One of Lucova’s very first clients, Melissa Austria of Gotstyle, was recently featured on Forbes magazine for her innovative approach to retail. A visionary approach that we’re happy to help bring to life through Lucova’s BLE-powered technology. Check out her story below:
“Melissa Austria may have a small menswear business, but she has big plans.
The founder of Gotstyle aims to create “the retail store of the future” by marrying the old-school high-touch “experience” she has cultivated at her two Toronto stores with the newfangled personalization and convenience that digital technologies offer. That combination, she believes, will put Gotstyle on a surer footing in a retail industry that’s under duress and, ultimately, help it grow much larger.
Gotstyle’s stores are designed to provide the modern gentleman with everything he needs to look good — clothes, shoes, even a haircut — from a Monday board meeting to Saturday night out, Austria says. But these days, in addition to designing displays and selecting clothing cuts and colors, she’s is picking out hot new technologies to make shopping even quicker and more enjoyable for men who may not care to shop but want to dress well.
“It really boils down to, not technology for the sake of technology, but technology based on making men’s lives easier,” she says.
When it Pays to be Small
To get there, Austria is negotiating with an array of tech companies that are eager to test and showcase their inventions on sales floors — and she’s happy to test the right products, if that means she gets in on the ground floor at rock-bottom prices.
Austria’s bold can-do attitude seems to reflect the same energy, competitiveness and precision that once made this “best dressed” daughter of Filipino immigrants a member of a nationally decorated Canadian cheerleading squad. Singularly focused, driven and, of course, stylishly dressed, Austria regularly walks her shop floors tweaking the smallest details, from the folds of dress socks to cufflink displays to perfect rows of collared shirts.
She asserts that small, nimble players like Gotstyle, which launched in 2005 and today has 20 employees and about $5.5M Canadian in annual sales, have an important advantage when it comes to modernizing retail because they’re willing to experiment and pivot quickly.
“Other companies might have more money, might be bigger. That actually is a hindrance, because they can’t implement change fast enough in their stores,” she says, explaining that big chains’ slow bureaucracies are loath to undertake the large capital investments needed to remake hundreds of stores.
“For us, when somebody says ‘we want to come in and build you a new mobile app,’ we say: ‘Sure, let’s go.’”
In fact, Gotstyle rolled out a mobile app developed by Lucova a year and a half ago, which has been downloaded by more than 2,000 customers, that lets them pay wirelessly via Bluetooth (akin to Apple Pay) and collect loyalty points automatically. It will track purchases and use these data to build customer profiles including details like clothing sizes and product preferences. (Today, customers can tap images of outfits they like to help Gotstyle build that profile.)….” Continue reading at Forbes.com.