Tory Burch’s Not-So-Secret Secret Weapon: The Customer Experience (and Technology)

Award-winning, actress-dressing, chic apparel and accessories retailer, Tory Burch fuels the company's dynamic growth by leveraging digital channels of retail competition to please the customer. Tory Burch (the Company) describes itself as… an American sportswear brand with a classic yet modern sensibility distinguished by a global and eclectic aesthetic. The words "Classic yet modern sensibility distinguished by a global and eclectic aesthetic" show up often in company literature, and they pretty well describe the style and spirit of company CEO and designer, Tory Burch.

This is another chapter in my quest to see what retailers (like Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walgreen's, Tory Burch, Amazon, and JCPenney) are doing to meet eCommerce online retail competition in an already dominated market.

Tory Burch was launched in February 2004 as a lifestyle concept with multiple product categories, including ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and jewelry.

What's most important to customers is "the customer experience," said the company's chief marketing officer, Miki Berardelli, at the recent Annual Summit in Chicago. It appears that Tory Burch has found the magic formula for success by making her followers feel included, valued, sharing a community of other hip people, and, well, classic yet modern. 

Today Tory Burch boasts a thriving e-commerce business (e-commerce sites in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Japan); additionally ships online orders to over 30 more countries; has freestanding stores across the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Asia, and has a wholesale presence in over 1,000 select department and specialty stores worldwide.

The one constant across all these channels seems to be "a commitment to providing customers the best experience possible."

Here are some of the ways Tory Burch is using technology to improve its customers’ experiences both online, in-store, and behind the scenes:

1. Scalable web platform. Tory Burch uses a scalable web platform to enable its international growth online.

2. Multichannel Presence. Using multichannels to tap into the passion of Tory Burch's customers.

3. "Tory Daily" App. Tory Burch launched its own app, Tory Daily to engage its customers on their mobile devices. The app is shoppable, features special sales events with limited product offerings, and highlights the company's blog posts.

*Note: The app must be pretty successful, reflected in its 80 percent return user rate.

4. Content marketing Online. A critical component of Tory Burch's digital strategy, the website is well balanced between interesting articles, ideas, illustrations and product pages. Tory Burch engages with fans via Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram social platforms. It is noteworthy that Tory Burch herself manages Tory Burch's Twitter and Instagram pages.

"What differentiates our social media efforts from a lot other retail brands is that we create unique content for each platform," said Berardelli. It's a lot more work, but the payoff in the end is worth it.

5. Content marketing through other channels.

6. Tory Burch store associates must be aware of the content on the website (in order to be viewed as trusted style advisors).

7. Client Book. Another example of how Tory Burch seeks solutions to improve the customer experience in-store. The program aggregates a particular customer's purchase history, channel of purchase, etc. to help their local store associates build better relationships with them. For example, Client Book alerts store associates to a customer's birthday, enabling them to reach out with a handwritten note.

*Note: The average order value for Client Book customers is 62 percent higher than Tory Burch's typical customer.

8. Wish Lists. Tory Burch's store associates can view wish lists for customers who are signed into the retailer's website.

9. Live-Stream Fashion Show. Tory Burch live streamed its recent fashion show during Fashion Week in New York City.

10. Net Promoter Surveys. To help build loyalty, Tory Burch gets feedback from its customers on what it's doing well and what it's struggling with, which provides valuable feedback that can be incorporated into its business.

11. Tory Burch Foundation. Civic-minded Tory created the Tory Burch Foundation to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families.

Some interesting statistics from Tory Burch analytics:

* Forty-four percent of Tory Burch's website traffic comes from mobile devices.

* Nearly 30 percent of the company's sales are generated via mobile.

* Large portions of those sales generated via mobile are taking place in-store.

Bottom Line For A Retailer's Bottom Line:

There's no denying that Tory Burch is people. She's tapped into the pulse, hopes, dreams, closets, drawers and psyches of her audience. It's a lovely two-way street with which everyone -- retailer and customer alike -- is happy. And that's the way it's supposed to be.

*Source: How Tory Burch is staying ahead of the game: Customer-Centric Approach Drives Tory Burch's Growth, Joe Keenan in Retail online integration.  


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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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