How a successful omni-channel retail company keeps innovating

A few weeks ago in San Francisco, the Deckers Outdoor Corporation held their first Consumer Experience Conference (CEC). Granted, I’ve attended plenty of conferences touting omni-channel and other buzz-worthy phrased presentations. But what made this stand out is the fact that a company re-focused a week long sales conference into a conference for their store managers and executives to learn the latest and greatest thoughts on the power of consumer experience (CX) and omni-channel retailing. A powerful blend of best of breed tech vendors, external experts and speakers, as well as their most vocal internal proponents, all spent the week painting the picture of how to go about changing an established leading shoe retailer into a CX and omni-channel juggernaut!

CEC Deckers

CG’s Charlie Miller presenting at CEC

A lynchpin of the overall conference success was the simple yet excellent CEC app developed by DoubleDutch. This app provided a schedule, as well as a social feed from all attendees, and was actually heavily used by all. Gameification of the leaderboard motivated attendees to submit and interact as much as possible and turned into a cut-throat battle for social sharing supremacy. Just like other major conferences, the format was familiar with keynote speakers, focus sessions as well as breakout workshops dedicated to specific topics. Another nice touch was the real-time translation services provided via headphones for team members who flew in from Japan and China so they too could enjoy the heady concepts around redefining the customer experience.

As an outside observer invited into this conference, it was heartening to witness how enthusiastically the attendees embraced the new ideas, innovations and upcoming changes. In other conferences the “focus on the customer” mantra seems like it is merely a veneer to cover sales conversion goals. But at the CEC event, this was taken to such an extreme that during the CEO’s talk to the entire group, he implored his team members to “stop selling and start being…. more compassionate… more engaging… more authentic”. As galling this call to arms sounds, it was all in line with the thrust of the Deckers retail approach, which is to follow the lead of the customer and never force the sale.

I’ve been working in retail technology for over 20 years and have never come across a company like Decker’s Outdoor that embraces change and innovation with such gusto. I’d like to thank the folks from Decker’s for inviting Control Group to attend and present at the Consumer Experience Conference 2014. The Deckers team’s enthusiasm and company culture make for a fertile bed of innovation and progress.

Join us Aug 6! Women in Tech Event & Documentary Launch Party

Dream Girl

Join Control Group and NY Tech Meetup on August 6 for a Women in Tech NYC casual summer happy hour to celebrate the launch campaign of Dream, Girl.

Dream, Girl is a documentary film redefining what it means to be a boss. We know the names of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates. But what about female entrepreneurs? What’s their story? What do their lives look like? For the last six months the Dream, Girl production team has been finding out just that. We have been interviewing and talking to female CEOs in the startup community to find out what drives them and how to be the boss. The film’s all female crew Erin Bagwell, Mary Perrino, Sara Waber & Kat Lazo encourage you to support their kickstarter campaign and empower the next generation of leaders to dream big. Dream, Girl. Learn more at: http://dreamgirlfilm.com/

Space is limited! RSVP here!

About Women in Tech NYC - Women in Tech NYC was founded by NY Tech Meetup, Control Group, and Girl Develop IT, with the goal of increasing the number of women participating in New York’s technology industry by gathering, coordinating, and amplifying the work of organizations throughout NYC that provide opportunities for women and girls to engage and lead in the industry through education, networking, mentorship, and career development. http://www.womenintechnyc.com/

Control Group awarded DoITT Class 1 Systems Integration Contract

Technology is critical to New York’s place as a 21st Century city. Not just because tech brings lots of investment and jobs—but because successful cities have always thrived on the disruption new technology brings.

Mayor de Blasio, May 2014

Control Group is proud to announce that we were awarded a NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) Class 1 Systems Integration contract for citywide technology projects. That means beginning on July 1, 2014, we will be able to help New York City government agencies overhaul and build new systems to support a thriving 21st Century global city.

Technology has the power to transform government and citizen services. But with shrinking budgets and citizens’ expectations rising, government simply needs do more with less. The good news is that deep opportunity exists to leverage lean approaches, new technologies, and the growing connections citizens have with their mobile devices to create more meaningful, interactive, and responsive citizen engagement. The great news is that Control Group has helped hundreds of organizations across diverse industries – from Finance, to Real Estate, to Transit – become more customer-focused, innovative, and efficient. So we’re ready to help our city do the same. 

If you are interested in learning more about our NYC Public Sector Practice, please contact Bob Richardson at brichardson@controlgroup.com.

EVENT 6/25: Big Data Opportunities Online and Offline: Streaming Analytics in the Cloud

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Whether analyzing clickstreams, in-store sensor data, ad impressions, or monitored customer behavior, it’s no longer good enough to crunch data and get answers back tomorrow or next week. Organizations today need analysis now so they can immediately respond to customer and business needs.

Control Group, Intel & AWS invite you to attend our Big Data Opportunities Online & Offline: Streaming Analytics in the Cloud Event in San Francisco on June 25.

Hear how Set Media combined a number of AWS services to analyze key metrics for online video advertising in real-time. And see how to leverage data from the Internet of Things to improve service delivery and the customer experience offline.

We will also dig into how companies can:

  • Get answers fast: Drive overall latencies to a few seconds, compared to minutes with typical batch processing
  • Vastly improve the customer experience by analyzing and responding to digital and physical data in real-time
  • Get started. During the networking segment we will have stations you can visit to talk to experts who can help you in taking the first steps, whether it be a workshop, subsidized PoC, or credit-subsidized sandbox environment. Or all of the above.

For more information and to register for this event, check this out.