A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 127 is an interview with Katya Ermak, Director of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing at Sabon NYC.
We caught up with Katya Ermak at the ShopTalk 2018. Katya is the director of E-commerce at Sabon NYC. We talked with her about how Vertically integrated brands think of Amazon. How they leverage their omni-channel tactics and the future of malls. How Sabon is approaching e-commerce including their Magento platform, and some of their current tools such as Dynamic Yield.
Episode 127 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Monday, March 19, 2018.
New beta feature, Google Transcription:
[0:25] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this episode is being recorded on Monday March 19th 2018 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your Wingo.
[0:38] Hey Jason welcome back Jason Scott show listeners we are podcasting live from the shock talk show here in sunny Las Vegas and we’re excited to have on the show today Katja or Mac.
Katya is director of e-commerce and digital marketing at sabon NYC she has also spent time with Brands such as rainbow Century 21 and isobar welcome to the show.
[1:02] Thanks for joining us it’s a little known fact but Scott exclusive.
[1:06] Did we use it as your.
[1:07] FedEx in his own bath so.
[1:09] That’s great to hear.
[1:11] Yeah I’m going to have the bath bombs.
[1:13] So he’s very excited about having you here when the things we always like to do on the show is talk to her guest.
[1:20] About their backgrounds and how they came to the control so could you.
[1:20] And how they came to their current role so could you tell us a little bit about as you got into the industry and and what your current role is.
[1:28] Wright’s Okerlund director of e-commerce and just the market at sabon started there about.
Two and a half years ago before that I decided I was with isobars.
Worked on their engagement seem he ran out of states and before that I did a Content management for Rainbow shops.
[1:51] E-commerce was definitely something that,
I was interested in when I was in college I have a fashion business degree and I was just thinking of where can I go with that degrade dad would make the most value out of my account.
And I got a couple and their shapes e-commerce internship especially one with Century 21 which really to cough.
And I love my job love what I do eCommerce is fantastic and it’s such a growing animal and there’s so many different things that you can do with us.
[2:26] Did you go to the fitt isn’t that the big fashion School in New York.
[2:30] Right now I went to Berkeley College which is Elsa in New York.
[2:33] Okay cool awesome yeah I mean a lot of young ladies that are studying fashion and there’s a lot of different ways it go to nursing you chose e-commerce you feel like it’s still scratches your fashion itch or.
[2:44] Absolutely that was like a business degree with a fashion flavor to it and as a side like.
I was interested to see I came to the Barclay because I wanted to be a buyer but while I’m studying there was.
Digital start taking off at that time and people start talking more and more about it and how did brick-and-mortar it will be going away and at some point it was very scary for fashion students because there was not a lot of job available and them.
I was looking for something that’s going to be very up and come in and which I think I did a very right turn.
[3:24] Do they have chai have classes on how to do some digital marketing in that kind of thing or did you have to come pick it up on your own.
[3:30] Pick it up on my own I think we had maybe social media class or something like that.
[3:38] And can you tell us a little bit about like what the scope of your role is now so are you you responsible for operating the website and digital marketing.
[3:44] Responsible for operating the website and digital marketing and.
[3:49] The right I usually have I go about this the question like that as Dad to company currently has three ways of doing business so we have brick-and-mortar stores and in New York and we have wholesale Channel and we help outside so.
Each channel is has its own Department.
So my department and I’m head of the eCommerce department is responsible of running the website all the maintenance all the development all the digital marketing aspects.
Currently we doing things with be social with Google with your panel ads what do Google shopping ads email marketing.
Merchandising of the website the only thing that I’m not touching bases inventory and their warehouse relationship.
[4:39] Can you tell us a little bit about subbing for our Wizards I might not know I think of you is a vertically integrated brands.
[4:43] Think of you vertically integrated Brandt to you you guys make your own.
[4:47] Products in you sell them direct as well as through wholesale channels is that right or.
[4:52] Sabon at the bath and body products to reproduce by describes different moisturizing moisturizing lotions where electro brand,
originally we’re from Israel.
So our products and natural in the based on that sea salts and minerals and that seemed muds original or the company was billed as the,
franchise which country was its own franchise had at the store it’s only Commerce about a year-and-a-half ago we got bought out by grouper shop.
