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At Steve Madden, mobile must come first

June 9, 2016 01:43 PM
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Retailers must have a mobile-first mindset and execute their vision across every device and in all locations where a consumer connects with them in order to win shoppers’ business, according to Mark Friedman, president of e-commerce at luxury apparel manufacturer Steve Madden.

Friedman told attendees at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago about how he’s encouraging his designers to think differently about pages for its website in his keynote presentation, “How Steve Madden Keeps it Edgy at Every Touchpoint, Digital and Beyond.” More than half of Steve Madden’s online traffic stems from mobile devices, he said.

“We’re not mobile-first today and we need to get there,” he said. “Part of that has to do with re-engineering what we do from a technology perspective. We are trying to get to a point where ‘let’s do the mobile design first and let’s work backwards to the desktop.’ To retain the customer [on mobile], you need to make sure it’s a great experience.”

In a push to better attract and retain mobile shoppers’ attention, Steve Madden a few weeks ago launched a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

“The main reason for the mobile app is to offer some functionality that we can’t get presently on mobile web,” Friedman said.

He is particularly proud of a blog section included in the company’s new app: SM World features a blog that showcases fashionable looks from head to toe.

“We talk about all the trends, all the fashion,” he says. “That helps attract the customer [to the brand]; it gives them ideas on what they want to shop.  What they really want is some kind of experience.”

In addition to mobile, Steve Madden is working on rolling out buy online, pick up in store, Friedman said.

“(It’s) only going to work if you’re confident in [in-store] inventory,” he said. The accuracy needs to be precise. In the store, a shopper can’t buy what she can’t see. All too often consumers go into stores and products are not in stock across sizes or colors.”

Ensuring proper execution on inventory is particularly important because Steve Madden’s target audience is millennials age 18-34, a demographic Friedman says is demanding. “They want the orders fulfilled as promised,” he said. “Their tolerance for error, we have found, is pretty low. You will lose customers if you can’t give them the confidence that they will get their product.”

 Friedman also noted that a key to retaining customers is to be consistent across all channels, be it online, social media or in-store.

“We should be able to give you the same answer if you look into the FAQs online or if you go to us through live chats,” he said. “We try to make sure the pricing is consistent across all channels. We have mobile web, we have desktop web and we just launched a mobile app. We want to be able to have that consistent experience across all touchpoints.”

 

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