On Thursday, Rachel Bogan, partner on product management at Work & Co, stopped by the Digiday+ Slack for our latest town hall. We discussed Work & Co’s work in product development, choosing when to compete with Amazon, bots and more.
We hold Slack town halls every two weeks with change-making digital media, marketing and retail executives. In between, we have editorial chats and group discussions on industry topics. Become a member of Digiday+ to join us.
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Here’s what you missed from our chat with Bogan.
You can’t win against Amazon
“You’ll never win against Amazon if you want to compete on price or logistics, but I do think that consumers are hungry for more streamlined and inspirational, easy-to-use [user experience], shipping, returns, ease of search — that is a baseline Amazon has set that clients cannot ignore. But they [brands] can create really performant, yet beautiful and useful retail experiences that will set them apart.”
Brands should sometimes choose their own platforms over Amazon
“Our client Aldo is a great example. A big part of our work together was to elevate the brand and merchandise their products in an inspirational context. That requires a certain amount of brand control, which they don’t have if they distribute exclusively on Amazon. We also want to give customers a reason to shop on their properties. That is core to their business model. Products serve the end customer — but also the business.”
Digital cannot stand alone
“Several of our clients have found that customers are a little shy about interacting with digital displays, et cetera. But what is incredibly powerful is using those [virtual reality and artificial intelligence] as sales tools. So, the most typical scenario would be, you request to try on a shoe, the sales associate brings it over and then hands you this awesome device with related looks/products. [Amazon Books] also brings that idea in — incorporating customer reviews alongside the books. The idea that digital stands alone is not realistic. You have to intermix digital and analog — and sometimes it means a human brings you over to the device, or you bring elements of digital in, in other ways.”
Brands should experiment more
“We are seeing a lot of clients experiment with chatbots in practical ways — like how an ‘assistant’ can complete a complex task, like a booking flow. I think they should put more money into testing. These technologies evolve really quickly, and a real investment is expensive. I also thinking that test-learn mentality is the right one for a brand that wants to make a splash in the digital space. You can’t be fearful — just ship it.”
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