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EPISODE 43

Creating Online and In-Store Traffic Through Omnichannel Partnerships

With Audrey Gauthier, VP of Marketing and Ecommerce for Little Burgundy

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Although many brands were forced to invest a bit more into their ecommerce operations in 2020 than they expected, many still have brick and mortar stores that need attention, too. Foot traffic is down at local malls and on Main Streets all over the world, but there is a way to bring people back to that in-store experience. 

Audrey Gauthier is the Vice-President of Marketing and Ecommerce for Little Burgundy, a multi-brand footwear retailer owned by Genesco. She believes that an omnichannel approach and some creative partnerships are the answer to this widespread problem.

On this episode of Up Next in Commerce, Audrey, (who called in all the way from Montréal) explains that customers who are comfortable with both in-store and online shopping will ultimately be your highest-value customers. She dives into how Little Burgundy is driving conversions in both areas through partnerships with local creatives and businesses that bring more in-store traffic while also providing new and exciting online shopping experiences. Plus, Audrey reminds us why concentrating on the basics of logistics and shipping is what ultimately builds confidence with your customer base.

Main Takeaways:

  • Is the Partnership Worth It?: There are common problems facing stores, malls, and other retailers in every country. If you can find a strategic partnership that benefits all parties, you can not only revive your own business but help bring more prosperity to an entire community. (Pro Tip: Metrics matter. When measuring the success of these kinds of partnerships, pay attention to the average order value, traffic, and engagement numbers.)
  • National Reach With Local Flavor: Whether you are a mom and pop shop or a worldwide brand, connections are a key driver for success. Bringing local artists and creators into the in-store or online experience can help build a stronger connection to the people in the communities you’re working in that can carry your company even farther. 
  • Would You Like To Leave A Comment?: When there are open and transparent lines of communication through all levels of an organization, improvements that have real impact can be made much easier. When an in-store sales associate can easily present feedback she received from a customer to the ecommerce or marketing team, that customer insight which may have gone unnoticed before can instead be turned into a new solution or campaign.

For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.

Key Quotes:

“Coming up with our fall-winter campaign and trying to connect with the customer with this new reality and just reinvent ourself was really fun and different and challenging.”

“Even though we’re a nationwide retailer, we tend to do things locally and try to connect with local communities. Our stores look a bit different [in] every region. We [also] try to partner with local influencers, local artists, and ambassadors. So, I would describe us as a multi-brand retailer that carries brands like Dr. Martens, Converse, Vans – brands that you can get in a lot of other retail stores – but even though we’re multi-brand, we really have a strong artistic brand DNA.”

“Regardless of the channel, we need to provide the very best experience we can to our customer.”

“A thing we’ve always been good at is showcasing the product in a different way than our competition does, but also than even the brands are doing themself…. I think that’s one of our advantages because it seems to work with our customers. And from previous surveys or focus groups that we’ve done in the past, they always say that at Little Burgundy, we do things differently, but in a good way. We succeed to stand out, even though we’re not the biggest player.” 

“[We create] content that is making us stand out from the crowd, and our customers are going on our websites, spending time with us and engaging with Little Burgundy instead of spending that five minutes on Footlocker, for instance.”

“I think it’s one of our strength as a multi-brand retailer to be able to tell a story to our blog, our newsletter, our in-store window, with our own tone of voice, even though we’re going to market Dr. Martens, Adidas, Nike, like any other brands.”

“I feel that transparent communication that we have within the company is such an eye-opener for everyone, actually. And there’s just a lot of transparency between what’s actually happening from the sales floor to the office decisions that are being taken.”

“I think there’s a lot of good A.I. solutions and a lot of good front end customization, but most of the retailers still have a little bit of trouble with their back end and just decreasing their numbers of cancellations or [with] shipping faster or having a good return process. So, the improvement we’re doing is more in terms of inventory management and being more reliable in that sense. That’s not the prettiest thing that we could see on the website or things like that, but it’s really something that on the long end, it’s just going to give confidence to our customer that we’re able to commit to a fast delivery or that if you order from us, you’re actually going to get through your product and it’s not going to get canceled.”

