26 May 2017   

5 min read
SHEIKE may have started small with a simple t-shirt stand at Sydney Markets in 1975, but today the company is a major fashion player with 36 stores Australia-wide and a loyal customer following.

At the heart of SHEIKE’s growth has been finding new ways to delight customers and strengthen brand loyalty. SHEIKE has also been quick to embrace e-commerce to help the customer on their path to purchase. Morgan Jenkins, Head of Brand and Digital, SHEIKE shares how SHEIKE has a renewed focus and energy around customer experience and taking the experience of shopping to the next level.

SHEIKE has been in business since the 1970s. How has the business evolved over that time? 

Our business model adapted a number of times over the first 10 years. We started as a wholesaling business, then introduced our own range of accessories, then added apparel before ending the wholesale component and starting the journey to be the fast-fashion retailer we are today. We have a very nimble approach with a keen understanding that the market AND the customer is evolving, and so must we in order to remain successful. 

The fashion industry is constantly evolving. What are some of the exciting trends and innovations you’re seeing? 

Technology and the consumption of it! Everything is so accessible and the power to be inspired by the latest looks is at the customer’s fingertips. It's creating a more fashion savvy and style-experimental customer. 

How does SHEIKE stay ahead of these changing preferences? 

We believe that life is too short to wear boring clothes, so we aim to make fashion exceptional every day. That’s where our talented design team comes into the mix, constantly looking at what's happening locally as well as internationally so we can compete and meet the changing demands of the customer. 

SHEIKE started its online presence early on. How important is e-commerce and social media for your business? 

We did start earlier than most. E-commerce and social media are crucial for our business, as for all businesses. Technology is leading the change and we need to be present where the customer is spending the bulk of their time. While we're still learning (always will be) it's reassuring to know we're getting something right in so much as over 80% of our website transactions occur on a mobile. 

Customers are seeking new experiences when they shop. How is SHEIKE finding new ways to delight customers and strengthen loyalty? 

We are lucky enough to have a very loyal following, which is primarily down to our product, but we're also in the process of going through a large digital transformation project that will enable us to do more with, and for, the customer. We also spend a lot of time on our new store fit outs and refurbishments to offer an environment that is enjoyable to shop in. We use plush materials in our change rooms to bring some sumptuousness to the experience, while making the shop floor inviting and unobtrusive. 

What is SHEIKE doing differently today to meet changing customer demands? 

Trying to keep up! The biggest change we've made in the last 18 months is in moving away from considering the customer as a demographic and instead thinking of them on an emotional level. You can't say that groups of people of the same age, sex and income will behave in the same way or like the same things, but you can group behaviours. Combined with being confident in ourselves as a brand and delivering new product every single week, we are able to offer our customers what they are looking for at any given time.