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Drapers Digital Forum: Content must reflect a retailer's DNA

Editorial content must clearly demonstrate a retailer’s DNA and fashion companies should always challenge themselves to try something different and keep testing, ecommerce experts have said.

Speaking at the Drapers Digital Forum in London today, Stephanie Horton, chief marketing officer at luxury ecommerce platform Farfetch, said: “We want to create a clear point of view. The litmus test is if you put your hand over the title, could it be anyone else? If it could be, throw it away.”

Rosanna Falconer, business director at luxury brand Matthew Williamson, agreed and said retailers should ensure content is “unique to the brand and tied into the brand DNA”.

Harriet Hawksworth, editorial director at ecommerce platform Lyst, said even if retailers find an idea for content that works well, they have to be careful not to over do it, but keep showing creative flair.

Lou Ashton, head of digital at Topshop, added: “We work at quite a pace so the brand really needs to be built into what we do. We take a test and learn approach for each channel as different content works very differently on each channel. It’s about constant iteration. We keep trying to challenge ourselves to do something different.”

She added: “A lot of our content that does well isn’t what we create, but is user generated or vlogger activity.”

Farfetch’s Horton said the retailer has “aggressively gone into personalisation” and is currently working on a relaunch of part of its website for June, which it is now testing.

“We do a lot of testing as we think that’s the future. The more personalisation we can offer the better. Hyper personalisation is an issue, but with AB testing to figure it out, we can work out right away [if it’s not working] and pull back if needed.”

But Andy Heaps, group operations director at digital marketing agency Epiphany Search, said: “You don’t want to be too personalised so you freak people out. The brand message has to be consistent across all channels. When you are being hyper personalised, that can be a challenge.”

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