Mark Teperson, Accent Group Limited | Magento Imagine 2018

Mark Teperson, Accent Group Limited | Magento Imagine 2018

September 12, 2019 0 By Bernardo Ryan


>>Narrator: Live from the
Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. It’s theCUBE. Covering Magento Imagine 2018. Brought to you by, Magento.>>Welcome back to theCUBE,
our continuing coverage of Magento Imagine 2018. We’re at the Wynn in Las Vegas. You can see it’s happy hour behind me. I’m Lisa Martin, we are joined by Mark Teperson the Chief Digital Officer of Accent Group, customer of Magentos’. Thanks so much for stopping
by theCUBE and having a chat.>>Thanks Lisa, great to be here.>>So you are an award finalist, the Imagined Excellence Awards are what, in just about
an hour and a half. But this is really cool, you are a finalist in several categories. The best in class fulfillment
with Platypus Shoes. The best mobile experience
with Athlete’s Foot. And you yourself are
up for Commerce Leader of the Year, wow.>>Yeah.>>I feel like I should be
asking for your autograph.>>No please, please,
look it’s really humbling to have been nominated for so many awards. I think, the thing for me is that it’s a huge acknowledgement of the work of the entire team that makes this happen. You know, I have the privilege
of being the face of it. But it is an extraordinary team that I get to lead and work with
across the organization that really kind of makes
all of the magic happen. So, I’m representing them tonight as well.>>Awesome. So tell our viewers who Accent Group is. Where you’re located. All that good stuff before we
kind of get into all the magic.>>Yeah sure. So the Accent Group Limited is a publicly listed company in Australia. We own and operate nine
different retail formats and about 13 different
wholesale distribution licenses. We are the largest footwear
retailer in Australia. We have 445 stores across both Australia and New Zealand. We turn over in excess
of around $800,000,000. So a big business in Australia.>>A big business, many
many brands as well from Doc Martens to Timberlands
to Sperry Top-sider. So quite a diverse set of brands as well.>>Yeah, look it’s, one of
the great things about my role is I get to work across the
continuum of kind of consumers. And the way I describe it is, is I get to work, that
we see everything from first walkers to last walkers
and everything in between. And so, from a digital
perspective that gives us a really unique opportunity
to track and observe the behavior of consumers
and their adoption rates of different technologies and
different consumer patterns. Which allows us to perhaps be a little bit more responsive and a little bit more considered in our
investments of technology.>>That’s what we want as consumers right, we want a personalized experience. Mobile, huge. Mobile, pointing at the
wrong thing, tablet whatever. We want that, we want,
wouldn’t we be marketed to but we want to have an experience that’s relevant as
that’s seamless as well. How did you go about, well talk to us about the
digital transformation of Accent Group. You’ve been there a long time.>>Mark: Yeah.>>How are you leveraging
technology over the last few years to transform and be able
to facilitate a true omni-channel business.>>Yeah look its a great question, it’s been a long journey for us. You know this didn’t happen overnight. This has been a very long journey. It was initially really
backed by our board and we started on this
journey five years ago. I’ve had fantastic support from our CEO, through the transformation process. And that really set the
path for us to be able to start transforming ourselves. I think lots of retailers get it wrong when it comes to technology. They make the cardinal sin of building monuments to themselves. You know they build things that they think are great representations of their brand. But if they just stopped and considered you know, what does the
consumer really want, what is that unmet need of the consumer or what is that problem
that I’m trying to solve? I think we’d all make better investments and deliver better
experiences for consumers. And, so we’ve been really
diligent in kind of thinking about and understanding what our consumer was looking for, from us. And, really prioritizing, you know, the million things that we could be doing to a really strong set of, of foundation building blocks, that would set ourselves up
for a digital transformation and hopefully a very prosperous future.>>So we mentioned the awards
that your a finalist for. Talk to us about what
you’re doing with Magento, from your seat as the
Chief Digital Officer. What were some of the key
criteria that you said, you know we don’t want to
fall into the same trap that we’ve seen a lot of other retailers fall into and build a
monument to ourselves. We’re going to listen to consumers and be able to create this responsive experience for them that obviously reaps a lot of financial rewards for us. What were some of the key
criteria that you set out with, saying we’ve got to be