Mentions:

Bio:

Audrey Gauthier is the VP Marketing and E-Commerce at Little Burgundy, which is owned by Genesco. She began her career in Ecommerce at La Vie En Rose and later joined the ALDO Group in 2013 as the Ecommerce Manager for their Little Burgundy division. She rose to the role of Marketing and Ecommerce Director in 2015, overseeing both digital and brick-and-mortar marketing, as well as managing a team of designers.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Respond quickly to changing customer needs with flexible Ecommerce connected to marketing, sales, and service. Deliver intelligent commerce experiences your customers can trust, across every channel. Together, we’re ready for what’s next in commerce. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

Transcript:

Stephanie:

Welcome back to another episode of Up Next in Commerce. I’m your host, Stephanie Postles, co-founder of mission.org.

Stephanie:

Today on the show, we have Audrey Gauthier The vice-president of marketing and ecommerce for the Little Burgundy division of Genesco. Audrey, welcome.

Audrey:

Hi. Thank you.

Stephanie:

Thanks for coming on the show.

Audrey:

Yeah, sure. My pleasure.

Stephanie:

It feels like you’re so far away. Where are you calling in from today?

Audrey:

I’m in Montreal, actually. That’s where my accent is coming from as well.

Stephanie:

I love it. Are you guys opening up your retail stores of Little Burgundy or are you still strictly working from home?

Audrey:

We opened up the office. In Montreal, actually, we’re allowed to have 25% of the employees working from the office, so we manage our calendar for people that want to go back to working from the office, but also everyone can actually work from home if they prefer as well.

Stephanie:

Very cool. So before we dive into Little Burgundy, I wanted to go through your background a bit. I saw that you’ve worked in the world of ecommerce for about a decade, and I wanted to hear what drew you to ecommerce, and a little bit about your journey.

Audrey:

Yeah, sure. I mean, I first started my career after a master in administration. At the beginning after my studies, I really wanted to work for ad agency, but after interviews had gotten me really into retail world, so I started for La Vie En Rose, which is also a Canadian-based retailer out of Montreal. It’s a lingerie retailer, could be similar at the smaller case to Victoria’s Secret. And I quickly fell in love with all the opportunities at ecommerce and the endless possibilities and creativity that goes really beyond the activation that we’re doing, but also in terms of troubleshooting. So, really it’s what got me in ecommerce.

Audrey:

And then after I got an opportunity within the Aldo Group and then continue my career in footwear since about seven to eight years now.

Stephanie:

Very cool. So what have been some of your favorite campaigns that you’ve worked on over the years?

Audrey:

One of my favorite campaign was actually the first time we shot abroad. We went to Mexico City and worked with combination of talents that we brought with us from Montreal and some others that were local based. That was just an amazing experience to be able to shoot abroad for a campaign that was going to live both in store and also in the digital side, so really exciting. And I would add to that that’s recently just navigating to COVID and our new reality, coming up with our fall-winter campaign and trying to really connect with the customer with this new reality and just reinvent ourself was really fun and different and challenging, but a good end for me.

Stephanie:

I’d love it if you could highlight what Little Burgundy is.

Audrey:

Yeah. Yeah, sure. Little Burgundy is a multi brand retailer. We started back in 2008. We were initially launched by the Aldo Group and acquired by the Genesco Group back in 2015, so about five years ago. And, I mean, we’re really boutique sale retailer, so we only have 38 stores. We’re pretty strong on ecommerce as well. But even though we’re a nationwide retailer, we really tend to do things locally and try to connect with local communities. Our stores look a bit different from every region. We try to partner also with local influencers, local artists and ambassadors. So, I would describe us as, really, a multi brand retailer that carry brands like Dr. Marten’s, Converse, Vans, brands that you can get in a lot of other retail stores, but we even though we’re multi brand, we really have a strong artistic brand DNA.

Stephanie:

That’s great. So, when it comes to forming partnerships with the local talent or the artists, how do you guys approach that? Because I think that is really important when you’re walking into a really fun, nice shoe store, you’ve got good music going, you’ve got good art around, but how do you guys think about finding new artists or finding people that are a good fit?

Audrey:

There’s a lot of searching, I would say, especially if they came into consideration that doing business in Canada and most specifically in the Quebec province, we always love to do everything in French and English. And that goes as well for even the music in our stores. There’s certain laws in Quebec that you need certain amounts of songs that play in your playlist in the store that needs to be in French, so we need to manage our playlist in store so we enough French songs and local artists from Montreal. But that goes as well from people that are connecting with artists. Our musician, for example, from Toronto or Ottawa are really different than the people that are connecting with more local based Montreal and French artists.

