Podcast: Michael Kliger from Mytheresa on the daily life of a luxury e-tailer
The latest guest on the LuxurynsightXFashionNetwork podcast is Michael Kliger, CEO of Mytheresa, a German platform dedicated to the resale of high-end products and the listing of luxury brands. The entrepreneur sat down with FashionNetwork.com's international editor Godfrey Deeny, to discuss the customer service strategy and business model of this online retailer, which is one of the world's leading luxury e-commerce companies.
Givenchy, Chloé, Prada, Tom Ford, Lanvin, Marni... Today, Mytheresa boasts a vast selection of over 200 brands and designers and adds 600 new items to its platform every week. The German e-shop was founded in 2006 in Munich and quickly became known internationally for its cutting-edge selection of fashion labels and its customer-centric approach.
"What differentiates us [from other platforms] is our customer focus in terms of which customer we focus on," says Michael Kliger, who has been leading Mytheresa's global strategy since March 2015. "In the world of luxury there are two types of customers: the aspirational, or one time customer, who buys a handbag or a pair of sneakers once in a while, and at the other end of the spectrum, there are 'wardrobe builders', who live a lifestyle that leads them to buy luxury constantly for their vacations, for the office, for their festivities..."
Knowing your customers and building loyalty
These customers are not looking for a particular product or brand, but have a range of brands that they like. "This type of customer has ongoing 'luxury needs', so that makes them high-spending, which is one of the reasons for our financial success," smiles the manager.
According to him, Mytheresa strives to offer pieces that are in line with current trends, but also to have a detailed knowledge of its customers' consumption habits. "The [wardrobe builders] are clearly defined throughout the company, so our buying teams buy for this type of customer" adds Michael Kliger.
By taking an interest in their preferences and collecting their data, the German site aims to offer them a precise selection that corresponds to their expectations. "Based on the location of the customer's IP address and the types of products they have viewed, our algorithm determines whether the customer has a low or high 'customer lifetime value' (a metric that analyses a person's consumption potential)," explains the CEO of Mytheresa. The result is a balanced decision between the data collected, intuition and experience.
Forging exclusive partnerships
A success story for the past seventeen years that is also reflected in the desire to forge close partnerships with fashion brands, which the luxury online retailer promotes. For the end-of-year festivities, Mytheresa and Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of the French fashion house Balmain, created a capsule of flamboyant winter looks, sold exclusively on its platform.
While Mytheresa signs exclusive style collabs, it is also developing partnerships in terms of digital marketing. In January 2023, the German retailer teamed up with the Italian label Moncler Grenoble to offer interactive video experiments. This 3.0 campaign, filmed in Switzerland with professional skiers, allowed customers to click on the items they were interested in, to buy the bold-looking down jackets and outdoor clothing directly.
During the episode, Michael Kliger also talks about the company's progress. Mytheresa now employs 860 people in Asia, particularly in the Chinese market, where last November it launched a programme for fashion designers, rewarding Didu, Jacques Wei, Susan Fang and Xu Zhi.
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