able to have technology that enables A, B, C.>>Yeah look, so when
we were thinking about how to bring our strategy
and our vision to life, there were a couple of things that we were really looking for. One was flexibility and
the ability to, realize, I suppose, re-imagine
a consumer experience. So we needed that flexibility and because we have so
many brands that we retail and we represent, we
needed something that could be multi-site, multi-platform as well. So that was some of the key
considerations that we came to. But when we were thinking
about the consumer experience it was really about the delivery of that front end experience. So, how do you deliver
a really great click and collect experience for a consumer. How do we deliver, ship from store, with a high level in degree
of accuracy for the consumer so that we don’t disappoint them. And now as we kind of look forward, we’re looking at how we can deliver same day delivery in three hour delivery, not just in a single city
but across the entire country of Australia and even New Zealand. By re-imagining our stores
not only as experience centers for consumers to really
touch and feel the product but as distribution centers to be able to get product to customer much faster. And Magento has really enabled
us to transform and realize that experience that we
re-imagined for our customers.>>So I was telling
you before we went live that I watched the video. The video testimonial that you
guys have done with Magento and with the case study. And, I am a stats person. I love stats because it’s
really the voice of the customer is the best brand validation
any vendor can get. But being able to show a
positive business outcome that is quantitative, is huge.>>Mark: Yeah>>You guys achieved
with one of your brands, a 10X increase in sales
growth, in 10 months.>>Mark: Yeah>>Tell us a little bit about that.>>Look that was unexpected. I think it blew everybody away. We took a great brand and a
great business, Platypus Shoes. And this brand is really geared up for the Millennial consumer. Really deeply ingrained in the
culture of Millennial life. We sell fantastic brands, Nike, Addi, Vans and Timberlands
through that business. And we have a fantastic
in-store experience. And so our digital
experience was just really kind of dragging the chain. It wasn’t living up to that expectation that the consumer had, once they’ve experienced
our physical retail. So we took an old platform and we decided to take the plunge into M2. We were one of the very first
enterprise customers on M2. And in the delivery of that platform we launched and very soon after, followed up with click and collect. And ship from store, to really enhance and connect the
consumer experience. Lots of people talk to this
vision of omni-channel. It’s much harder to execute. It’s much easier in theory than it is in practice.
>>Of course, yeah.>>But what we learnt in a
very short period of time was that the consumers really wanted to transcend our channels. And they loved the experience
that they were getting in each of the channels, separately but together as well. And so this halo effect,
we had so much brand equity with our Platypus business
that as soon as we were able to deliver on that
unmet need that the customers were telling us that they wanted, they came to us in droves. And so we had a 10X increase in sales in 10 months which is a
pretty staggering outcome. It’s been fantastic
for the whole business.>>It’s interesting that you talk about the in-store experience. What are some of the other benefits that the stores are getting? I imagine if you can
do like ship to store, there’s going to be more
store traffic as a result of having this seamless
experience for the customers.>>Yeah. In the whole strategy when we think about omni-channel strategy, the best, the very best channel for a consumer to actually engage with us in and purchase is click and collect. And I’ll tell you why. Because in click and
collect, what you’ve done is you have captured that online demand that exists for products
and they’ve said to you that I actually want to come and
pick it up in your store. And when they come and
pick it up in your store, by doing that the 12 other retailers that they have to walk through in the mall to kind of get to you. There not going to shop there because they have committed money,
they’ve committed funds to your business. And so that gives us a
fantastic opportunity when that customer walks into your store, you know that they are a serious consumer. And that gives us great
additional opportunities to introduce new products or experiences to that customer. So by capturing that demand online and driving them into
that in-store experience, we get to showcase the
best of both environments. That really savvy fast, fun,
content lead digital experience and that sensory experience in-store. Where you get to feel
and touch the product and talk to our awesome team members. And really have a fun
experience buying shoes. You know the wonderful