And older franchises for kind of put together and now we’re. Like its own company we.
Getting our products from Israel from our Global office and then we end up here you missed it then floss with your wholesale as well.
[5:46] Got you and you have a number of stores as well.
[5:49] So in New York with have down stores.
Which primarily in the Hat and one in Brooklyn One Long Island around the world we have about I want to stay 200 stores.
I’m waiting when country is when France England New Orleans Japan Korea.
[6:12] Don’t you very cool that’s one of the questions I’m always interested in when there’s a brand selling online that also own stores.
Is some of the omni-channel aspects but you know so like.
[6:27] Any attribution and figure out how the website is potentially driving people to your store or any any sort of digital experiences in the store those sorts of things.
[6:39] It’s always has been an ongoing chat challenge for us.
Because the company was a franchise so originally it was just about driving Revenue we didn’t talk about how,
what the customer experiences are what are they experiencing the stores,
with the expansion of Commerce and how it’s all blending together how we can drive traffic for both and support each other so.
This is currently changing and though we talked with talking about it was talking about different experiences that we can create one of the projects the wave.
Working on right now is offer and we start War friends.
So glad classes and understand our stores and just set it up like serve booking and the schedule and through the website,
set of creating the tide out therapy, the experience with,
tile store experiences but it’s an ongoing challenge will always talk about it right now and will always thinking of how can we restore the very beautiful and we have this personal experiences when you get.
Hand treatment there is a big whale when you can start a product if people owe people doesn’t know customer doesn’t know our brand and they’re the coming to the website that getting.
Very slightly different experience rather than to the store so it’s always a conversation how do we get that will experience the very personal that spends on the website and.
It’s an ongoing conversation ongoing challenge for us which I’m hoping to grab more answers on the shop.
[8:15] It would be a Jason Scott show if we didn’t talk a little bit about Amazon and you talked about wholesale is Amazon so when you guys wholesale with and how would you describe your your kind of Amazon strategy and I’m thinking around them is up,
partner slash competitors which is always a very much a friend of me with for everybody.
[8:34] So that the company has a partnership at wholesale partnership with Amazon I think it was started about 3 year 3 years ago it took off and.
Brought us Revenue brought us some sales and brought the brand recognition but we experience on the challenge of that it’s very hard for us to manage and change the prices and change.
Kind of given that experience that we have.
On our Ecommerce outside or in the stores so with that being said but decided to launch Amazon is a Marketplace.
With a felon buy on Amazon and we.
Got a partner Channel advisor which is helping us kind of guiding us through and helping us set it up that channel is currently rolling out so I think we should be good to go I started selling there in about couple weeks.
[9:26] Thanks for being a great that and then are you guys going to do hybrid we still do some wholesale and some third-party.
[9:35] So we think when we going to go out there Amazon Marketplace looking to see what’s out of traction and we getting it sad is going to be different products.
That wholesale had done from with Amazon Marketplace we’re going to be doing and we’ll see how it’s going to go if it’s going to be,
very successful we’re going to slowly over allowed their wholesale piece off the table or,
maybe it’s going to be a bad idea to keep them in a conjunction working so it depends like really wanted to see and learn first to make it in time decisions.
[10:07] Brickell conditioner at the path to purchase showing you had to head out and I wouldn’t get a chance to talk about it but I’m in the queue today it was interesting,
as Brands brought up to the challenges with with Amazon more and more of them were being sought for this hybrid model so for example one brand was complaining Amazon wouldn’t order their product fast enough and one of the panelists,
because most actually recommended you know you can actually have your you could you can you do Marketplace for that same item and then if Amazon sales your item,
you can at least have some guarantee that your product will be there there some other examples like that were in the early days of hybrid it was just selection you know Amazon has ex and I want them to have x + y and now there’s like some more advanced strategies there for.
[10:48] Marriage Style.
[10:52] What are things that was interesting to me about any on the show is that I have this right you were one.
[10:58] Very early.
[10:59] Hours of dynamic yield.
Is a software tool for doing personalization based on some some AI deep learning your chop talk those are the big buzzwords is personalization and Nai in so I was I was just curious.
[11:10] I was just curious what kind of experiences you were you were in able.
[11:19] You are enabling for your Shoppers with Dynamic yield and is it just email is it on your site and.
