C-suite perspectives: Building digital style at Stylerunner

Founder and CEO of Australian fashion ecommerce startup, Stylerunner, talks about digital marketing, data for engaging customers and building a digital business

Julie Stevanja
Julie Stevanja

Founder and CEO of Stylerunner, Julie Stevanja, reveals the technology and culture driving this digital apparel site’s customer success.

Marketing and digital are helping us communicate our products and services… first and foremost by reinforcing our brand. It’s really important everything we do with our marketing and digital is consistent. That’s everything from photos and merchandising of our products, through to homepage and Web banners, and a similar tone in our social media.

One thing I’ve seen change about marketing… is that in the digital age, we are willing to experiment with smaller marketing campaigns and messages, then iterate or double down depending on the results. My background is in marketing and I came from that old school of planning an incredible campaign then rolling that out. Today, we’re very much about testing your assumptions and seeing what does well, then putting your money where the results are.

Our marketing mix… has been more digital, although we have done bus campaigns, PR, events, things with magazines, plus partnerships and collaborations. We prefer online, where we can see results of each campaign. As we grow, we think we will do more above-the-line, it comes down to attribution modelling and ensuring we are measuring the impact on sales, even if it’s not the final click.

Today’s CMO… has to be very digitally savvy, and focused on data. They need a good understanding of branding, communications and PR, but to balance that with measurable insights, segmentation, and using all of the data collected via big data and ERP systems.

We’re investing our digital and technology dollars this year in… building our website on top of our new back-end system. One thing we have done in the last 12 months is invested in an ERP system, which represents significant spend for a young company like ours. We want to collect data across every characteristic we can, tracking what customers are browsing and purchasing in terms of brands, price, style, category and so on. The future we’re aiming for is predictive analytics and being able to recommend and personalise what we showcase to customers. While that is in transition phase, we’re still investing in remarketing, which is big for us. We’re looking at cart abandonment, which should be an easy win. We want to also invest in loyalty – we have such a loyal base, it’s about how to reward them so they continue to stay with us and shop even more. It’s making them feel special and valued by us and communicating that back.

To build a business that is customer centric… the first thing is fostering the right culture. We have two all-in meetings every week. We speak a lot about results of our traffic and sales, and it’s a time when we share our focus on customers, what we have learnt from them, what we can do differently. We host an NPS [Net Promoter Score] survey every 4-6 weeks that gets up to 1000 responses. We’re able to track NPS, but also look into the patterns of what customers suggest we could do better. We have already made changes immediately on the back of those suggestions.

One of the key ways we’re using data... is around product, in terms of sell through, speed of sell through, and conversion rates based on how often a product is viewed then converts. We’re having a look for patterns and trends across different categories. While we can do an excellent job of marketing, it’s about ensuring we have the right products first. We’re also moving towards segmenting customers based on what they have viewed, and offering personalised emails relevant to that.

If I could hire only one new employee tomorrow, I’d get a… CMO. Today, we have three marketers, and I work closely with them: Marketing director, PR and marketing assistant and we’re looking for a CMO. I’ll expect
a lot from them.

- This article originally appeared in CMO's magazine edition, Issue 1, 2016. To subscribe to your free copy, click here.

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