5 minutes with… is an snapshot interview series with industry, artists & alike, chatting all things news, trends and creativity. Perfect tea break reading..
Recently we chatted all things online with Charlotte MacIntrye, Key Account Manager at Adidas in Melbourne, Australia.
Bricks or clicks? What does the future of retail look like to you?
Both! Online has huge logistical advantages for consumers; 24/7 access, price comparison, time saving etc, so you can see that big box retail is suffering from this. Those transactional sales, think groceries and electronics, are going online. However there’s still a joy that comes from going shopping with your friends in beautiful stores. That social and experiential element is where bricks will continue to thrive.
Do you think there has been a big shift in consumer trends in recent years or is there one about to come? Have you seen in big shifts in your career?
Everything is faster than it was 10 years ago. Consumers want newness and they want it now. I don’t see that slowing down however it’s great to see there’s a growing awareness of what that demand is doing to the environment. Seeing the concept of “slow fashion” start to rise is a step in the right direction however I don’t think the demand for speed in delivery and availability is going anywhere.
What do you think is a brands biggest asset when it comes to reaching their demographic?
Speaking to them authentically through their channel of choice. Brands that are using Instagram stories and YouTube as a medium will reach the younger audience which no longer looks to traditional media as their source of information. However consumers want to be spoken to in their language and not be patronised which can be a danger when older brands try to use “hip” language.
Apart from your employer, what brands do you think are standing out in their market today?
For me, Everlane continues to stand out. They way they launch products builds hype and I suspect creates strong sell-through. They engage consumers through Instagram e.g. 'Transparency Tuesday' where the answer questions and how sneak peaks of upcoming product. And of course their sustainability message is really key. Good for the consumer, good for the environment, and done authentically.
Do you have any thoughts about this “Amazon tax” argument? Should online retailers have to pay more than bricks and mortar stores?
I don't think being an online player should mean you have to pay a specific tax, particularly as so many companies go in and out of being pureplayers or switching to ominchannel, I see that as being an administrative nightmare. I agree with the reasoning for bringing in taxes for cross-border transactions as it allows local businesses to remain competitive in pricing and product assortment e.g. Australia implementing tax collection on purchases below $1,000 (the original threshold...I think).
What do you think consumers are looking for from today’s retailers? Has the rise of “in-store experiences” helped or hindered the market?
I think consumers want to be a part of the brand, not just dictated to. Anyone who can involve their consumers in their brand story will succeed whether that’s having an in-store activation, product collaboration, or just really great customer service. Consumers want their voices heard.
How important do you think social channels are to reaching modern consumers?
Incredibly. As someone who lived without a free-to-air TV for nearly 5 years, traditional media was completely lost on me. As above, using them in a way that is aligned with your brand’s values and messaging is important to remain authentic.
There’s lots of industry chat around catering to the GenZ needs (e.g. sustainability, ethics, etc), what are your opinion?
GenZ consumers are really educated on what they’re buying. They have access to a huge source of information and reviews and aren’t afraid to use it. Sustainability will be a big talking point as is what social values brands stand for. We’re seeing that as trend that brands will continue to follow. Whether it becomes too much of the same noise and loses cut-through remains to be seen but I think to not dip your toe into this pool would be a mistake.
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