Guess exec: Mobile makes up 15pc of online revenue
NEW YORK – A Guess Inc. executive at Aberdeen Group’s Retail and Consumer Markets Summit said that 15 percent of the company’s online commerce sales comes from mobile devices.
During the “Consumerization of Retail IT, Managing Cost, and Meeting Challenges of a New Consumer Economy” session, attendees learned how mobile and social media play a role for the retail brand. Additionally, the executive spoke about the challenges of integrating technology between IT and marketing departments.
“Technology has touched everyone and has gotten to the point where techology at home is much better than the work world,” said Michael Relich, chief information officer at Guess, Los Angeles.
“If you do not embrace it, you will be replaced,” he said.
Last year, Guess brought in $2.8 billion and includes three different brands – Guess, Guess by Marciano and G by Guess.
Guess views new technology as smartphones, tablets and social media.
From a consumer-facing standpoint, Guess includes mcommerce, applications and kiosks in its strategy.
Part of the challenge of getting a company to embrace mobile is getting both IT and marketing departments on board. Although there are technical and IT issues, mobile needs to be included in overall marketing as well.
Guess has rolled out mobile kiosks to approximately 60 to 70 retail locations and has plans to incorporate them into more stores in the near future.
The kiosks, which are tablets, let sales associates show products to consumers in-store. Additionally, consumers can sign up for the company’s loyalty programs and buy products on the tablets.
The tablets double as a training tool for Guess to walk associates through company processes.
Guess also has an app that is meant specifically for merchants that ties in analytics and a virtual store tour.
Although retail makes up 87 percent of Guess’ business, it also has a wholesale business and also has an app to help manage it.
The retail chain is using mobile POS in-stores, which Mr. Relich believes is a huge opportunity for brick-and-mortars retailers.
Mobile POS lets Guess line bust and efficiently check-out consumers quickly.
“If this is successful, why use cash wraps? The ROI on this is huge,” Mr. Relich said.
Guess is also one of Google Wallet’s launch partners. Although mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the United States, it is huge internationally in markets such as Korea.
In addition to combining the company’s loyalty program, Google Wallet lets Guess experiment with location-based services such as geofencing.
Guess also has a strong social media presence and is using it with mobile to send users targeted, relevant deals.
Finding ways to tie social media with an ROI can be difficult, which is why Guess integrates Facebook log-in information into a commerce-enabled app.
Once a consumer says that it is OK to use their Facebook account, the brand has permission to access certain information, which helps the company build its CRM database.
For example, Guess can see which brands a consumer “likes” on Facebook to find ways to connect to them in a more relevant way. Additionally, the company can see which pages a user’s friend likes and can use the information to find ways to build a Facebook following.
“Facebook is the largest, self-maintaining form of data,” Mr. Relich said.
“You can get actual insight and learn about your best customers – this is the value of Facebook as a way to monetize,” he said.
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York