Audrey:

So there’s a lot of researching from my team, either through connections and contacts or Instagram, Facebook … just always trying to be in the know of who’s up and coming. And also, we’re still a pretty small player, so budget wise, in terms of collaboration, we really love to just be highlighting new artists that are up and coming, and [inaudible] the ones that have been seen around by every other retailers or partners.

Stephanie:

That’s really fun. That seems like such a great way to lift up the community and really help out a lot of people, like you said, the artists and people who are doing really cool work.

Audrey:

Yeah, absolutely.

Stephanie:

Cool. So tell me a little bit about how you’re thinking about, so you have your retail stores opening back up soon, and you also have your ecommerce stores going. Tell me a little bit about how you’re thinking about the omnichannel approach and how you want to sync them together so it all feels similar.

Audrey:

I see really that regardless of the channel, we really need to provide the very best experience we can to our customer. In the recent months, there’ve been a lot of customer that for the time they shopped with us online. They used to be in-store customer. And we saw from the data that the customer that do shop in both channels are the one that are bringing the most revenue to the company if they’re active in store, but as well online.

Audrey:

So I think moving forward, we’re not only going to try to drive our business either online or in store, but really convert them both. And some initiative in regards to that, for us in our end will be solution like we call [Book Us 00:09:28] for example. So you buy it online and then you can go within the next hour in your favorite shop and maybe spend a bit less time in store, but at least it’s reserved, it’s for you, you can try it, try your size, especially in footwear, because it could be quite tricky in terms of size. So you can go in store, have that experience, but it’s more fast and easy because you’ve done your pre shopping online, you reserved your item, you know it’s waiting in store for you. The store’s assistant is there to maybe offer you an alternative product if that doesn’t work for you.

Audrey:

So, I think all of that omnichannel experience and improving both the in-store, but as well, the online is going to be key, same thing with just the shipping and return as well. So, I mean, if you decide to go in-store, try the product, we don’t have it. We currently order it for you and then it can be delivered either to the store or your home. But we need to do a better job of just shipping faster, same-day delivery without pain, returning it the way you want, either in-store or to a delivery location without any cost, without any trouble to go through, or you don’t have to call customer service.

Audrey:

So, I think on the logistic end, that’s where we’re actually going to win in the upcoming years of ecommerce.

Stephanie:

I love that. And I saw on your website that it said you could return shoe within 365 days. Is that right?

Audrey:

Yeah, exactly. That’s something we always been actually doing with Genesco. The only thing is we’ve never really been pushing it, so through COVID and the culture of our stores, that was the type of messaging that we were putting up front of the customer, just to reassure them in their process, especially for the new digital customer that were used to maybe buy in store and become more comfortable with returning in store the next week or within the next two weeks.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I think that’s so important to get someone to feel like there is no risk with buying if you can’t get it back in a year. It sounds such a good idea, to have people come back and store so they can get comfortable with the experience and get a part of the in-person experience that you guys have built up. So how are you thinking about other ways to drive them in the store that maybe isn’t competing with the free shipping? Because it seems like it’d be hard to want to go in store if I know that I could buy something online and ship it back for free for a whole year.

Audrey:

Yeah. It’s been an ongoing question, to be honest, since we’ve been reopening our stores. I mean, traffic has been, even prior to COVID, it was a little bit down in malls, and it was already hard to get customer to actually go in-store. So, our job is even tougher in terms of really just increasing that traffic and really making sure that the customer do show up as well in store. So we’re looking at doing special launches, special partnership as well. I think a good way of winning, especially in tough situation like we are is doing partnership maybe with other retailers. We recently done a partnership as well with RBC Bank in Canada. So that was a way to get new customers.

Audrey:

I mean, downtown is pretty much still dead for us in Montreal, as well as Toronto. The traffic has significantly decreased overall, not just in shops, but in restaurants and bars and every places, but for the ones that are still going downtown to maybe give a special promotion that they can get on their lunch break or something like that.

Audrey:

So we’re really just trying to work more closely with other retailers, other partners, the malls also itself, or if it’s a street store to work with, like the neighborhood, that store to find partnership and ways that we can all together bring more traffic to our stores.

Stephanie:

Very cool. So, what kind of launches or partnerships are you seeing success with right now? What kind of things are you trying out that are working?

