Zulily’s Brian Doherty: Creating unique experiences

Brian Doherty admits that Zulily is a bit of an “odd duck” in the retail world. The company doesn’t carry much inventory, sells mostly through its mobile channel and essentially creates a new and unique store for every shopper, every single day — most people who log into the app don’t even have an intention to buy. That all makes for a pretty unique experience and environment in which to work. On this episode of Retail Gets Real, Brian Doherty, manager of media and partnerships at Zulily, talks about the appeal of the brand and how he works with partners to create compelling experiences on the platform.

Customers come to Zulily just to see what’s new, not necessarily to buy anything. That means the mobile app is a powerful platform not just for ecommerce, but for content. Zulily customers “wake up in the morning, they open their app, they see what's going on over coffee or when they take a break in the day, and they just kind of scroll through and thumb through,” Doherty says. “Seventy-four percent of our purchases come via mobile."

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The Zulily platform is valuable for brands that want to get in front of Zulily customers — even if they’re not selling products on Zulily. From tea and wine to frozen foods or vacation homes, Doherty’s team works to feature relevant partner content that enriches the Zulily customer experience.

Teamwork across departments in essential to the successful operation of Zulily, and the company makes “winning as a team” a core focus. With essentially a new store every couple of days, the company works with over 15,000 different vendors. “We have to work together,” Doherty says. “Everything from our merchandising team to our studio team to our video team, to data teams, marketing, fulfillment and everything, we all need to work together to make this experience right for her."

Listen to the episode to learn more about the inner workings of Zulily and how it creates the thrill of the find and always offers something new.

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