thing about footwear is and I always joke about it, is that unlike the
apparel space and fashion, shoes don’t make you feel fat or thin. They just make you feel good.>>That is true. I feel really good in the
shoes I’m wearing today.>>There you go.>>So, huge success with
launching this with Platypus. Like you said, it even
kind of surprised you guys. Do you have a line out
the door of the next, from a strategic vision perspective, the dominoes all lined up. Ready to just launch this thing.>>Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the things that’s led us to be really successful is the discipline that we have around how
we roll out strategy. And supported by a phenomenal team across the entire Accent Group. I think what’s really important
to kind of acknowledge is, is that it’s not one person, it’s not one division that makes
this stuff possible. It’s an entire organization. And it’s entire groups of people that come together to
really make this possible. So some of these initiatives
involve more than 50 people across the entire
organization representing every facet of the business. And so through the
discipline that we bring to our strategy process, we’ve got a really, well planned pipeline of product and
innovation that comes over the next 12 months. In fact our pipeline feels
pretty full at the moment. Some of that looks like endless aisles. So what we’ve done was ship from store for our digital business
in terms of driving and fueling sales, is in reverse. So endless aisle gives
stores that same capability. So our regional store that might not have the full assortment of product can now tap into $110,000,000
worth of inventory across our entire business.>>Lisa: Find it anywhere.>>Find it anywhere and we
can get it to that customer and not only will we get
it to them free of charge. We’ll do that next day. And that’s a pretty amazing
proposition for a consumer. In addition to that
we’re looking to roll out same day and three hour delivery again across the entire country. Both Australia and New Zealand. That requires a huge amount
of coordinated effort a lot of integration,
a lot of sales process. To make sure that we can, I’m not even sure if it’s a word, systematize you know, how you do this because it’s all very well to have this capability plugged into a business, but you’ve got to be able to deliver that fantastic experience
for the consumer. When they un-box that product or when they come in-store to pick up that click and collect order,
that it doesn’t feel like a foreign experience for the sales team who are serving those customers. And the customer feels
like it’s a really well thought out process.>>So as we look back
at your last question. The digital transformation that you’re on with the Accent Group and the time that you’ve spent there, what excites you about you know the rest of 2018. Is it being able to take
on advanced technologies like machine learning and
Artificial Intelligence to make that experience
transcendent across digital and physical stores, even better?>>Yeah you know, I often
get asked the question, “What keeps you awake at night?” And they’re two things. The first one is, the competition that doesn’t exist today. And that includes technology so the rapid evolution and
adoption of technology and how that can disrupt the market. And the second thing is, what
the customer wants tomorrow. Those are two very salient things that keep me awake at night. So what keeps me excited I suppose is looking at the success and the way in which we adopt and roll technology and strategy through the business. It’s not technology for technology sake. It’s really easy to get
caught up in the hype around some things so I’ve been following the A.I. trend now for three years. It finally feels like it’s reaching commercialization in the market. And I think in the next 12 months we certainly will see
a much greater adoption of parts of Artificial Intelligence in how it can power better
consumer experiences and perhaps even better intelligence in decision making in our organization. It’s a very humbling
thought to think that, you know whilst I know
a lot about the industry and space, there a 1,500 things that happened yesterday
and the day before that and you just can’t keep up. And nobody has the monopoly on good ideas so events like this and
getting out and talking to people and figuring out you know, what is that next big idea. What is that trend that’s
riding you know in the market. That’s how we try and figure out what the next big thing is going to be.>>And we’ve felt that all day
with commerce is limitless, opportunities are limitless as well. Mark, thanks so much for,
>>Not a problem.>>stopping by and telling
us about what guys are doing down in A (mumbles), it
sounds, pretty awesome.>>Fantastic, thanks for having me.>>Absolutely our pleasure. We want to thank you for watching theCUBE, we are live at
Magento Imagine 2018, in Las Vegas. I’m Lisa Martin. Stick around, we’ll be right
back to wrap up the day. (light music)