Who if your Ecommerce Hero?
Co-Founder and CEO of Sugarfina, Rosie O’Neill and her partner Josh Resnick.
What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?
They followed a dream to start “a candy boutique for grown-ups”. They recognised a profitable niche in a crystalised category, launching Sugarfina as an online-only business, and turned it into a billion-dollar brand.
Rosie’s disruptive mindset and ability to go beyond the status-quo enabled her to build a new business model from scratch. She recognised the needs of an emerging user, seizing unforeseen opportunities in a category that was saturated and perceived as unable to evolve further.
Rosie has proven that by going out of your comfort zone, with the right amount of preparation, flexibility and entrepreneurship, there is always room to discover new opportunities within even the most traditional sectors – and ecommerce.
How has their heroism helped drive ecommerce?
Rosie understood that ecommerce can be incredibly versatile and provide users with a seamless and personalised experience.
She has showcased that it is possible to create a connection with users through a well-designed digital experience. Despite its online-only beginnings, Rosie kept a personal touch, for example ensuring that each ecommerce shipment was delivered with personalised, handwritten notes to encourage repeat custom.
Sugarfina has such a great degree of personalisation across the user experience. It’s inspiring how fluent and well-connected the brand is across all touchpoints. The product is so distinctive and recognisable across all channels, and the user experience embraces and reflects the Sugarfina brand values of cultivating innovation and expressing cheerfulness and positivity.
Thanks to her incredible intuition for disruptive ideas, Rosie and her partner continue to show their understanding of new trends by providing investment and strategic advice to emerging companies, for example D2C flower brand The Bouqs, with a promise to shake up their sectors.
What are the biggest challenges in ecommerce we need another hero to solve?
The speed of the ecommerce evolution is intense. The biggest challenge, especially for bigger and more structured organisations, is to be flexible enough to keep up with the pace of this change. New channels, services, technologies, and new consumer behaviours make the digital environment dynamic and sometimes even chaotic. The amount of data now available and trackable online can be confusing if not properly tracked and framed with clear goals and KPIs.
Brands need to accept and embrace the transformation. Ecommerce can act as a complementary channel to increase penetration and maximise your business. I believe companies should implement internal behaviours and mindsets to encourage enough flexibility, functionality, and agility to always be able to explore new ecommerce-first products and services.
In such a hectic environment, it’s important to always be conscious and stay focused on what you want to achieve with a clear vision and strategy, to make informed decisions and drive your ecommerce business forward. A successful ecommerce and digital strategy is a balance of focus and flexibility.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in ecommerce?
Inspired by Sugarfina’s personalised approach to user experience, my proudest achievement so far has been releasing the first ecommerce guideline and toolkit for Reckitt’s internal use – allowing people to elevate our own brand experience. We have so much to learn from emerging businesses and their approach.
The toolkit provides us with an exhaustive list of recommendations and insights concerning the latest trends in ecommerce and suggests content ready for localisation. For example, it has helped us activate one of Reckitt’s brands Vanish online in a relevant and data-driven way, bringing our brands closer to our customers. We were able to not only drive ecommerce sales but build a premium, people-centric online experience for all of our Vanish users.
In collaboration with brand experience lead Nick Horan, we were able to integrate the toolkit in line with Reckitt’s design strategy and purpose of building brands sensitively and responsibly with the enrichment of people’s lives at its core.