Audrey:

The RBC partnership that we’ve done, it was basically giving an exclusive offer to the RBC Bank members. It was successful in the way that it brought a lot of new customer to Little Burgundy and they were also high-value customers that were spending more than average. So in a time where businesses is tough, definitely that was a good win for us.

Audrey:

Another one is we have this student price card in Canada, it’s called SPC. And it’s giving discount to members of SPC when they are student and could be applicable in multiple retail location. So that’s another way that other partnership that we’re seeing, that it doesn’t change the entire business, but it does add up at the end with multiple type of partnership like this.

Audrey:

And I think another good way of winning is working closer definitely with the malls, because at the end of the day, we’re in the same boat. We’re all seeing either decrease of traffic and difficult business. So I think we need tighter communication with the malls and the partnership, if they’re doing an event to really involve the retailers as well. With one of the mall regroupments here in Canada, Cadillac Fairview, they’re doing a incentive during the holiday, so if a customer buy Cadillac Fairview $100 gift card, then they can get special items in certain participant store. So that’s another way of, again, in terms of traffic and partnership, try to get more customer into our doors.

Stephanie:

Yeah. That seems like definitely the way of the future is figuring out how to partner with people who are around you to create really good experiences. Yeah. It seems very smart.

Stephanie:

Are there any metrics that you pay attention to when you’re forming these partnerships and these spatial launches?

Audrey:

Mm-hmm (affirmative) As I was saying, with RBC, the average order value, the revenue it’s bringing, but also in terms of long term, are they staying customer? The acquisition that we’re doing through that partnership, are they going to redo a purchase in the next six months and then next year, or that was really just a one-time to get the promotion, so it’s a little bit less valuable for us? So, these are definitely metrics that we’re paying attention.

Stephanie:

That’s great. So how do you keep customers coming back? Because there are so many shoe stores, so many competitors out there. How do you engage with your customers in a way that keeps you top of mind?

Audrey:

Yeah. Good question, and definitely a good challenge being a multi brand retailer, and with also increasing competition in terms of just the offer out there with the multiple retailers and also big players, even from the States that are coming in.

Audrey:

So, I mean, for us, a thing we’ve always been good at is showcasing the product in a different way than our competition does, but also than even the brands are doing themself. So we showcase a Vans product in a different style or different aspirational look than what Vans would do or what a Footlocker would do. So, I think that’s what one of our advantage, because it seems to work with our customer, and from previous survey or focus group that we’ve done in the past, they always say that at Little Burgundy, we do things differently, but in a good way. We succeed to stand out, even though we’re not the biggest player.

Audrey:

And even though we don’t carry all the product, but we have the reputation of carrying a good selection of product. If you want a footwear that is on trend, it’s maybe not the most fashion forward that you would see on a red carpet, but at the same time, it’s a safe choice in terms of being on trend, so we’re being one step ahead of maybe the core people, but at the same time still being affordable price. So we are in a good position in terms of our offer and all we presented.

Stephanie:

Yep. I think that’s a good space to play in, because who really wants to wear the red carpet stuff anyways? Most of that looks a little crazy.

Stephanie:

So, on your website, you mentioned that you have a magazine that goes out every season. Tell me a little bit about that.

Audrey:

Yeah. Our magazine, we actually launched it since the very beginning of Little Burgundy. And it’s always been at the heart of who we are. And I remember when we were part of Aldo, everyone wanted to work for the Little Burgundy division, because it was with our magazine and all our artistic direction, we’re doing things always a bit more edgy. And that was just a really good vehicle for our brand DNA and to show Little Burgundy, again, differently than other multi brand retailers.

Audrey:

That being said, about three seasons ago, we stopped doing the printed magazine and really went more with digital version. So we still do those strong artistic direction campaign every single season, and we create a specific team for a season where we’re going to do articles and work with artists, et cetera.

Audrey:

So, similar content with what we would have done for the magazine, but we’re really doing it more for the digital. So assets are optimized for digital, we’re doing more video content as well, we’re uploading articles on the website. So we move away from the print and magazine, basically because of the cost of printing, but also we were just able to track a better return on investment with everything we’re doing online.

Audrey:

So then a tough decision when we first started the magazine, because it’s been part of our DNA and heritage of Little Burgundy. Even in the office, we have all our covers of the magazine that are showcased in the hallway. So we’ve all been super proud of it, but just with the world changing, we took a more digital direction in terms of content. And I’m not saying that we’re never going to go back to a print version of the magazine, but for now we’re really more focusing on still creating good content exclusive to Little Burgundy that has always a really defined angle, but then really optimizing that content more on the digital side.

