#WayForward with Isabelle Ohnemus, CEO EyeFitU, Zurich, Switzerland
In the #WayForward series, CEOs tell us what’s on their mind in coronavirus times. Read how Isabelle Ohnemus, CEO EyeFitU, sees things.
We’re a startup with a team of 10 and we increased our capital in February. In terms of cash, we’re good. Nevertheless, the situation is difficult: getting paid by clients is a problem because much of retail is in turmoil. On the positive side, e-commerce is on the rise. According to McKinsey, in Italy, e-commerce transactions have increased by 81% since the end of February.
Our industry, fashion retail, was hit especially hard. While we provide part of the technical innovations that retailers need, many leadership teams do not yet have the resources to design the future of their business. Survival first, then make that leap into the new world. There will be growth opportunities for us in the mid-term. For now, the best that I can do is to be seen by the decision-makers and add value through my personal communication online.
My tip for CEOs is to be agile and fast. You might make some mistakes along the way but it’s very important to keep moving forward. Before the virus hit us, many thought of new technologies as nice-to-haves. They’re now pillars of success.
Isabelle on speed and the current revolutions: “New technical solutions can often be implemented much faster than people think. Implementations ought to be these huge projects that would go on for 6 months or more. For many new technologies, that’s not the case anymore. Go for innovation, adjust fast. Deliver better experiences. Data helps to understand what the customer is looking for. It is key to use intelligent personalization at scale to enlarge the customer profile in order to offer the right product. There’s potential, for instance, in payment solutions, faster deliveries, contact-less shopping, and in sustainable brands. We’re in the middle of the digital revolution and the next one is going to be the sustainability revolution. I believe it’s just around the corner.”
Isabelle on contact-free solutions (like hers): “In April, McKinsey mentioned 7 elements for business leaders to consider as they plan for the next normal. Number 3 on the list is the contact-free economy – and that is true especially for digital commerce, telemedicine, and automation. They say that the pandemic could prove to be a decisive turning point. I believe that to be true.”
Isabelle on the solution of her business, EyeFitU: “Our technology lets people pick the right size for their garments without trying them on. That’s key in online shopping, for one, and enhances the customer experience. But touchless solutions will also become ever more important in physical stores as there are growing concerns about how we’re trying on garments.”
#WayForward Table Of Contents: Click here to get to the #WayForward series’ Table of Contents with all the posts we did with CEOs plus recordings of media events where the WayForward insights are discussed.