STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 51
He says he learned the software in a
few days. Since Creator is a cloud-based
platform, updates are automatically
pushed to all users, freeing retailers from
the need to dedicate internal resources to
Creator helps retailers better design
mobile and desktop sites. New York & Co.
offers both; Carroll originally designed
its lookbooks as a series of pages that
customers would click or slide through
to see the next page. Creator's dashboard
showing real-time user interaction
indicated an "alarming" drop-off in the
number of clicks by the second page,
Carroll says, with only 10 percent to
15 percent of users clicking through to it.
About two-thirds of New York & Co.'s
traffic now comes from mobile users;
of this, 54 percent is from smartphones
rather than tablets. Most mobile users
prefer to consume content vertically
rather than horizontally. After Carroll
placed the designs on one page that users
could scroll vertically, "clicks and the
engagement soared," he says.
In some cases, dresses toward the bottom
of the page outsold designs higher up.
A variety of retailers use Zmags's
systems, although Moore says they tend
to be particularly applicable to retailers of
fashion, home goods and cosmetics.
Creator doesn't create new pages or
manage page templates or navigation.
Instead, it works with content
management systems, including both
those built into ecommerce platforms and
external CMS programs.
Carroll uses Creator monthly when
shooting fashion trends and lookbooks
specifically for New York & Co.'s
website. Its celebrity collections with
Eva Mendez and Gabrielle Union can
be viewed on dedicated site pages that
are "focused and customer-attentiongrabbing experiences," he says. "We're
basically saying, 'Hey, we want you to
look at this. We think it's special, and we
hope you think so, too.'"
The impact of a more engaging,
interesting online experience can be
significant. At one point, Carroll took
images from the catalog, turned them
into website product shots and created a
traditional grid of images for which his
team tracked customer engagement.
A week later, Carroll and his colleagues
went live with a Zmags online experience
for the same products, again tracking
engagement. Among other changes,
customers spent seven minutes longer on
the site, and conversion jumped by about
Around the time Beyoncé released her
2016 album, "Lemonade," New York &
Co. happened to have a line of clothes
that featured lemons. Within 24 hours
of the album's release, the store had an
interactive, shoppable campaign page
showcasing the items, Moore says.
On a practical level, Carroll and his
team can use Creator to quickly update
New York & Co.'s site when an item sells
out or is restocked. Prior to Zmags, these
updates could consume 12 to 24 hours, he
says; the task now takes several minutes.
Carroll continues to expand his team's
use of Zmags. As the 2017 holiday season
got under way, he planned to use it for
gift guides and holiday dresses, both of
which are big categories for New York
& Co. "The holiday gift guide for the
dress boutiques and holiday trends are
all going to be [produced by] Zmags
Creator," he says.
"Zmags sort of took the straightjacket
off us as creatives," Carroll says. His
time, and that of his team, no longer
is limited by the need to spend months
coding and planning.
"It gives us incredible freedom as designers
to create great shoppable experiences," he
says, leading to customers who are excited,
engaged and loyal.
Karen M. Kroll is a business writer based in
Zmags is "created
who don't have
want to create
- Paul Carroll,
New York & Co.
STORES January 2018 51