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Roman ramps up digital strategy

Womenswear brand Roman has appointed Tariq Mahmood as its new head of ecommerce and digital as the brand targets 100% year-on-year growth online.

After a picture of one of Roman’s dresses that some people saw as white and gold, but was actually blue and black, went viral with the hashtag #thedress, awareness of the relatively low-profile brand rocketed.

The label is now turning its attention to online sales, which currently account for 25% of total sales.

Managing directors and brothers Rick and Peter Christodoulou brought Mahmood on board earlier this month to build a new digital team and formulate an online strategy.

Most recently head of multichannel development at bargain stationers The Works, Mahmood has already overseen the appointment of new people to a burgeoning digital team. More roles will be added in the coming weeks, including a digital marketing manager and social media executive. There are currently six people on the digital team and this will be ramped up to 15 by the end of the year. 

The first part of Mahmood’s new digital strategy will focus on improving customer experience, especially for regular shoppers.

“I’m trying to do a lot of things on the website to try and make them feel like it’s their website,” Mahmood told Drapers, citing personalised product recommendations via email, free delivery offers and A/B testing of new website features as elements of this. “They’ve done really well here, but for the next step they need a new structure.”

Mahmood said the developments will all be implemented on a “mobile-first” basis to suit one of the brand’s core demographics: 40+ year old women browsing the site on their tablets.

But a longer-term component of the strategy will be attracting new customers of all ages.

“I took one of the lookbooks home and my 18-year-old daughter started looking at things in it and saying ‘this is great’. We have a great offering that’s good value – we just need to get it out there and entice people. So there would be a six-to-12-month strategy to get younger people looking at our site.”

That means refreshing the imagery to be more lifestyle-oriented and building a presence on Snapchat, as well as Pinterest.

Mahmood said: “We’ve got an amazing plan and digital team, and I want to shout about that.”


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