Corey Harris is the Director of Operations at Ipsy, which provides personalized beauty discovery via their “Glam Bag” subscription service. The company was founded by one of the original beauty influencers on YouTube, Michelle Phan, and their mission is to inspire individuals to express their unique beauty. Corey has over a decade of experience transforming global retail operations to enable cutting-edge customer experiences, including as an industry expert and consultant at Booz & Co. We asked him to tell us what’s missing from the retail experience today.
There are fundamental challenges around data and an inability to understand the customer across different touchpoints.
While I was consulting, I worked with a lot of companies who had their brand imagery down. They had their story developed, and knew exactly who they were. But once I got in and really looked under the hood, I realized there were fundamental challenges around data and an inability to understand the customer across all the different retail touchpoints the brand has with them.
In other words, the splashiness looks really great initially, but there isn’t an understanding of who that customer is and how to help them live that experience. You’d think that it would have been solved by now, since “omnichannel” has been a buzzword for so long, but I was constantly surprised by the lack of data integration I saw.
I really want my store experiences to be tailored to me as an individual.
For me, personal interactions are really important, and when you can integrate data—even at a simple level—you can create those personal experiences. I still shop at stores—even though I hate shopping—so I really want my store experiences to be tailored to me as an individual.
One retailer that comes to mind is Bonobos. With them, I set up an appointment and define the schedule online, select the things I want to try, try them on in-store, and then can go back online to complete the purchase. After that I can return either in-store or online. The simplicity and integration of that experience really makes it one of my favorite shopping experiences.