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Move fast in international markets, says Missguided tech chief

Moving fast, trying new things and failing fast is key when expanding internationally, Missguided’s chief technology officer John Allen has said.

john allen missguided

john allen missguided

Speaking at Drapers Operations Forum 2017 in London today Allen said speed was key when bringing a brand to new markets: “Move very fast, and really try to create a model where you try lots of things but be prepared to follow it up. International expansion is not a project, it is ongoing.

“You need to do it quickly, so you can fail quickly and you need to stick at it. In our best territories internationally we started with a fanfare and then plateaued. Now we have sustained growth. You just have to get through that middle bit.”

Missguided can deliver a new language website with a budget of between £25,000 and £30,000 in six weeks, Allen said.

In the US the business delivers across the country but focuses its marketing on the “sweet spots” of California, Texas and New York.

Allen says that, when you cross a border, you are more likely to engage with customers first on a mobile device: “Mobilising is key – you need to remove the barriers, particularly regarding payments.”

Yesterday, 7 June, Missguided introduced chatbots for its customer service systems.

“The first part of the conversation is now handled by bots. We found that the bulk of the work agents were doing was answering simple questions. That information can be pulled automatically. When it gets more elaborate, an agent is brought in. It’s the digitalisation of the business.

“Fundamentally we need to watch and listen to our customers and use AI [artificial intelligence] technology to improve.”

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