Alexis Maybank, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Gilt Groupe discussed in her “By Invitation only: How we built Gilt and changed the way how millions shopped.” the changing consumers and what credit unions can learn from the lifestyle start-up.

Gilt Groupe offers luxury items and services aligned with a luxury customer lifestyle and discount mindset. The site features 400, 000 daily visitors, 5 million+ members and 1.5 million monthly shoppers. Gilt Groupe curates their offerings and sell offer everything on their site. It’s an emotional discovery process. Gilt Groupe tries to be the most aspirational shopping experience.

Predictive Commerce

Businesses need to focus on capturing data to get to know their customers better, based on three pillars: Customization,Personalization and CRM.

Using data from browsing, shopping and append, Gilt Groupe offers members a personalized experience tailored to the current and changing shopping behavior. Personalization is achievable if you know who the person is. Credit Unions need to reward members to share more data with them and use this data to personalize the banking experience. As an example, Gilt Group sends out 3,000 version of an email to 5 million members daily, based on external and internal data.

A store in your pocket

Customers want to communicate with a brand on their terms, through their preferred channels. By now, the majority of consumers use mobile as their main device. Aleis Maybank gave a few tips to provide a superior, mobile experience:

  • Don’t just convert your web site to a mobile site; you need to design for each device.
  • Optimize for weekends and “downtime”.
  • Speed, stability, scalability matter.

Social Media: Go to the conversation

Gilt Groupe brings services and sales to the conversation, connecting in real-time with their consumers and gives them lost to talk about and share. Don’t disrupt the conversation, just be a friendly service and people will flock to you.

Surprise and delight

Focus on what you can do online that you can’t do offline. You can’t build sites or platforms and hope people will come. Experiment, launch, iterate. Rinse and repeat. You can’t build trust through advertising, you have to build it through the consumer/user experience.