Stephanie:

Yeah. So to dive in a little deeper on the digital magazine aspect, what kind of engagement are you seeing on that? When you send it, I’m guessing, through your email or wherever else, how many people, or how many of your customers engage with it and read the entire thing?

Audrey:

It’s not a magazine like it used to be, a full issue. It’s more we’re releasing content as we go throughout the season. So it’s more going to be through blog article and just a newsletter that is more informational. But it’s not in a format of a full magazine, like page one, two, three, et cetera.

Audrey:

So, we see that like people are … It’s just funny to look at engagement of people in certain articles versus others. The latest one we released, I don’t know if you got a chance to see it, it’s really, really small article, but it was just of these dogs, so the dogs of people working at Little Burgundy, and obviously it involved dogs, not at all related to the shoes, but it was interesting because we got a very wide reach of people engaging with that article and just spending more time on our website. So at the end of the day, in terms of KPIs, we had a good returns, even though it was not direct sales. But again, it’s content that are just making us a little bit stand out from the crowd, and our customer just going on our websites, spending time with us and engaging with Little Burgundy instead of spending that five minutes on Footlocker, for instance.

Stephanie:

I love that. I think anything with dogs or animals probably would perform we.

Audrey:

Yeah, definitely.

Stephanie:

So when you create content that, how do you also keep Little Burgundy branding on there so people know who brought this content to them without hitting them over the head with it? How do you make sure it’s engaging, but also does the job?

Audrey:

In terms of letting the customer know that it’s from Little Burgundy and this content that is brought to us through, let’s say, paid advertising ads or ad on Facebook or Instagram, that’s why we really launch campaign that are very different, that are very [inaudible] driven, that are a little bit more edgy than what you would see on maybe another retail or a medium. So we’re really trying to have our ads running, but really with a strong artistic direction. So, if you see a Blundstone ad on your Instagram, and then you see a similar ad with the same background or the same artistic direction but for Vans on your Facebook, you can still relate that it’s probably from Little Burgundy, just because of the artistic direction.

Audrey:

But it’s really important for us, and I think it’s one of our strength as a multi brand retailer to be able to tell a story to our blog, our newsletter, our in-store window, with our own tone of voice, even though we’re going to market Dr. Martens, Adidas, Nike, like any other brands.

Stephanie:

Yep. So previously you guys were owned by Aldo, and then in 2015, Genesco acquired you, which is an American brand, what did that change look like? Did you have to change your tone of voice or your design, or were there no changes at all?

Audrey:

No, there was definitely tons of changes. And it’s been a big journey, because, I mean, you’re detaching a business that was already very tightly attached to another business and then you’re reattaching it to another strong structure. So it’s been a couple of years, actually, just going through that process and being able to be fully running on new platforms.

Audrey:

We’ve pretty much changed everything, like the POS in store, our shipping carrier, our warehouse, every single aspect of the business has been scoop out and look at, and we needed to confirm that, yeah, we’re moving forward with that third party or not. So it’s been a lot of work, I would say, in terms of acquisition from both and even from people working from Little Burgundy, but also with Aldo and the Genesco folks as well.

Audrey:

In terms of business, I feel really fortunate that it’s actually Genesco who acquired us in terms of they’re a multi brand, their expertise in retail, they’ve been around for ages. And being part of the Journeys family, they’re a multi brand retailer, as well as us, while Aldo was a first class business. So we were always a little bit like the outsider within that structure.

Audrey:

Joining Journeys, they’re really more similar to us in that sense of being a multi brand retailer. So for a small player like us from Canada being only 38 stores, I mean, it gave us access also to the management of certain brands we’re working with. So we have always had our good, strong relationship with all our brand partners in Canada, but now we also have access to getting more involved and knowledgeable of this strategy more globally from our brands. So that was definite win for Little Burgundy within this acquisition, actually.

Audrey:

And if I can add to that, I’m also glad of our Aldo heritage, just because of I put us knowledgeable at footwear being from a first class company, that were working with manufacturer all around the world and creating their own line of products. So I feel we’re the perfect situation that our previous family was actually making shoes and our new company, they’re really strong in retail and with brands. So I feel we’re really gaining from Little Burgundy in this acquisition.