[11:27] Sabon was the very early adopter robbed and I make you up and it just started out.
And Esteban will love Dynamic yield and we pretty much do everything with them. Potentially.
Did done utilizing their platform we just roll out and I think in August.
Product recommendation on our homepage on the mobile on our product pages on in the car.
[11:59] We also serve banners all over Bennett’s in the website was served through the night make you all them would do it be testing reason Infinity.
And we starting up looking about 30% of them would just roll them out in conversion rate and customer satisfaction.
[12:22] I think there’s so many things that you can do is then I make your old and strategies that we can Implement and you see it like I constantly seeing their case study that they’re releasing or how they communicate with their how they work.
There are other clients on the smaller scale of what the what weekend do mechanics executor so many things.
Execution part where smallest unit sabon so it’s a little bit harder.
I think they doing an event in April in New York and it’s going to be talking about more proficiency how different strategies for product personalization.
We started with the product personalization on a homepage was started with a B test and soda personalized ended by customer who did its website and then we’ll switch they were committed the resistance in today.
Animation that learning in the recommended products that way and we’ll see.
Tremendous increases and sales in conversion other things in there and Genesis.
So interesting and it’s.
Change in the real time you can you can test,
different with the with Dustin different pages would destined for muscle ache if you have how many different fields you can have and which one converts bad or so before before releasing anything pretty much on the website experience-wise for.
[13:54] Customers were always faster always create 3/4 in Arizona with Dustin which one performs better same goes for all of our batteries all the copy that would do for the.
Banners and difficult to actions and different images and different backgrounds and it’s open it up so.
[14:14] It’s open. So many opportunities to learn who your customers and what they like and kind of a learning curve you constantly it’s not it’s not a platform that you just kind of.
Started doing the things for you to constantly need to learn.
Your phone those tests but it’s open it up in a big door in personalization and making you a customer experience very personal for them.
[14:39] I’m not a personalization experts maybe you guys can answer this so so does it kind of learn,
okay this particular customer loves the flavian of the lavender or something then it’ll show them more of that kind of thing I know it sounds like you got some maybe optimization kind of testing stuff,
but then the personalization does it kind of like learn what people like and then it changes the website based on those earnings.
[15:01] Right so it’s obviously a quickie that every single person who comes in they said they cook it and we can sell what.
What Journey did they had enough said what kind of batter the cloak on,
what kind of products they looked at since they looked at the exfoliating products are monosaccharides and products,
did they make a purchase at the after the cards post was there about cars value in Basin that information.
The next time to come back we’re going to serve them a different experience which could be anything we can recover the products if they were added something to the car is that the dead purchase.
And then they come back maybe it will show them that product with the potential deal that they can get for that or if they weren’t.
Product page and then the added something else of the cards will show them assume all products in the car this wall there’s a lot of different scenarios they can think about is how to personalize.
[15:59] This is some married to Magento or is it a it’s at Works within him.
[16:03] That’s a space tool you can Implement in NY Bridal platforms I think you guys impact are running it on Magento though what’s was cool to me.
[16:13] We had personalization for a long time.
[16:17] What are the better you get to know the.
[16:18] Where the better you get to know the customer over multiple sessions you you can stay.
[16:24] I’ve been to that customer in that that’s still really important.
[16:27] I still really important for monocytes though the majority of visitors are first-time visitors and so.
[16:33] So where a lot of personalization is a Scorpion falling down.
[16:35] Falling Down is.
[16:39] Every customer is unknown so they get the same generic experience and.
[16:40] So they get the same generic experience and you know you.
[16:43] Come back over and over again get this great personalized.
[16:45] But they are small percentage of the.
[16:46] Small percentage of the total traffic better now is what I’ll call.
Incontact in session personalization where they like in Forever explicit and implicit signals.
[16:54] Concession personalization where they like in fur explicit and implicit signals from.
[17:02] The browsing you’re doing in the single session.
[17:04] 10 + *.
[17:05] Dynamically personalizing for those unknown first-time visitor.
[17:09] Describe Viking Camper for I’m sort of some sort of actually writing this scenario would the customer perform some sort of action like this subscribe to newsletter click to the body scrub at it since the car we’re going to start time at the front experience based on what they see in.
