Today we catch up with Crystal McGregor, CEO at PUCTTO. PUCTTO is an application for Shopify that helps increase sales conversions by allowing shoppers to visualise fashion items on a photo of themselves. The installation is via a widget on their website, where users can click a ‘try on’ button to run the experience.
Just to start us off, do you mind telling us a little bit more about yourself?
Sure! So I started out not actually in the eCommerce or retail business, I went to uni to become a physical education (PE) teacher. While not everyone liked PE as much as I did (the students would prefer running laps than participating in the lesson plan I had created) I found out quickly that wasn’t the career for me.
From there I moved into local and state government and by the time I was 25 I had started a consulting business in sport, recreation and community development. The business morphed into community and public relations campaigns, including Buy Local. That is where I was introduced to the retail sector and I started developing technology and marketing solutions to help retailers thrive.
Back when I started my consulting business, Belinda Scott created our branding and all of our graphic design. We actually worked together for forteen years, before meeting in person. We even had babies at the same time without realising, as all of our calls were over the phone. When I finally met Belinda in person, we had instant energy. Soon after, she asked me to help with her fashion-tech startup, PUCTTO. And here I am, now the CEO and Cofounder.
Having worked with plenty of fashion eCommerce stores, what are some of the key lessons you’ve learned about what it takes to grow?
I think a big lesson I’ve learned is that you have to be ready, willing and able to try new things. Too many retailers are reluctant to try new ideas and options and unfortunately they are being left behind as forward-thinking retailers are innovating and improving customer experiences.
Trying new ways of doing things doesn’t have to be hard, or even necessarily risky. An easy way to think about it, is to simply pick tools that make your store easier to use. Improved customer experiences can only help your conversion rates.
Also, look for ways to stand out from the crowd. Fashion is a very competitive industry, you will have to invest in marketing more than ever in order to win those customers. You can start small, but you will definitely need to leverage social media.
What are some of the biggest obstacles to growing stores, in your opinion?
I would say that there is just so much noise out there, it is hard to stay focused. There is always another technique, channel or even tool that you can use, and you might find yourself wondering whether you’re on the right track.
The easy solution in my opinion is to simply just stay true to yourself on a business and personal level. Ask yourself, does this feel right to me? Or does this feel like I’m losing focus or the soul of the brand.
Keep focused on just a few tactics to implement at a time and you can always move onto the next techniques to implement after you’ve given these a proper go.
What are some key tools, resources or tactics that you think fashion stores should implement?
First one that I think fashion retailers need to leverage is to keep learning about your customers. You need to be updating your knowledge on what is relevant to your best customers and adjusting your customer journey from marketing and sales; ‘surprise and delight’; obtaining feedback and giving opportunities for your customers to become brand advocates. The best way to do this is to keep talking to your customers.
For staying in touch with customers, I think it doesn’t need to be difficult. Do a survey, jump on a call with a customer, you’ll be surprised at how much you can find out.
Another way is to read five books on a topic that you want to understand. You’ll find with five books you’ll get a really good grasp of the topic from a range of perspectives and expand your technical and historical knowledge.