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Baby Shop for Grown Ups: The Memo Story | #175

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Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.

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Kate is a merchant that has worked in retail for more than half of her life, working across a variety of different roles and categories that has provided incredible experience and insights into different customers and retail settings. Specialising in beauty Buying and Category Management from retailers like Mecca, Myer and David Jones, Kate is responsible for the merchandise selections at The Memo as well as leading supplier relationship, customer experience, operations and strategic direction.

You can contact Kate at LinkedIn

Phoebe is the Co-founder of The Memo and Founder of The BLOW. After getting her start at Mecca and then in London with LVMH under the tutelage of Parfums Christian Dior, Phoebe knows brand and retail. She was responsible for driving Benefit Cosmetics expansion across Sephora in Southeast Asia, before heading back to Sydney as the Marketing Director for Benefit Cosmetics Australia. With a Commerce (Management) degree from the University of Melbourne and a career built on helping brands define their unique positioning and create impactful 360 degree marketing campaigns, Phoebe now uses her experience to drive The Memo’s brand voice and create meaningful connections in its community.

You can contact Phoebe at LinkedIn

Kate & Phoebe share the grown up philosophy behind their curated online baby store

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Kate Casey and Phoebe Simmonds, Co-founders of The Memo, a one stop curated online shop for everything you need to care for your baby.  Born out of frustration with the patronising tone used to speak to new mothers,  The Memo is a grown up answer to new parents’ consumer confusion, connecting them with the best and brightest brands in the baby-sphere.  In this chat, we discuss how the founders’ corporate backgrounds in beauty and luxury inform the way they run The Memo, the lengthy journey developing their new, custom built gift registry and most importantly, we get the low down on which product is going to help sleep-deprived mums and dads get more precious shuteye!

“Maybe we’ll help our customers feel connected, or feel less alone, and that’s a metric in itself”

Phoebe Simmonds

Questions answered in this episode include
  • What were the most valuable lessons you were grateful for learning in your previous careers before launching your own business?  
  • What are your top tips for blog writing?
  • Tell us about your gift registry feature and how it is used by your customers?

Overwhelmed and underwhelmed

(Kate) “I was pregnant with my first child. I was so excited. I literally peed on that stick and I ran down to a big box retailer. I wanted to learn and jumped straight into all the products. I was incredibly overwhelmed. I was underwhelmed as well with the lack of education, the lack of service and overwhelmed by how many products that were available to me.

I walked out of there feeling pretty disillusioned and I was a busy professional woman. Instead, I referred to a friend of mine who had had a baby recently. She’s also a lawyer. So very well researched. She had tried and trusted all the products. And so I asked Nicole, “Nic, can you just give me a list of everything that I’m actually going to actually use in this parenthood journey?”

She provided me this list. I used this list like my Bible and it turns out most friends and groups of women have a list like this. I didn’t think anything of it. Fast forward a couple of years, I’d been working at Australia’s most premium retailer, Mecca, and I’d really had seen how the curation and product assortment and educational services can create an amazing retail environment.  

I was busy. I needed convenience. I just saw firsthand how there was such a gap in the market for a specialty retailer to do what Mecca did in terms of beauty, when you compare it to department stores, to create an environment that offered curation, offering a brand that actually resonated with people and experience and so there was a blatant gap for us to create The Memo.”

More than mama!

(Phoebe): “ We’ve got a ban in the office on using words like mama and baba. Words that I see as quite juvenile. Also, we’re still the same women. We haven’t changed. Yes, we assume a new title because our child is calling us that title, but we’re still independent women with our own thoughts and our own identities.  Yeah, there are words that I really don’t like seeing, because I think they’re generic and I think it’s lazy and we want to always represent a premium positioning and sophisticated tone of language.”

Gift registry

(Kate) “We love our gift registry. It’s been a labour of love, our background  not being in e-commerce. And so when we knew very early on that we wanted to have a custom bespoke experience for gift registry, we were using a Shopify app as a plugin. It had its flaws, but we knew that we wanted to be the number one destination in Australia and the customer experience wasn’t amazing. And so there were some improvements to be made. We’re like, “Oh yeah, that will take a couple of months and maybe five, maybe $10,000.” No!

So fast forward, maybe 12, 13 months, with an amazing development team we have about a month ago, launched our bespoke gift registry experience, which is really about making your selections of products as easy as possible.  Our bespoke experience has a number of different benefits, but particularly fractional or contributional gifting is a big one. Your group of girlfriends might want to go in and buy you that beautiful cot or that pram and they can do that in our service.

We consolidate all the gifts and send them collectively to you on your day for your event, if you’re having a baby shower, but people do use this gift registry service outside of just having baby showers. And then to encourage you to tick off your list after you’ve had your event, we offer a post purchase discount. We give our customers free thank you cards and they get a summary of who gifted them what.  So that it’s really easy for them to kind of send those thank you cards in the mail and have a wonderful experience.”

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