Stephanie:

Yeah. That’s great. I’m sure that Genesco and the brands within Genesco are learning a lot from you all, but what are some of the biggest insights that you learned from being able to see into these other brands that were similar to you?

Stephanie:

Like maybe where you have been able to see how other brands do things or how they track things or how they do things with retail where you were like, “Oh, we weren’t doing that before, and now we’re going to start implementing them.”

Audrey:

I would say one of the big learning that I saw from being part of the Journeys family, they always have this tagline of “Journeys is a family with an attitude that cares.” And that’s true. They’re really super transparent, sharing data, involving the team from the coordinator to the designers, the part time employee in store to the store manager, they’re really involving everyone from the company to almost sit at the same table and really share knowledge.

Audrey:

An example of that is at the POS level in store. We have a button that is called Feedback Button. So anyone from the store employees can hit that button and send directly their feedback to the various team from the head office. And even all of the management team, we have access to the feedback from the store.

Audrey:

So I feel that transparent communication that we have within the company is such a eye opener for everyone, actually. And there’s just a lot of transparency between what’s actually happening from the sales floor to the office decisions that are being taken. So that’s definitely a good learning with joining Journeys and seeing really that family vibe is just to connect more with people that are from the stores to know their reality, know their feedback from the customer, because they’re really at the front line. So I feel that within this company, we do succeed with just bringing back together and the office team and the sales team, which has beneficial even for the web business, so many feedback that we get from the stores, then we’re like, “Oh, okay. They hadn’t thought of that even for ecomm so we can apply some changes as well for the website,” from insight we’re getting from the sales associate, in-store comment from a customer, for example.

Stephanie:

That’s really smart. It seems like that’s a great way to empower the retail employees, because I think we’ve all been in a retail store before where you can just tell the employees there are not happy, they don’t feel excited to come into work, they don’t feel a strong connection with the brand, but it seems really smart to start empowering them so then they feel like they are a part of the success.

Stephanie:

So what kind of disruptions are you preparing for within ecommerce?

Audrey:

There’s been a lot of I mean, upgrades, like with the store closure in March, and just really putting all our focuses on actually the web business for a couple of months and seeing how it’s overall helping the business, we’ve been fueling and investing a lot in ecommerce upgrade.

Audrey:

So, on our end, we’ve been even launching, for example, affiliate program or working with partners like Curalate for more UGC content on our website. We’re going to do soon launching with PayBright, which is allowing to pay multiple payments as well. So for us, our average order value for goods, it’s going to be quite good in terms of just helping overall conversion in the website.

Audrey:

Other big changes we’re going to be seeing is in terms of just the inventory management, and being able for the customer to not only, again, make a purchase online and then add ship it to the store, but also go and pick it up within the next few hours at their favorite store to try them on.

Audrey:

So, those are some of the disruption in our model that we’re seeing for the upcoming months and that we’re just trying to fast forward and act a little bit faster than maybe we would have expected at the very beginning of the year, knowing that there’s definitely a lot of opportunities with ecomm right now and that we’re really on the hill that we’re going up quite fast. I’m not sure if that sounds right in English.

Stephanie:

Yeah. We’ve actually heard that from quite a few brands, of the plans that they had for maybe three years are now happening in a matter of months.

Audrey:

Yeah, exactly.

Stephanie:

While you’re doing all these ecommerce upgrades, are there any new pieces of technology or tools that you’re implementing that you’re excited about?

Audrey:

Yeah. So, PayBright, I’m actually quite excited about it. And funny enough, I think that the solution we’re using in the US is Klarna. I’m excited about it. Prior to COVID, I was a little bit not sure about implementing a solution that will allow our customer to pay in multiple payment. I just felt doesn’t necessarily feel right for just a pair of shoe enough like a big, so far or really expensive purchase, but now, a little bit the economic situation we’re in, the uncertainty, the fact that so many people lost their job too, I feel a bit more confident and sure about adding it, and I’m curious to see also the result if it have conversions. So this one I’m quite happy.