[17:23] Do you start to so sounds like it’ll also work with display ads which is cool how about like your email marketing Ken can I personalize your email marketing so you know some lady likes a certain sent you can send her,
Fort Worth jet something in her cart watch pie easy with cart abandonment emails but any personalization keep personalized like the emails you send out to.
[17:42] Within Emma Guild you can upload the back so that we can put their dinner,
your vagina inside of your email and you can serve them to like you have your content of the email like a promotion your content and down on the bottom you can show.
Products specific was looking for that customer.
[18:03] That’s the first way that these.
[18:06] This way that these tools.
[18:10] Well then it is for the whole platforms of.
[18:12] In the cool new feature that these guys are all.
[18:16] Starting to roll out now is personalization.
[18:17] Right now is personalization at open.
[18:21] You can imagine like you send.
[18:23] Email and if you have some personalized content in there it may be.
[18:25] Personalize content in there that maybe is.
[18:30] Has been personalized to the weather or something you buy.
[18:31] Whether or something you browse for.
[18:33] Based on time,
for example if if we’re running a promotion or some sort of dro sale so while the promotion promotion is running you going to see a clock down so you open,
you open up your email and see if you can see it back down that says like,
this promotion going to add in one hour if you open it at 30 minutes is going to say the promotions going to end 30 minutes and when the promotion ends in from simple to say I miss that and I open it up email after a week is going to show me something.
[19:01] Buckeye Jail.
[19:05] And its tail when the person oppa.
[19:07] Awesome so it sounds like you have a relatively small e-commerce operation guys are dog doing a lot of pretty cutting-edge things what was kind of next on the road map where do you see e-commerce going.
I with you guys then we’ll talk Bradley about where your overall you so you can respond.
[19:23] So another says so I was talking about.
Sorry about that was talking about experiences Brandon to gather their stores and online we’re working for another big project for us is the CRM.
And we have a little to program and how how do we.
Like the date of the week coming from magenta from our e-commerce platform is very clean the date of that we getting for people who signed out in the stores for loyalty program is not that clean so right now we’re working on how do we combine,
dos2 Joseph data points and create that.
Loyalty emails and loyalty programs campaign so we talked with our loyal to customers at the same.
But you can start at them the same it doesn’t matter where they shop and where they saying up because we don’t know but we think there is a lot of Gap and there’s a lot of them.
Cross reference of the people shopping at the shop in the stores and the shop online I feel like it’s Crossing each other this year,
we talkin in the company lied about CRM and loyalty and how do we bring this together what kind of campaigns were created and what kind of software we using one of their things why we came to the shop talk and like they do is mine,
what is to find a CRM solution that we can use all of the data sort of segments that other than Kinect.
[20:54] Very cool and there are several of them there so I suspect you’ll you’ll be successful in that mission you mentioned loyalty programs and that’s been interesting to me cuz.
[21:00] You mentioned loyalty programs and that’s been interesting to me cuz that.
[21:04] Feels a little bit like one of the themes of this year’s show in.
[21:08] Ulta Keynotes.
[21:08] Ulta keynote they they mention that like the wealthy members represented something I want to say 90 or 95% of their total revenue which is.
[21:20] I mean astronomical the Nike Chief digital officer talked about.
[21:21] Michael the Nike Chief digital officer talked about how how successful their their Nike Plus loyalty program had been.
[21:28] Nike Plus royalty program it been it sounds like you’ve had a loyalty.
[21:33] You had a loyalty program for a while is it like a straight points for purchase program or how does it work.
Historical we had to separate program Swan was the e-commerce little to program when you collect points for every purchase to do you make and then you released and then you redeem it for purchase online and we had a loyalty program in the stores.
I’d same idea it was a little bit different so e-commerce it was once a once-a-month going on dollar stores with tiered I think it was five tiers,
so this summer when we just launched the new upside in August and will I see the new pair of system in July.
2027 able to pick you up for a lot of different changes and we’ll launch our new loyalty program the idea was this to combine their loyalty program in the stores and and online,
kind of make it more sing with experience so it’s currently is the same program you Wednesday for every dollar you spend.
And then you can redeem at there’s no cap and Redemption you also is a part of the Lord’s apart of me also get welcome coupons and will be found as Dad.
There’s two coupons when is set up but you can use the next month.
