FashionTech Berlin 2020: Tommy Hilfiger Talk by Marie-Theres Mangelsdorf Insights

Tommy Hilfiger is an institution in the world of fashion. At this years Fashion Tech in Berlin 2020, Marie-Theres Mangelsdorf (Vice President E-Commerce and PVH Omni-Channel Transformation), held an enticing talk and shared some of the ins- and outs at Tommy Hilfiger.

Internalization of digital know-how

What stood out most in the talk, was a topic that we see every day with our clients, namely the question of whether to work with external service providers or internal resources for digital projects.

Marie-Theres Mangelsdorf described that Tommy Hilfiger used to work with agencies, a lot. But recently they have started to pursue a more internalized approach to digital product- and project management.

The internalization of digital know-how is something most fashion retailer struggle with. What fashion companies do well, is work on their external customer appearance, but there is far more to a great online presence than a well organized instagram account.

Examples of the role of Tommy.com and how the site elevates the brand’s online presence

A long road to success

What was great to hear was the realism of the internalization process as a whole. Even-though it was a painstaking process to rely less on external help, it has turned out for the best.

Key is, that the role of digital has become less silo-based at Tommy Hilfiger. The internal resources were able to add more value across the entire value chain with their given digital insights and know-how.

It wasn’t until after the internal analysis of data, that the teams learned how to unfold their digital strengths. In this process, it took several team with unique skills and clear-cut goals to reach a vision for a long term sustainable multi-channel approach. At the end of the day, with the clear desire to produce a seamless experience; ultimately enhance the levels of customer satisfaction.

The competition is online, how can we win?

If online (pure) player dominate the market, how can Tommy.com still win? The answer lies in many facets of the digital customer journey, as Marie-Theres Mangelsdorf explained.

For Tommy Hilfiger, the key to success has been to:

  1. Be relevant
  2. Be exclusive
  3. Be personal, and
  4. Be Trustworthy
How can we win against Pure Online Players?

These terms might seem “general,” but there in our experience there is a lot of truth to these values. Customers value a personalized, honest and for them relevant approach to digital.

Pure online players were the first to utilize customer insights on a personal level, well. Late to the game? It doesn’t matter. It is important to get started and learn how to address your (potential) customers effectively, personally and truthfully.

Learn to utilize the tools

What is important is to learn how to utilize the tools that have become at our disposal, effectively. If your brand or company uses a Hybris or Salesforce (maybe even the Salesforce Commerce Cloud), how do you make sure that your team gets the most out of these tools?

External support can help leverage and accelerate the learning curve of your team. As long as you do not rely too heavily on your agencies and know how to drive them(!) you should be fine. However, this is something that most organizations need to learn and experience, first-hand.

“At the end of the day, every fashion retailer will need to take control of their customer experience and communication”

Our GANDT- Fashion Retail Services, evolve exactly around this learning process; we make sure your team knows how to work the tools at hand, best.

No-channel commerce is the future

The last insight we’d like to share: transforming the business toward a no-channel strategy. Understand that to take on online ordered products and have them shipped by stores, does not suffice. The customer demands and expects more touch points between both “worlds”.

“Your customers do not see the difference between an online store and a stationary store”

The sole realization that online and offline should work together is already great. For Tommy Hilfiger it has become more clear what the central role for digital can be. And as we’ve understood it, they will continue to pursue digital as more a central role in the group. Not as a stand-alone source of income, but an essential part of the customer journey.

Determine the role of digital for your company

This talk was inspiring for all of us. What worked for Tommy Hilfiger, might also work for you. If you would like to find out more about our approach to digital fashion retail, visit out GANDT Ventures team right next to the main stage. The Fashion Tech Berlin 2020 has just begun, but we got off to a great start.

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