Retail Insight from Indochino

Kyle Vucko, Indochino | BCBusiness
Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko speaks to the luncheon crowd at BCAIM’s Bricks ‘n Clicks ‘n Commerce event at the Four Seasons Hotel.

What you can learn from one of B.C.’s big players in e-commerce

At BCAIM’s Bricks ‘n Clicks ‘n Commerce luncheon panel moderated by retail expert David Ian Gray of DIG360 Consulting Ltd., Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko and Expedia CruiseShipCenters manager of interactive marketing Dave Mossop discussed their companies’ e-commerce strategies and methods of customer retention.

Despite each company’s robust online strategy, both Vucko and Mossop said that the in-person experience is irreplaceable. For Indochino, moving into the physical retail space with its Traveling Tailor pop-up shops has been a huge success, and something Vucko says he would have done earlier if he were to start all over again. For Expedia, customers can purchase trips online with increasing ease, but Mossop says 83 per cent of the company’s cruises are still booked through a travel agent.

E-commerce and online tools have allowed retailers to intimately know their customers and in turn, give each person exactly what they want. Curating the customer experience and tailoring it to their needs—whether in-person or online—is paramount to creating a loyal following.

Kyle Vucko on Customization

As a company whose major selling point is customization, Indochino’s e-commerce platform has to reflect that aspect of its business. Vucko says the tech team is the largest department in the company and they invest a lot of time in perfecting an immersive online experience.

“A lot of companies see their website as a brand extension or another way to sell; we actually see this as primarily a brand-owned tool,” says Vucko. “While we’re thinking a lot about selling, we’re also thinking about, How do we create a more emotive connection with the brand?”

E-comm Issues Into Opportunities

Vucko says the greatest challenge Indochino faced was solving the issue of fitting garments over the Internet. The company turned this problem into a marketing opportunity, and gave away free measuring tapes to every person who “liked” them on Facebook or followed them on Twitter. “It was one of the most successful things we did,” he says. “The cost of a ‘like’ or a fan was very low and super tangible. People were really excited to get access to this and it was also a way for us to bridge that gap of online/offline by giving them a physical collateral.”

Above all of Indochino’s online initiatives and marketing campaigns, the most crucial to the success of the company has been its returns program—easing people into the e-commerce world with a hassle-free return policy. “While it is a costly thing to offer this promise, we find the value of keeping these people as a customer, keeping them engaged and allowing them to—down the road—turn into repeat buyers and build out their wardrobe with us more than pays for the cost of a program like that,” says Vucko.

Physical Retail Still Rules

With all of the e-commerce talk, Vucko closed by remarking on Indochino’s new Traveling Tailor pop-up shops as its new primary method of customer-acquisition, and the value of being in a physical retail space. “As an online company offline, there’s no comparison. You can spend online marketing dollars all you want, but for a company to actually own a physical retail space and for people to see and feel and get a sense of, ‘You can afford a retail space’—the perception of your brand in person is night and day.”