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PAS Group’s push for personalisation

Like many Australian fashion retailers, PAS Group has been working to ramp up its omnichannel business.

Three months ago, the owner of Review, Jets, Black Pepper, Yarra Trail and other fashion brands implemented a new technology platform which has given teams access to previously unknown customer insights and personalisation capabilities.

“We used to have very broad segmentation,” PAS Group head of digital and loyalty Anna Samkova told IRW.

“We knew who shopped on which channel, but we didn’t use to be very specific about our online and offline customers. Everyone was receiving the same communications at the same time on the same day,” Samkova said.

Since PAS Group typically sent emails in the morning, and online shoppers are most active in the evening, this was not ideal.

“To be able to come back now and say that a particular time is optimal for certain customers has been really powerful,” she said.

PAS Group’s other previous pain point was the fact that sales, marketing and production teams were dependent on the business intelligence [BI] team to access customer data insights.

“You need to know which questions to ask, but you don’t know, because you’re not that close to the data. They [the BI team] are. But they don’t know the questions to ask, because they’re not responsible for sales,” Samkova explained.

This has changed since the company implemented the new technology platform from US-based software provider Lexer. Teams are now able to see customer insights for themselves and tailor brand communications and offerings accordingly.

“Everyone talks about customer centricity. That’s fine, but what do you actually do about it? For me, it means you understand her. What she buys, what she prefers, what her size is, how she wants to be serviced,” she said.

Samkova said teams were accessing data in “pretty much every single meeting”, which has resulted in “shorter and more efficient”
meetings, since they can answer questions and reach decisions immediately, without having to wait for a reply from the BI team.
“In retail, you’re moving so fast, you can’t wait a week for the data to make a decision,” she said.

This mindset did not happen automatically. Samkova said it took her nine months to convince the company to invest in the new
platform, and she met with each team before implementation to explain how it would benefit them specifically.
“If you implement something, you have to make sure you’re using it because if not, it’s a waste of money and time for everyone
involved. I was quite adamant to make sure it gets used all the time,” she said.

Investing in loyalty

The new technology platform is just one of several digital projects under way at PAS Group, which are collectively expected to drive a
30 per cent year-on-year uplift in revenue in FY19. Another area of significant investment is loyalty. PAS Group’s
Review brand recently launched a new version of its mobile loyalty app, including an Android version for the first time.
The brand is capitalising on its invitation-only VIP loyalty program, Dress Circle, which includes a range of online offers and offline
events for select customers, who typically shop with the brand on a weekly basis.

The company is also expanding its reach through online marketplaces. PAS Group launched Review on Alibaba’s Tmall
platform in January and in July and is looking at joining several fashion-specific platforms, such as Lazada in Malaysia

The company recently signed a partnership with integration platform ChannelAdvisor to optimise its product data for
marketplaces, which Samkova said was crucial as the company looks to grow its presence on Amazon and others, including,
potentially, Ebay.

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