The young and the digitally driven

BY Katherine Mechanicos
26 July 2018

As shoppers are now more educated and connected with retail on various platforms, retailers need to be more proactive than reactive in the ever-changing marketplace.

Consumer loyalty programs, mobile applications, promo codes and consumer experiences may be all the rage right now, but it won’t be long for these technology trends to become out dated if retailers aren’t on the front foot.

Devoting herself to identifying and understanding customer pain-points, Emilia Rossi assists various retailers across Melbourne to improve their business and marketing strategies in innovative and value-driven ways. Previously consulting with some of Australia’s leading retail brands including, Klara Cosmetics, Mitch Dowd and Soon Maternity, Emilia works closely with retail brands to introduce new digital strategies to help drive customer leads, engage better with their customers online and increase sales.

Recently awarded Best New Business Award in June 2017 by Melbourne’s largest business networking group, Melbourne Business Network, Emilia is not only passionate about business, she loves the fast-paced retail landscape.

“One challenge that retailers are facing today is the speed at which customers make a decision. Customers demand instant gratification and instant delivery therefore, retailers need to be faster on all platforms and consumer touch points while still maintaining a strong point of difference,” she said.

Emilia graduated in Industrial Design with Honors at the University of Canberra and landed a job as Exhibition Designer at the National Gallery of Australia. In 2008 she started her first retail business, selling luxury leather footwear and handbags from South America through her flagship boutique and online store, Carmen Steffens. This was the first high-end, exclusive fashion boutique of its kind in the renowned Canberra Centre. Voted ‘Best Retailer’ in the Canberra Centre Fashion Magazine and receiving numerous mentions in The Canberra Times and The Canberra Weekly, Emilia is known for her innovative retail marketing strategies.

“At the time, we were the only retailer in the entire Canberra Centre who achieved an increase in sales by 239% due to creative PR initiatives.We were also the first shoe retailer in Australia, at that time, to introduce a take-home layby program.”

Emiila Rossi Rose Gold Collection

Managing this first business triggered Emilia’s passion for creative business marketing, inspiring Emilia to refine her skills and live the life she wanted. As a self-confessed multipotentialite, Emilia has always been heavily involved in art and business holding her first art exhibition in 2008, launching her Lifestyle and Business Blog in 2012, and introducing her first jewellery collection in 2015. To no surprise Emilia Rossi jewellery is now stocked in over 27 stores worldwide and has also been featured in GRAZIA and Who What Wear.

Emilia’s love for fashion and marketing has driven her to lead her next retail venture, Capriess. Co-founded with her husband Socrates in 2014, Capriess is an award-winning online wedding marketplace, which empowers people to buy and sell preloved (and new) wedding items. Crafted to creatively address a niche within the wedding industry, Capriess is the first online wedding marketplace to offer a free listing service across a broad range of wedding categories.

Untitled design_1190x795Seeing a gap in the market while planning their wedding, Emilia was baffled by the concept of paying exorbitant sums of money for wedding items that would likely only be used once. Not making financial or environmental sense, Emilia saw an opportunity to address a real customer problem - easily and better than anyone else.

Having both worked in the business industry, the couple had a genuine understanding of the high-level of dedication and commitment required to make a start-up successful. After surveying potential customers and researching the market, the duo launched Capriess within two weeks.

Today, Capriess has received countless write-ups from the likes of Daily Mail, News.com.au, The Herald Sun and Cosmo Bride. This unique marketplace was also named a finalist in the disruptor category at the 2017 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards, showcasing Emilia’s talent and flair for retail marketing.

Although Emilia’s achievements are worthy of recognition in their own rights, the driving force behind Emilia’s success is her thought leadership and strategic direction for Capriess.

“We want Capriess to allow every person the chance to create unforgettable experiences at a reasonable price, connecting more sellers and buyers than any other platform, and moving more inventory faster than any other marketplace in the world.”

For more information on Emilia’s success and future ventures look out for the Australian Retailers Association's Women in Retail series or visit retail.org.au/womeninretail

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine Mechanicos

Katherine is the Brand and Communications Manager at the Australian Retailers Association.

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