Interview with Cha-Cha Tsai, Spree

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28th October 2015
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Interview with Cha-Cha Tsai, Spree


Our October profile is Cha-Cha Tsai, Digital Brand Manager at online fashion store Spree. She has spent the past 7 years working in various roles for different online businesses including Account Manager at The Dating Lab and Head of Traffic at 365 Digital. Passionate about all things digital, she shares some of her insights and experiences with our readers.


What do you enjoy most about working with online businesses?

I enjoy the dynamic nature of online businesses. With the digital platform constantly evolving, online businesses are also required to change so that their offering remains relevant and accessible. For example, social platforms are integrated with online news publishers to report breaking news instantly and finding love (or at least a date) is as simple as reaching for your mobile to swipe left or right. These sorts of changes allow businesses to find creative ways to grow and engage with their users.

South Africans love their shopping malls. How ready are we for eCommerce?

There is no denying that traditional retail is well developed in South Africa but I think South Africans are definitely ready for ecommerce. Online shopping is a convenient offering for consumers to get what they want, when and where they want it. With the pace of life increasing, convenience is becoming key. Consumers can save time by researching their desired product, comparing prices online and having their product delivered to their location. Access to multiple devices gives consumers more touch points to window shop at their leisure. Ecommerce has the ability to offer a wide range of products or brands that are not accessible to all brick and mortar stores, giving consumers access to more choices of the products they want.

Ultimately, if people can find love online, they can definitely find the perfect little black dress online.

You’ve been on both sides of the fence, Publisher vs Advertiser. How has this shaped your views of online advertising?

When publishers and advertisers work together they are two sides of the same coin. Publishers want to offer premium space to advertisers to garner them maximum exposure while advertisers want the most cost effective results for their ad spend. Therefore, it is important from the beginning that both publishers and advertisers understand the objective of the campaign as not all ad placements serve the same purpose. Various aspects of the campaign needs to be considered such as; whether the campaign objective is direct response or brand awareness, whether the campaign is aiming for maximum reach or a segmented target audience etc. Essentially, I view the relationship between publishers and advertisers as a partnership to achieve those goals.

How does Spree use data to develop an online brand strategy?

The benefit of ecommerce is that everything is trackable, therefore we are able delight our shoppers by giving them more of what they want and optimizing our performance in other areas that are falling short.

How does Spree make itself stand out from other online fashion stores?

Spree strives to be the ultimate fashion destination where shoppers can find inspiration and style advice with our shoppable digital magazine, lookbooks and editorial shoots, plus our award-winning email publication. Additionally, we offer both international and local brands as well as top South African designers; giving shoppers around the country convenient access to labels and fashion that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get without living in or visiting a major city.

Is Social taking over from traditional banner advertising?

No, I don’t think sponsored social advertising is taking over traditional banner advertising, as both serve similar functionalities to achieve maximum reach for brand awareness. I think the strategy should be integrated with the media buying plan depending on the campaign’s objectives. However, I believe an organic social strategy is a far more powerful tool to retain brand loyalty by providing captivating consumable content for users. Users naturally prefer genuine content to advertised information.

This Summer’s hottest fashion trend?

For women, everything that has to do with the bohemian trend, from the beautiful patterns to the light flow of fabric to keep cool during the hot summer months. For men, we see denim transitioning from winter to summer; distressed jeans are working their way in to the wardrobes of men. We also have an exclusive clothing range that we will be launching soon, a collaboration between Maps Maponyane. Although, not yet revealed, the style of the line is casual with an urban feel.

When you are not working you are…

I am currently engaged, so this year when I’m not working, I’ve been making wedding plans. It’s a full time job on its own but it’s been fun visiting different venues, looking through hundreds of beautiful wedding portfolios for the right photographer and tasting many delicious cakes to put the cherry on top.

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