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Footwear firm Hotter has harnessed digital and refocused its product offering under a new management team to boost business performance, its chief commercial officer told Drapers. 

“2019 has been a year of transformation,” said CCO Victoria Betts. “We were getting to a point of sales stagnation and we need[ed] to grow the top line as well as bottom-line profitability.” 

Following the appointment of Start-Rite’s Ian Watson as CEO in March, a main focus of the business has been digitalisation. The business’ ecommerce site will replatform in June 2020 to improve website speed. 

Hotter has grown its email database by 35% year on year and revenue directly from emails has grown 50%. This is a result of an increased focus on email address acquisition across its 80 stores and behaviourally triggered emails. 

Hotter has hired three new designers and is moving its model way from traditional seasonal designs to a more reactive model. This is partly being achieved through a partnership with retail predictive analytics company First Insight, which gathers real-time customer preferences and applies predictive analytic models powered by AI and machine learning fashion trends to create actionable insights on design, pricing and product. As the brand transitions from a seasonal product buyer the tool allows Hotter to test product and improve speed to market. 

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