Part II: Spring 2024 eCommerce Technology Trends from a Buyer’s POV

PeakSpan Capital
4 min readMay 20, 2024

The PeakSpan eCommerce Team had the opportunity to sit down with Jean Cho, CEO of Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn. With a background that spans prominent retail brands like Carter’s, Gap, Old Navy, and Pottery Barn, Jean brings a wealth of eCommerce expertise and domain experience in digital retail operations, including merchandising, strategy, and customer experience. As CEO of an emerging fashion icon, she leads strategic initiatives to enhance omnichannel experiences for both Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn, driving growth and innovation in the eCommerce space.

1. Customer-Centric Philosophy: Cho emphasized focusing on understanding individual customer preferences in order to prioritize customer needs and establishing genuine connections rather than just driving sales. Brands can exemplify their well-defined values through tailored experiences and personalized interactions that foster long-lasting customer relationships.

2. Emphasizing Brand Identity: Cho stressed the importance of maintaining a strong brand voice across all touchpoints. This can be executed by ensuring consistent messaging across channels and using storytelling and personalized communication to resonate with a brand’s audience. By building and reinforcing a clear brand identity, retailers can drive customer loyalty, ultimately leading to increased customer engagement and retention.

3. Seamless Omnichannel Experience: Cho discussed the criticality of creating a seamless brand experience across channels, aligning online and in-store experiences to provide customers with a cohesive and “on-brand” journey. In addition to enhancing brand perception and customer satisfaction, this consistency strengthens a brand’s identity and creates familiarity among consumers, ultimately increasing brand trust across all mediums.

4. Tailored Personalization: Companies can leverage email segmentation and targeted messaging to deliver tailored experiences, which not only resonate strongly with individual preferences but can lead to higher conversion rates and customer lifetime value. Cho highlighted the double-pronged value proposition of curating shopping experiences in real-time to pave the way for long-term customers.

5. Utilizing Technology for Enhancement: Exploring technology’s role in enhancing the customer journey, Cho cited examples, such as back-in-stock notifications and returns management tools, that simplify operations to improve the overall shopping experience for consumers and bolster top-line revenue for retailers. While these solutions demonstrate a commitment to leveraging technology for operational efficiency, they also streamline the shopping journey and deliver real-time notifications and updates for consumers to optimize their experience. Cho highlighted the value of 3rd party vendors that offer low commitment terms because they allow retailers to a) test the product, b) understand the full implementation process, and c) establish levers to pull to increase ROI.

6. Measuring and Evaluating ROI: Cho emphasized the importance of measuring ROI for technology investments, i.e. using quantitative metrics and customer feedback to assess impact and make informed decisions for future investments. Especially in an era of technology “saturation,” understanding which tools are delivering impact ensures resources are allocated effectively and avoids purchasing and onboarding tools that do not positively drive meaningful revenue or profitability lift.

7. Optimizing Operational Efficiency: For retailers focusing on inventory productivity, especially across multiple store locations and eCommerce storefronts, ERP systems provide the operational lift to optimize inventory management and ensure that the right products are in the right place at the right time. While these technologies require robust historical customer data in order to forecast future customer demand, effective inventory allocation will ultimately lead to cost savings and improved resource utilization.

8. Strategic Vendor Selection: Cho stressed the significance of selecting vendors who understand individual brands’ needs in order to offer tailored solutions relative to their respective industry, customer base, product, etc. Companies should also seek vendors with relevant experience (i.e., that are serving similar brands) and establish a mutual fit for effective collaboration and partnership, as this will ultimately drive innovation and competitive advantage.

9. Commitment to Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement in the dynamic eCommerce landscape is necessary. Companies are exploring new technologies through trials and proofs of concept to continuously innovate and evolve over time. Adapting to evolving market trends and consumer preferences enables retailers to stay ahead of the competition and to fine-tune their suite of strategic add-ons to build a robust technology stack capable of withstanding tumultuous market conditions.

10. Cultivating Authentic Connections: Cho consistently expressed the value of establishing brand authenticity and consistency to foster genuine customer relationships. Building brand trust starts with delivering transparency and remaining loyal to core values — ultimately powering brand advocacy and positive word-of-mouth.

PeakSpan Take: As retailers operate across an increasing number of channels — physical stores, desktop websites, mobile applications — establishing consistent, authentic brand values and voices has never been more important. Vendors like FORTVISION (Omnichannel Personalization), Boutiq (AI-powered Personal Video Shopping), Loox (Social Proof) and Hello Retail (Onsite Personalization) enable modern retailers to elegantly define their core values and offer differentiated shopping experiences.

To learn more or to connect with the PeakSpan team for assistance, please contact the PeakSpan Capital eCommerce Team.

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PeakSpan Capital

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