Luxury Footwear Retailer M.Gemi: Customers Make Additional Purchases More Quickly If They’ve Visited A Store

They also end up spending 26 percent more than online-only customers.

From AdoreMe to Casper, 2016 saw dozens of online-only brands making the move offline, aiming to broaden their customer base by crafting a seamless digital-to-physical experience — and by and large, it worked.

With a pop-up store in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood and possible plans for expansion in 2017, footwear and accessories purveyor M.Gemi looks to join the ranks. But the company is cut from a different cloth than many “fast-fashion” or similar style e-tailers that often appeal to mobile-minded Millennials: Instead, M.Gemi, founded in 2015, sells at an “accessible luxury” price point where most shoes fall into the $150 to $350 range.

“M.Gemi’s [creation] was driven by a love for artesianal Italian craftsmanship and the desire to bring beautiful shoes, handmade in family-owned workshops, to customers in a whole new way,” said Lesley Mottla, SVP Product & Experience at M.Gemi.

Mottla talked to GeoMarketing about blending old-world craftsmanship with the very new world of omnichannel retail.

GeoMarketing: What prompted the expansion to M. Gemi’s current space in SoHo?

Lesley Mottla: M.Gemi stands for Italian shoes — made the old way, sold the new way. The old way being by hand, in family-owned workshops, with time-intensive and time-honored construction techniques, in limited editions. And for us, selling the new way means reaching our customers online, via app, through innovative pop-up stores, with constant newness, and an exceptional, seamless experience from start to finish — with warm, welcoming, hospitality-like service. The expansion to the pop-up was prompted by our goal to create a fully immersive brand experience. [We hope] it allows customers to have a deeper understanding of the brand and the stories behind each piece.

Why do you think today’s consumers are responding to the M. Gemi model (e.g. a physical showroom, but products still shipped like ordering online)?

It’s just as important for customers to engage with M.Gemi brand face-to-face as it is for them to engage online. Our Soho pop-up acts as another touchpoint, giving customers the opportunity to try-on the latest handcrafted styles and be personally fitted by our knowledgeable in-store team.

The customer’s purchases are then ordered via iPad and shipped directly to their door. I think this concierge customer service is central to why our model works so well; in fact, after trying on in the store, we find that customers are returning to buy from us online more quickly (1.5 weeks faster than our online-only customers) and spending 26 percent more than online-only customers on those purchases because they have been able to see the shoes’ quality in person.

So, plenty of customers return to visit M.Gemi on desktop or mobile after coming into the pop-up. Have you used mobile marketing tactics in the reverse way — that is, to boost brand awareness and to drive foot traffic to the physical store itself?

M.Gemi uses mobile push to communicate new releases; and we also use SMS, facebook messenger, chat and other direct messaging channels to drive engagement with new customers and clients. This provides a direct and real-time way to help people learn about the brand as well as to find the best fit and style for their needs.

With our first physical venture in Soho, we are exploring the most effective ways to use geo-based messaging and other mobile technologies to enhance the physical and digital experience for new customers and clients.

To wrap up, any specific plans for the holidays or for 2017 that you can share?

Right now, we are focused on constantly improving and innovating upon our customer experiences both online and at the NYC pop-up. Our customers are incredibly engaged, both online and in-store, and the pop-up has been a wonderful opportunity to learn even more from our shoppers. We look forward to continuing to build on those lasting relationships throughout the holidays and in the New Year.

Additionally, throughout the holiday season we are focusing on giving back through our charity partner, Dress for Success Boston. We have been lucky to partner with them since M.Gemi’s launch, helping to donate over 2,500 pairs of gentle worn shoes, and with our #makesomeroom initiative we are aiming to double that number by the end of the year.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.