SME catches up with Briony Garbett, pictured above, Customer Director at Oasis Fashion
Tell us how you got your current role at Oasis?
When I graduated I had four possible routes – law, finance, medicine or consultancy. None stood out until a consultancy firm called Javelin Group were presenting at a careers evening. Their message was: “If you love online shopping, come chat to us.”
I decided that was what I wanted to do so I went along for an interview. This was the start of five years working with multiple brands on omni-channel projects. Going into businesses and evaluating their strategy was fascinating and gave me such a broad scope of experience at a young age. I actually got in touch with the HR Director of Oasis and setup a meeting, at the end of which they offered me the role of Head of Ecommerce and Customer Experience.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar career path?
Work hard. Putting in the hard work and having the right attitude will get you wherever you want to go. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I took a chance and gave Oasis HR a call and it got me to where I am today. Think about which stepping stones would help you. Sometimes consultancies and agencies can compliment your career progression but getting into a SME so you can grow with them is something I’d recommend.
What are the key differences between working for a consultancy and working in-house?
The biggest difference when working in consultancy is the high pressure and long working hours. I worked on one project at a time with milestones I had to hit. Now I’m constantly spinning multiple plates. It provides plenty of variety – you can go from discussing what’s happening with a web margin in a host store to how we’re going to be displaying bridesmaids’ dresses in our Tottenham Court Road store.
What have been your career highs?
Winning Drapers’ digital team of the year in 2017. I was so proud of the team and it was well deserved. It followed an incredibly busy year replatforming – coming in at 4am to see a new successful website launch was also a career high.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I dip into a lot of sectors for inspiration, taking exciting things that are happening elsewhere and applying it to our industry. In terms of individuals, I went to see Richard Branson talk about going into space and how it changed his perspective on the world and made him more philanthropic. He talked about our responsibility as leaders of brands and how important it is to affect change.
How have customer expectations changes and how have you adapted to meet them?
Customer expectations are always evolving. Expectations are greater now than they’ve ever been and that brings greater levels of complexity. As we begin to offer more services and functionality, we may have to implement the use of additional systems or enhance existing platforms. The most challenging part of that is making sure all of those systems are well integrated to ensure a smooth customer journey. Which is often easier said than done.