Coverage: Tory Burch Bridging Gap Between Store And Site With Client Book

As a company that never experienced the world before e-commerce, Tory Burch has a unique perspective on how to engage with its customer base via social and even how to bridge the gap between the digital experience and in-store experience.

"Everyone talks about these ideas" of customer centricity, Tory Burch SVP for global retail Matt Marcotte said. "If we aren't talking as an organization about being 100 percent focused on her, then we won't make the right decisions."

"We are channel agnostic," he added, explaining how the company deals with omnichannel customer interactions. "What we care about is does the customer win, because if the customer wins, the brand wins."

A large part of achieving that win for the customer is what Marcotte called an open brand, one that uses social media and a direct connection with Burch herself via social media to allow the consumer to take part in the brand building process. And each one of those channels, whether it's Twitter (which CMO Miki Berardelli called Burch's voice) or Instagram (Burch's lens), is treated differently from each other and from the company's official channels.

"The way we think of these channels is different from how we think of our core marketing materials," Berardelli said. "When we do a beautiful photo shoot to represent our beautiful fall collection, that's a statement about what we stand for for that season. When we experiment and play and have dialogue with our customer through social media, that is what we stand for in the moment."

But for all the effort Tory Burch puts into its social media initiatives, Marcotte said the original social media platform is still the relationship between the customer and the store associate, and that's where the company's Client Book comes in.

The service aggregates all the information the store has on a customer in order to improve their experience. Regular clients not only have a wish list but a history of purchased items as well as recommendations from store associates based on that customer's tastes—even a birthday reminder for sales associates.

"This technology has helped us to bridge that awkwardness [about how to interact with the customer] and really create this seamless conversation leveraging how she shops, when she wants to shop, when she wants to shop," explained Marcotte.

The benefits to such a service are obvious, whether it's simple customer satisfaction or clients so impressed that they spread the word to their friends. But according to Marcotte, the returns have been more concrete than just that. Customers who are returning clients on average spend 69 percent more, and they have a return rate that is also 10 percent lower, he said.

That's a big return for any business, especially a luxury brand like Tory Burch.