Audrey:

But overall, our buy online, pick up in store and more real-time inventory is definitely the biggest change. I think there’s a lot of good AI solution and a lot of good front end customization, but most of the retailers still have a little bit of trouble with their back in and just decreasing their numbers of cancellation or shipping faster or having good return process. So, the improvement we’re doing more in terms of inventory management and being more reliable in that sense, that’s definitely what I’m looking for the most, not the prettiest thing that we could see on the website or things like that, but it’s really something that on the long end, it’s just give confidence to our customer that we’re able to commit to a fast delivery or just that if you order from us, you’re actually going to get through your product and it’s not going to get canceled, et cetera. So I’m really excited about just the basics.

Stephanie:

Yeah. That’s cool. I mean, real-time inventory seems really tricky when you have multiple brands that you’re working with.

Audrey:

Yeah, but at the same time we own the inventory and it’s being either shipped from the stores or the warehouse, so it makes it a bit easier to manage.

Stephanie:

Cool. All right. So I’m going to shift this over to a lightning round. So the lightning round brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This is where I’m going to ask you a question and you have a minute or less to answer. Are you ready, Audrey?

Audrey:

Yeah, I think.

Stephanie:

What’s up next on your reading list?

Audrey:

Next on my reading list is a book from Margaret Atwood that I’ve been looking up for ages and just didn’t took the time to read it, so I was always reading something else. It’s called in French [Foreign Language 00:40:03], and English it’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I just never got to read it. I know everyone read it before, but it was never on my table. So that’s the one I’m currently starting.

Stephanie:

That’s great. You’ll have to let me know how it is.

Audrey:

Yeah, sure.

Stephanie:

What’s up next in your travel destinations, or where did you just go, since you were just on vacation?

Audrey:

I just come back from vacation on Monday at noon, actually. I went to, it’s a small Island in Quebec, actually. It’s called Magdalena Island. It’s a fisherman island, really cute, red cliffs, and you’re surrounded by the sea. There’s tons of just really welcoming people. They have even a weird French accent, so for an Anglophone, it might be a little bit tricky, but it’s definitely worth going there.

Stephanie:

Oh, that’s fun. I’ll have to check that out. What app are you enjoying most on your phone?

Audrey:

Currently, I’ve been spending a little bit too much time on TikTok, because we recently for Little Burgundy just launched a TikTok channel. I didn’t even add it on my phone; I obviously knew what TikTok was involved, but I never spent time on it. So recently my team has been just pushing me videos to watch and just to be more aware of that platform and our customers that are on it. So I’ve been spending a little bit too much time on this app, actually.

Stephanie:

I feel you there. I end up going down a wormhole where I start with just a couple of videos, and then all of a sudden I’m like, “Whoa. I just spent 20 minutes watching dancing and makeup tutorials and organizing your house videos.” But it seems a perfect platform for Little Burgundy.

Audrey:

Yeah, exactly.

Stephanie:

All right. And the last one, what one thing will have the biggest impact on ecommerce in the next year?

Audrey:

Tricky. There’s so many things that are happening right now, but I think, for Canada, the cost of shipping is so expensive here. Obviously Amazon and big players are just setting up the bar very high for fast shipping, very low cost, et cetera. So for smaller retailers, for us, expectation from the customer is just getting higher. I think shipping carrier and negotiating prices will be very challenging but could be a key changer.

Audrey:

One of the company that you should actually maybe include in your next podcast, a guest from Canada, they’re called [inaudible 00:43:18]. I think they might even be in their 30s, if I’m not mistaken, two guys from Montreal who launched that ecommerce website, and they just announced that they’re doing same-day delivery currently in Montreal, but they’re looking to launch as well in Toronto. So if you’re from Montreal and you purchase before 1:00 PM in the afternoon, you’re safe to get your order the same day. So these type of services are definite game changer, but I just think it’s hard to get there still being profitable. So that’s definitely an area that we’re going to keep a close eye on.

Stephanie:

Yeah. That would be interesting to hear, the economics behind that business and how they guarantee that. That would be a good interview guest.

Audrey:

Yeah, definitely.

Stephanie:

All right. Audrey, well, this has been such a fun conversation. Where can people find out more about you and Little Burgundy Shoes?

Audrey:

Yeah. So about me, definitely on my LinkedIn, so Audrey Gauthier, if you can spell that right. And Little Burgundy, well, I invite you guys to go on our website, littleburgundyshoes.com. We currently don’t ship in the US, but we’re really looking forward to it eventually. So it’s still worth to stay tuned and look at what we’re offering.

Stephanie:

Very cool. Thanks so much for joining.

Audrey:

No problem. Thanks to you.

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