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Let’s F***ing Go! The AirRobe Story | #210

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EP 210
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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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Beth is a high energy, high impact retail executive with proven ability to build, lead and motivate high performing teams. She has over 15 years experience in retail executive roles – across General Management, eCommerce, Operations and Marketing. Today, she is The GM of AirRobe, helping brands enter the circular economy, keeping fashion out of landfill. Game changer.

You can contact Beth at LinkedIn

Beth shares AirRobe’s circular wardrobe concept, talks leadership and more. Let’s F***ing Go!

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Beth Glancey, GM of ANZ at AirRobe.  Beth left LVMH and the corporate world of luxury behind to join AirRobe, a technology startup connecting consumers and brands to the re-commerce market in one click.  With AirRobe, customers get to create a circular wardrobe to which they can add beautiful pieces, then rent, recycle or resell them in the future with ease.  It’s pretty cool – all your fashion assets in one place and the ability to give them another life. Leading retailers like The Iconic, Oroton and PE Nation are already partnering with AirRobe to drive an average basket uplift of 30% for brands and retailers.  There’s so much in this chat! Beth shares the cultural whiplash she experienced when she jumped on board at AirRobe, why she always brings her whole (unserious) self to work and how having an identical twin was the key to her career gear change.  

“If you can think of it and you’ve got great engineers, you can build it and that’s just so inspiring

Beth Glancey

Circular wardrobe

AirRobe is here to power the future of sustainable fashion, and the way we do that is, we connect consumers and brands to the re-commerce market in one click. So that’s our kind of elevator pitch. What that means for brands and retailers, we have a technology offering where we partner with merchants, so be that brands or retailers, where we have a widget that goes onto their site, where we invite their customers to add items to a digital wardrobe. 

So we call it the circular wardrobe, but think of it as like a digital wardrobe where you connect a digital ID to each product that a customer buys. And then from there, once that item has that digital ID attached to it, they have the ability to rent, recycle, or resell in one click onto the AirRobe marketplace.

Customers

So there’s two really distinct customers. There’s the customer who is a high-expectation customer, who loves to shop in the primary retail space. And they really enjoy that experience, they like buying new things, and they’re actually happy to buy the full price. They’re really important because they drive the supply, and we need supply. So they’re… if you were our merchant or a brand partner or our retail partner, they typically are your most loyal customers. And we just help the merchant or the retailer get that customer back faster. So we drive a 2X frequency, typically, over 90 days. We see an AirRobe customer return… is twice as likely to return to one of our retail partners over a non-AirRobe customer, just because she’s liquidating that product.

And then you’ve got the customer who is buying in the marketplace. She’s younger, or he, or they tend to be a bit younger, around the 25 mark. They’re actually more motivated by the sustainability/circularity angle. They love the price. They can access beautiful products that maybe they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attain. And what we help our brand partners do as a real secondary is, because that customer’s very motivated by price, because they’re not typically… they’re younger, they haven’t fully exercised their full economic ability yet, we help them understand that actually they do have the ability to buy in the primary retail space, full price, because they can now really easily resell it as well. So we’ve got this model where we’re converting those buyers into sellers at a pretty rapid rate, actually. So it’s probably the truest sense of a flywheel that’s ever existed.

Falling fast, falling forward

I worked for LVMH for eight years, and so you don’t get much more structured than that and well known. And so the cultural whiplash comes from… I describe it like you’re building the plane while you’re flying it. So you’re up front, driving, moving forward, and then you’re running around with bubble gum and string holding everything together as you’re moving forward, and it’s this constant duality of sprinting towards your goals and continuing to build the foundations as you go. And I think one of the biggest learnings for me so far, six months in, is just being okay with the imperfect. 

I ran Sephora for many years, having worked at LVMH. Actually, perfection is actually built into LVMH’s values. So that is what good looks like. And so it’s taken me a little bit of… that muscle memory had to deactivate to be like, “It’s okay. The perfect is not what we’re going for. We’re going for growth.” It’s like progress over perfection, really, that attitude of failing fast, failing forward.

Questions answered in this episode include
  • How does AirRobe work?
  • What potential impact does AirRobe have on the fashion industry?
  • How did you find the move from corporate to start up?

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