We’re now in the modern age of retail. No more are we seeing boring, shabby marketing and products consumers don’t even bat an eye over. The future of retail is out there, and two top women leaders are ready to guide you through it.
Jill Ramsey, CEO at a.k.a. Brands, and Christiane Pendarvis, co-president and chief merchant at Savage X Fenty, shared the Shoptalk stage last month to discuss their companies’ transition from traditional retail settings to the next generation of retail.
Jenny Baxter Moser, managing director at TSG Consumer Partners, facilitated the discussion. To get started, Moser had Ramsey and Pendarvis offer insights into how their experience with traditional brands has influenced their current brands.
On Leaving Traditional Retail
Ramsey, who has been in e-commerce for her entire career — including stints at Walmart, eBay, and Macy’s — left the realm of more traditional retail when the opportunity arose to work for a company that helped digital-native, social-oriented brands grow.
“I left all the big guys for the opportunity of a lifetime to come lead a.k.a,” she said.
Similarly, Pendarvis recognized the appeal of this new market, saying, “The opportunity to really build something, to create something that’s differentiated in the market, was what drew me in.”
On the Changing Market
Today’s market is seeing brands customize their advertising and products to customers. Authenticity is necessary, Ramsey said. Gen Z and millennial consumers care wholeheartedly about personalization and the content created to market products.
Ramsey and Pendarvis said their biggest challenge was the change of pace in the market. With the rise of social media, marketing has shifted and all brands have been pushed into the digital age — whether they were ready or not.
“The influencer side of the house is also evolving,” noted Ramsey.
Micro-influencers have now become an integral part of marketing teams. TikTok has grown into one of the biggest social media platforms and has proved beneficial in product marketing.
On the Metaverse and NFTs
“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of movement; you have to try some things,” Pendarvis said of Savage X Fenty’s presence in digital environments like the metaverse.
It’s a chance to experiment and grow as a company, added Pendarvis.
Brands have noticed that digital currency is more sought after than physical products, Ramsey said, adding the metaverse presents a prime opportunity for brands to evolve and remain current with market trends.