Michael Kliger, CEO, Mytheresa, participated Fashion Magazine’s CEO Roundtable.
The New York-listed luxury e-commerce platform approached €690 million in revenue in 2022, up double digits, achieved a GMV of more than €743 million with a 21% jump over 2021. The forecast for the fiscal year, which ends at the end of June, is to achieve net sales between €755 and €800 million, with GMV between €865 and €910 million.
Marc Sondermann - CEO and editor-in-chief, Fashion Magazine/The SPIN OFF moderator of all the panels at the summit asked the manager: “What lies behind this success?
"It all starts with the customers and the ability to talk to them, grasping insights and needs on the fly," Kliger answered. "We cannot disappoint expectations and must be a constant inspiration, through strong brands and a high level of service,” he said.
"When you choose a five-star hotel, you expect everything to work perfectly, from the cleanliness of the rooms to the diligence of the concierge,” explained the manager.
“The same happens when choosing an e-commerce like Mytheresa: we are not interested in acquiring 'hit-and-run' customers, because business is not done with people who buy a couple of times. We work hard to keep a loyal clientele on board. Short-term success leads nowhere, and our investors know this as well,” he added.
Applying a personal touch to the relationship with customers has many meanings, which goes beyond careful selection of products to sell. "We interface with people who are often very busy and don't have time to waste," the CEO explained.
"At Mytheresa, they demand that everything goes smooth and fast in the buying process. There can be no smearing or slowing down at any stage–from the moment you choose an item to check out, to delivery. Efficiency and emotionality are two sides of the same coin,” he continued.
Mytheresa took its first steps in physical retail: it was founded in 1987 as a boutique in Munich, on the initiative of Susanne and Christoph Botschen, and only in 2006 it launched its e-shop. "This has taught us a lot at the level of customer relations," he pointed out. "It is no coincidence that customer meetings and focus groups to fully understand the market are one of the cornerstones of our strategy,” he continued.
On the supposed gap between physical and online distribution, Michael Kliger is clear: "I don't believe in the store vs. e-commerce opposition. The one who can do their job best wins. The challenge is to intercept customers in a scenario where there is not just one market but many (just think of the growth of resale) and the consumer has different opportunities for choice. That said, I am optimistic about future developments: after the pandemic, we are back to normal growth rates."