When BeachMint.com, a social-commerce focused venture, announced it would be shipping to Canada just in time for Boxing Day in that country, the move was no last-minute logistics decision, but the result of a calculated, meticulous strategy of international expansion.
We actually have a very disciplined approach, John Volturo, the chief marketing officer for BeachMint, told the International Business Times, explaining how the branding effort behind his company's products has made these a natural fit for international expansion.
BeachMint, which opened its first Web store in October 2010 and now operates four unique properties, runs Web destinations that provide curation and continuity to the customer's online retail experience, according to Volturo. Users who join the site are given a personalized assessment of their own couture leanings; an algorithm then suggests the best outfits -- and accessories -- from collections designed by specific celebrities and their stylists.
Kate Bosworth and her stylist are behind the collections at JewelMint, which sells jewelry as part of the BeachMint network.
Two other famous actresses, Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, design the clothing line at another BeachMint destination known as StyleMint.
Pop culture icon and retail powerhouse Jessica Simpson is the brand behind BeautyMint, which offers skincare products. The newest site, ShoeMint offers Steve Madden wares selected by actress Rachael Bilson.
The international appeal of the celebrities, people who inspire a lifestyle, Volturo explained, was key in determining which star to partner with.
From the start, we signed celebrity influencers that we knew would have a global reach, Volturo explained, Jessica Simpson is a global star. Mary-Kate and Ashley are big in Asia and the Middle East.
Branding is just half the battle, however. Building a platform that resonates with users and takes off on its own buzz, as some BeachMint properties have done, is key as well.
Detailing the company's data-centric approach, a product of its Silicon Valley heritage, Volturo notes how analyzing where the fans are coming from was a key corporate philosophy since the beginning. It is even more important now, as further international expansion looms.
Any good marketer will tell you that you need to localize your marketing to markets outside of the U.S., Volturo explained, and working that into the algorithm that forms the backbone of the site is just part of the process. Every month, our site gets smarter, he added.
While Volturo would not specify which markets the sites would be opening to next, he did note further overseas market development was the goal, and the company was already working on the more prosaic aspects of that strategy, such as ensuring all beauty products sold met the health code regulations of countries they would ship to.
Catering closely to, and listening to what the consumer is saying, will continue to be the driving force, he notes.
Being able to speak to the customers directly transcends anything we could do on the website, Volturo said.