Forget the catwalk. We’re gawping at the ecomm tech role models.

With New York and London Fashion Week taking place this month, we’re skipping the runway styles and checking out the industry’s ecommerce tech trailblazers.

Maybe it’s a brand using the leading platform for open-commerce innovation, alongside best-of-breed extensions. Or those running automated email programs giving customers exactly what they want: a relevant, personalized experience.

We eyed up three inspiring fashion retailers who we think are leading the way with their marketing and tech setup.

Thomas Dean

With a fashion fan base spanning a broad spectrum, men’s clothing brand Thomas Dean has set the modern standard for classic American style. Thomas Dean’s passion and commitment to innovate is true to its designs and ecommerce technology.

The brand uses Magento, allowing them to plug in extensions like Olark live chat – an instant messenger tool connecting customers with salespeople. They’ve also used the Magento for Shopgate extension, allowing Thomas Dean to deliver an optimized mobile shopping experience. A wise move with m-commerce on the rise.

Thomas Dean has also seen some great results with its automated email programs, using dotmailer. The brand’s best-performing campaign of this sort is its triggered birthday offer, which consistently sees around a 31% open rate and 29% click-through rate.

We caught up with Laurie Larson, ‎Thomas Dean’s Manager of E-Commerce & Web Development, to find out what other innovative email campaigns they’re running: “We recently added what we’re calling a ‘cross-over’ campaign to entice the buyers of our Collegiate line to cross over to our regular Thomas Dean shirt line.

“Two weeks after a Collegiate order is placed, we send a personalized follow-up email with a subject line asking ‘Ross, did you get complimented on your Thomas Dean shirt?’ We used that particular phrase (‘I always get complimented when I wear my TD shirt’) because it is the one most used by our customers (their words, not ours).  So, we know the answer to that question is most likely ‘Yes’.  Then we tailor the graphic to match the Collegiate colors of the shirt they purchased, but with a regular Thomas Dean shirt.  If they loved their Crimson University of Arkansas Gingham Button Down, they’ll probably love a Thomas Dean Crimson Plaid Sport Shirt.

“The open rate on the cross-over campaign is as high as 100% for some schools, with a CTR high of 28.6%. The purchase of Collegiate is an emotional one. We’re leveraging the emotional response of the Collegiate buyer to convert on a broader range of our product.”


KURU were the ones to design the next phase in shoe evolution: a shoe that’s not only designed around the curves of your feet, but also adapts to each step you take.

This footwear brand also loves evolution in the tech world. It’s an adopter of the Magento platform, enabling KURU to plug in a plethora of extensions to support the ever-changing ecommerce landscape.

One of the extensions KURU is using with its ecommerce platform is Zopim live chat. Customers can instantly chat to someone from KURU’s customer service team on the website, providing a more personalized experience versus something like an FAQs page. In this day and age, it’s important for brands to be available and let customers choose how and when they connect with you. The more options you give them, the more likely they are to get in touch.

KURU is also using some cool tactics with dotmailer, including the popover tool to grow its subscriber lists. Once you’ve signed up you’re entered into an email welcome program, which begins with a personal letter-style email from the brand’s founder and tells you why KURU is unique. New subscribers are also entered into the KURU Loyalty Club that gives customers 5% back on all their purchases – a great way to foster lifetime loyalty. But this isn’t the only tactic KURU is using to encourage repeat custom.

KURU welcome email

KURU welcome email

The brand has adopted the abandoned cart email program – a series of emails that follow up on unpurchased items with those who have an account. According to a study by the Baymard Institute in January 2016, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 68%. KURU is wise to be capitalizing on this number.

Orlebar Brown

This London-based swimwear and poolside fashion brand found a gap in the market back in 2007: tailored shorts you can swim in. “The idea for Orlebar Brown became clear when from sitting by the pool, we had to change to have lunch in the bar” – Adam Brown, Founder.

Orlebar Brown has continued to embrace innovation, with ecommerce tech that’s designed to drive better customer experiences (download our free CX whitepaper to see why it’s a hot topic).

The brand is using Fresh Relevance (formerly Triggered Messaging), with dotmailer, to send personalized, real-time cart and web abandonment emails. They’ve also adopted Criteo to deliver live, dynamic ads that feature relevant offers from their product catalog.

What’s next for the fashion world? This week we saw an article by Fashionista which shared the news that next year, Burberry will be selling its catwalk ranges immediately after the show – both online and in stores.

If you want to read other stories about how our clients are embracing leading technology, check out our case studies.

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