Sean McKee, head of ecommerce at Schuh

For the latest in our Fashion Tech Insiders series, we’re very pleased to be able to bring you an interview with Sean McKee, Head of Ecommerce and Customer Services at Schuh, the UK’s biggest online shoe shop.

Read on to find out what the most useful social media channel is for Schuh, how much of their traffic now comes from mobile, and what Sean sees as the key challenges for multi-channel retailers.

Sean McKee Schuh photo

What do you think the key challenges are for fashion retailers in linking up ecommerce with bricks-and-mortar?
I think the challenges can be filed under three headings – Systems, services and data.  The first, working round systems developed separately over time and not necessarily with the same provider and getting them to speak to each other, particularly in getting visibility of inventory.  The second – ensuring the services you offer to the cross-channel customer are actually fit for purpose and relevant to the end user.  And data – understanding what is going on – a single view of product and customer.

How much of your traffic and sales now comes from mobile?
Mobile devices are now about 45% of UK traffic.

What were the factors behind your decision to launch optimised sites for mobile and tablet?
As above – simply the fact that we are a sales business selling product to a mass market customer.  The end result must be sales in volume.

There’s been a lot of statistics lately about the difference between phones and tablets. Do you see a big difference between tablet shoppers and phone shoppers at Schuh?
Yes, we see a number of differences – peak times of day, basket sizes, conversion rates, and the relativities of the relationship between traffic and sales.  You run much harder with smartphone that you need to with tablet.

Where do you think most of your customers use the tablet website – on the go or in ‘lean-back’ mode at home?
At home, on the sofa.

What’s the main differences in the ways people use your mobile/tablet websites and your mobile app?
There is little difference – we are a bit more likely to sell mens product on the app.  But the key difference is access to people – the optimised sites are relatively easy to find on search engines.

Which social network have you found the most useful for Schuh, and why?
Twitter is proving very helpful is our efforts to offer the most timely and relevant customer service – and growing aggressively year on year.

Do you have three top multichannel tips for fashion retailers?
Know YOUR business.  Prioritise sensibly.  Follow the customer.

Thank you Sean! If you would like to be interviewed for our Fashion Tech Insider series, email for more details.

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