It’s a beautiful day in NYC. We welcomed the sunshine with fresh juice, breakfast treats, and optimistic talks about the future of shopping. We’re here at Code Commerce, a day-and-a-half conference in Manhattan featuring the most innovative minds in commerce today.
With technology’s role in shopper’s lives growing stronger every day, the morning’s talk aptly opened with:
“Commerce is probably the most important area right now in the online space.”
— Kara Swisher, Co-Founder of Recode
Alongside Recode senior editor Jason Del Rey, Swisher chatted with Laura Alber, CEO of Williams-Sonoma. Here are some highlights from this morning’s session:
1. “Our connection to our customers is our secret sauce.”
Alber spoke about the importance of building connected, consistent relationships with shoppers, a key part of how Williams-Sonoma has been able to build out their 600+ retail stores under a portfolio of highly successful home furnishings brands.
2. “When you go to furnish your house, you want a multi-touch experience.” Brands “need to improve the shopping experience, not just in-store but also digitally.”
Alber dug into how aligning the online with the offline experience, unifying the entire omnichannel journey, is essential in creating a seamless path to purchase for shoppers.
3. “We don’t want to serve you marketing that’s irrelevant. AI is an application of personalization.”
Alber honed in on the importance of creating personalized experiences, and that leveraging cutting-edge technology — like artificial intelligence or machine learning — to optimize those will be imperative in the future.
4. “Because people like being with people.”
On the relevance of brick-and-mortar stores, Alber wasn’t shy about communicating her belief that they’ll never disappear. It’s about community and being together — not to mention why we like to try things out (like sitting in our potential new sofa) before we buy them.
5. “We’re using information about our customers to better serve them. We’re looking at customer journeys. It’s the key to being relevant with our customers across brands.”
Alber explained how Williams-Sonoma is a leader in using data to deliver better shopping experiences. For example, if they know you enjoy baking, they might send you an email about a new line of pans to check out this holiday season. Sounds good to us!
Stay tuned for more coverage from the Criteo Newsroom at Code Commerce.