authentic communication from marketing efforts, all the way through to shipping updates and returns, to help usher in new repeat customers. Taking the guesswork out of the back end process of the shipping process fosters that transparency that customers expect.
Creating a community of customers that root for your brand CEOs need to show, not tell, their values. When it comes to establishing a set of values— brands need to think through a strategy inclusive of everything from board members, down to supply chain best practices. Brands that don’t hold themselves accountable will lose in the long run.
Finally, when leveraging a brick-and-mortar store to delight customers— brands shouldn’t forget that the experience from shopping online to unboxing also needs to remain stress-free and simple. Choosing a fulfillment solution that can aid in customer communication and experience should be a top priority.
To learn how Flowspace can help you get started with achieving these business goals and more reach out to our sales team.