And the next next month so that’s something that we actually got from overcome our parent company in Israel this is how they do it and they saw a lot more traction with just given a 10% sign up coupon,
people people people coming back to redeem it more often and it works pretty well for us but we have a birthday.
[23:17] Coupon that we said that the birthday gift that was on for the people to read them during their birthday month.
And will do a lot of activities for our world passport will call them roll past board members would do events in the stores where are we.
Do different treatments or different parties and we have I would do like new collection previews for them.
It’s another big thing that would Jordan like one of them stuck in before about CRM and how do we connect them it’s still a little bit separated in terms of the promotions and like.
I feel like in the store part would do much better much better job for the Loyalty rather than on the website so we talkin about how we can come by and make that experience more seamless.
[24:04] Since you mentioned that you were going to look for some CRM Solutions it shoptalk we’re sort of one day another show a day and a half in the show.
Have you seen anything or or setting on a sessions that would be interesting to you.
[24:20] Not yet.
[24:23] Did she the Ulta keynote the kind of edger talk about experiences in a store,
she’s saying they’re going to add a lot more experience than I already have like a salon in the story but I think they’re going to add you almost more like taking it to a spa level of so it’s kind of reminds me of some of the things you talked about that you guys doing your store I don’t know if you saw it or not.
[24:39] I saw something the Sephora was talking about it and they were showing all this experience as they did they create it’s for their Shopper and this is it was very inspiring conversation the presentation that she had.
She was talking about all of this this is exactly what we’re looking for and I think that’s exactly what the industry needs and like,
the eve what the economist is moving Taurus is to like for example somebody get a notification that they forgot things in their cards and they’re walking by the Sea for the,
that they put a sample in there Carlin Dave it’s there so this is why I would email them or send them a notification from there uh.
Dad there’s a store and the samples of all been there so you can come and pick it up.
And you’re passing by the store you come over talking to the sale associate to give any of that sample while they’re doing that the same oh we also do all this experience is in the store treatments would you like to set up this and you know.
Right there and then they perform the treatment on you and all the product of what he’s doing the truth then you will receive the samples and then to send you an e-mail.
Where is all this products and how do use them and the price point so then you can come back and either purchase them in the app.
In the under your desktop in the Commerce website or you can come back back to the store to the store so I feel like they’re doing great job in tiny tiny and those experiences in this something that.
I really wanted some time and think about it if so I’ll come back from the shop.
[26:14] You kicked off what kind of Go full circle you talk about when you started your career,
you were at heard in the stores are closing you want to get me Commerce how do you feel about stores now, they’ve been in the industry for a while if you think you think the small again and Retail apocalypse thing is over done or do you think it is tough for store what’s the future stores.
[26:32] It’s interesting that’s what the a lot of feel like a lot of things on top soccer talking about exactly like is the freaking word dad or.
As odd involving the different way I personally think and a lot of people in the industry as wild that.
Brick-and-mortar is not that bad but there was people who doing a ride and people who are not quite there yet and depending on how fast they can get there.
What could it mean if they’re going to keep their stores or not people definitely looking for some personalized experience as what we can do in a store to make it more relevant the more exciting.
What are those experiences and I feel like this is where the industry going.
[27:14] And I feel like they’re at the seam of everything that I said today is about those experiences like what can we make so exciting for the customer.
For them to come back obviously they’re interacting with their sales associate interacting with the product when you see can’t touch them smell them it’s so much different from you, so I feel like.
There’s the stores going to definitely stay there not going anywhere but it’s going to be involved into something completely different then we’ll just have to buckle up.
The bump it right and see where it takes us.
[27:48] Buckle up buttercup a perfect.
[27:51] Place to end it because it has happened again we’ve used up all our a lot of.
[27:56] The time.
[27:57] But we certainly want to thank you for.
[27:58] I want to thank you for taking time off.
[28:01] Join us.
[28:02] Other folks have questions you’re welcome to jump on a.
[28:03] Questions are welcome to jump on the Facebook and continue the conversation there is always if you enjoy Today Show we’d love it if you jump on the iTunes and give us that 5-star review and until you do that we will be buckled up here.
[28:17] Thanks Ryan Scott you’re really appreciate you taking time.
[28:21] Until next time happy commercing.