High-End Specialty Retailer Intermix Makes The Shift From Bricks To Clicks

IntermixBecause a dress at Intermix will likely cost you in the four-digit range, the Gap-owned fashion retailer incorporates the needs of discriminating consumers into its commerce marketing strategy.

Last Easter and Passover an asset allocation team moved product from Intermix’s flagship Madison Avenue store to high-end vacation spots like Bal Harbour in Miami to meet the spring rush, or to its new Hamptons outpost, just in time for summer.

“We’re a 21-year-old startup,” described Jarrad Berman, Intermix’s director of digital marketing, on Thursday during a Criteo-hosted advertiser event in New York. “Customers start shopping Intermix in their mid-30s and many are now in their mid-50s.”

As those customers move through life stages, the brand tailors its product mix to meet their shifting needs. A woman moving into her prime years may not be as interested in printed jumpsuits as she once was.

At the same time, the predominantly brick-and-mortar store, now counting 41 locations, has had to shift into ecommerce.

“We think a lot about how we use digital dollars to drive in-store traffic,” Berman said. One way it’s doing this is introducing immersive fashion look books online, featuring emerging collections.

But many of its customers aren’t early arrivals to digital and, because a single purchase can be a hefty investment for a customer, many still prefer high-touch experiences and in-store discoveries. That said, the brand still needs to attract the right Intermix shopper.

“We have a couple different personas, but our price points aren’t the lowest so we need to find women moving into their peak earning years who are willing to drop $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 on outfits every few weeks,” Berman said.

In order to do this, Intermix uses geofencing and lookalike modeling, although it has yet to experiment with beacons since it’s prioritizing its data and technology strategy before taking on too many new channels at once.

“Personalization is what built our brick-and-mortar presence, and now we are figuring it out for digital and mobile,” he said. “We are balancing so much data about where shoppers live and what their purchase habits are, that we do worry we will go overboard with the personalization. We want a targeted experience, but don’t want a Target experience.”

On the back end, Intermix is rebuilding its entire database in order to put data it’s collected for 21 years to good use, as well as introduce more predictive marketing technology into the mix, Berman said.

“Intermix wasn’t a web-first business, but as we’ve shifted, we want to be responsive to internal stakeholders who may want to access data we have,” he said.

As part of the migration to digital, Berman claimed the brand is tripling its headcount for web-based initiatives and developing a digital native team responsible for managing four planned technology upgrades.

Mobile is also a huge initiative, partly influenced by parent Gap Inc. in its respective push to become mobile-first. It just launched a mobile site with a responsive site planned for fall. Within a month, all email campaigns will be mobile-ready, Berman said.

Like brands Wine Enthusiast and 1800Flowers, which were also in attendance at Criteo Live, Intermix has used “an attribution platform acquired by AOL, now Verizon.” (In other words: Convertro.)

“We have [lost] a ton of [margin] discounting for people who didn’t need or want one, so we need to do a better job of segmenting,” Berman said.

He said ensuring proper discounting is a people and tech problem, and that Intermix’s growing data science team will be charged with applying new segmentation analysis and improving its attribution strategy to tackle things like discounting and win-back campaigns, which will improve margins.


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