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Jun 14, 20214 min read

Insights from our Summer Smoooth Sessions 🛍️

Klarna K logo

by Klarna

Last week we were delighted to virtually bring together a panel of retail experts to consider “Customer obsession: driving retail innovation”.

Deborah Joseph, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour UK, expertly chaired the discussion covering how retailers have responded to seismic social shifts over the past 12 months.


The panel.

Smoooth Sessions Panelists

Panelists included Remi Mobolade, Global PR Manager at Huda Beauty, Simona Gaia Bara, Head of Marketing at JBL, Annie Rose Lougher, Head of eCommerce at Alexa Chung and Bella Freud, Sharon Solis, Head of Retail at Astrid and Miyu, Diego Fria, Head of eCommerce at Toteme, Oliver Wayman, Co-Founder of BOTTLETOP and Klarna’s UK Head of Marketing, AJ Coyne.


Top takeaways.

If you didn’t manage to attend the event, catch the recorded session right here to get all the panels insights, and we’ve rounded up some key takeaways:

1. Driving footfall in-store post-pandemic

Sharon Solis, Head of Retail at Astrid and Miyu is tasked with driving exceptional and unique customer experience in Astrid & Miyu’s retails stores, and it’s no surprise the contemporary jewellery brand was placed ninth in the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 Listing last year. The brand is drives a highly engaged online community to their boutiques, concessions and pop-ups by offering personalised experiences from piercing parties to consultations to plan the perfect “earscape”.

2. Building emotional connections in a new consumer landscape

When discussing how the way consumers shop for beauty in the last year, Remi Mobolade, Global PR Manager at Huda Beauty said “I think what a lot of people have seen and for us especially with being such a digitally native brand, is seeing consumers start to purchase not only with wallets but also with their hearts. We are so connected to our consumers via social media and we have noticed that consumers really care about brands who speak up about what they believe in – what they’re passionate about, they’re supporting. Brands can no longer rely on just having cool products or cute pictures, consumers really want to know what brands believe in and that really is one of the biggest takeaways from the past year.”

Reviewing how brand development has been impacted in the last year Simona Gaia Bara, Head of Marketing, JBL said: “The first thing we had to do was rethink our consumer’s needs from all of our products in a world where people very quickly became glued to screens in order to stay connected. Everyone’s day-to-day life changed immediately and we had to respond to that – all of a sudden we had to think about products being used for zoom calls instead of as a travel accessory.”

3. Sustainability as an acquisition & loyalty driver

Addressing how conversations surrounding sustainability have been growing over the past year, Oliver Wayman, Co-Founder of BOTTLETOP said: “We have been flying this flag for almost 20 years now but when the pandemic hit we were questioning what direction people would take with some predicting that with so many people struggling, a sustainability message was no longer a priority. The opposite happened. People had time to reflect, to philosophise and actually we have found a complete u-turn and people have realisation of what we all need to do to act better.”

We asked what retail innovations you’re excited by. Here are the top 6…

  1. QR codes
  2. AI
  3. At-home sizing technology
  4. Experiential shopping
  5. In-app shopping
  6. The collaborative opportunities on platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat & Pinterest


If you didn’t manage to attend the event watch our recorded session right here 👇

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