Chief Information and Digital Officer
Ty Tastepe is Chief Information and Digital Officer at Altar’d State, a fast-growing women’s fashion retailer, which sees him leading its technology and digital teams. “We have three brands,” explains Tastepe. “We have A’Beautiful Soul, our plus size brand and Vow’d, our recently launched weddings brand, as well as the flagship Altar’d State brand.” Tastepe emphasizes the fact that the company likes to do things differently from its competitors. “We’re very focused on giving back to the community, exceeding our guest expectations at every touch point, doing the right thing and being willing to challenge established notions in the retail industry.”
Tastepe came to the role as an experienced technology leader having worked at Universal, Hilton and Disney to deliver innovative technologies around the globe. “Altar’d State gave me the opportunity to make an impact in the digital transformation of the organisation, as we focused on balancing our physical and digital portfolio and providing our guests the choice of platforms to engage with us.”
His approach to leadership has been solidified by the challenging times caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which he believes made it necessary to move more quickly on all fronts. “I believe that to be an effective leader one needs to be able to paint a picture of the destination and really communicate the role of each team member on that journey,” says Tastepe. “Seeking a diversity of ideas and experiences, listening to input from partners both inside and outside the organization, staying positive and maintaining a can-do attitude, learning from failures, moving forwards quickly and celebrating successes are really essential in achieving the company’s goals.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in customer behaviour which Altar’d State is responding to. “We’re emphasizing our digital investments but we're continuing to invest in our stores as well. We care very much about the experience we provide to our guests in our stores, and that will continue to be a key component of our strategy. So it's a balancing act between our digital and physical presence.” That balancing act dovetails with the company’s strategy to be present wherever its guests shop, to provide a seamless experience across all touchpoints. “That includes both our direct channels and third party channels. We're deploying technologies to provide single visibility to our inventory in a near real-time mode and manage orders across the ecosystem, both direct and indirect channels. That enables us to offer capabilities like buy online, pickup in store.”
Such innovations stand the company in good stead to thrive in the new normal, leaving Tastepe to conclude that the future is bright for Altar’d State. “We weathered the storm as well as can be expected and even launched our wedding brand in the middle of the year during the pandemic. We will continue to listen to our guests and constantly adjust to shifting purchase patterns and evolving conditions. The keys to success in such an environment are resilience, persistence, responsiveness, and ultimately taking care of our guests and associates. With those pillars in mind, we will continue to grow our business into the future.”
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It’s not just about mission – it is about a whole-of-enterprise transformation. The way you maintain superiority is through digital transformation, culture and process reform, and rapid adoption of commercial technology.