By Larry Joseloff, eCommerce Strategist

The second day of the 2013 XChange Conference kicked off with an inspiring presentation from Johanna Murphy, Vice President, eCommerce for kate spade new york.   Johanna spent time not only reflecting on Kate Spade’s 20th anniversary, but also sharing her inspiration with the launch of their new brand “Kate Spade Saturday.”
In 1993, when the Kate Spade brand was born, ecommerce did not yet exist and it would still be a few years until would launch and bring the World Wide Web as a shopping platform to the mainstream. However, as digital commerce grew, Kate Spade realized almost immediately that it was consistent with its brand vision to embrace this new technology and to constantly be on the cutting edge of new trends and ideas. Fast forward to today and the new “Kate Spade Saturday” brand was created with the millennial customer in mind – a customer who does not GO online, but truly LIVES online.

“It is not OK to just have a ‘pretty website’ anymore,” Johanna explained, as this consumer segment has unprecedented expectations for service and customer experience. Convenient features, such as free shipping and returns, along with an extended overnight shipping cut-off, shared carts and omni-channel tie-ins, have become must-haves for an inspirational brand and are featured prominently across the Kate Spade family, which includes kate spade new york, Jack Spade and now Kate Spade Saturday. One feature on the Kate Spade Saturday website that has really set the bar for other retailers to follow is the “Fit Ratings” that allows customers to publicly share whether each article of clothing is a good fit for different body shapes. Social media is part of the daily routine for this younger demographic that the Kate Spade Saturday brand was created for, and as Johanna said, “Social media is the fuel for the brand.” Keeping that in mind, Social Log-In, social loyalty programs and the open social graph with “share it” functionality is featured prominently throughout website to optimize customer engagement.

Johanna concluded her presentation by talking about how she expects the pace of change to continue for the future with innovations in improving convenience and the customer experience being a focus. She discussed that integrating social media based games into the retail experience is going to be huge over the next few years and that it is a good idea to keep that in mind when thinking of your brand’s future plans. Johanna’s final advice to her audience was to be open to experimenting with new tools and functionality and make sure that you give them time to work. Sometimes ROI may not be easily figured out, but if it is improving the overall customer experience then it may be the right thing to do.

What do you think will be the next significant trend in digital retail over the next 10 years? When Kate Spade is celebrating their 30th anniversary at the 2023 Demandware XChange Conference, what will Johanna be saying is the central focus of her business?