We’re thrilled that Maria Latushkin has joined Narvar as Chief Technology Officer to lead our engineering and technology team. She brings 17 years of ecommerce experience, most recently as CTO for One Kings Lane (a Narvar client), and Peet’s Coffee and Tea prior to that. She spent nine years developing engineering processes & products integral to the growth and scale at Walmart.com, where she knew our CEO, Amit Sharma. Maria holds a B.S. degree in computer science from San Francisco State University.
Beyond all her tech & ecommerce cred, though, we wanted to know what makes her tick, besides her kid and new Labrador puppy.
You’ve been in ecommerce tech for well over a decade. What is one issue you’re surprised hasn’t yet been solved?
The concept of contextual shopping. Some pieces of this experience exist through recommendations, cross-sells and content, but ecommerce is still largely anchored around the consumer looking for a specific type of item to buy, not an experience of a whole look anchored in their style preferences, measurements and other personalized details. What if you could try on a piece of clothing digitally and also see what shoes and accessories would work with it?
What excites you most about Narvar?
There are many companies that concentrate on what is known as ‘the top of the funnel’, but there are very few that study and shepherd the customer experience past the ‘buy’ button. As more and more retailers focus on continuous engagement with the customer throughout their shopping experience and beyond their initial transaction to increase loyalty to the brand and reduce churn, Narvar gives retailers this capability to communicate with consumers all the way ‘til the package arrives at their door. And in case they didn’t absolutely love the product, making the process of returning it easy and seamless.
Not to mention, that as a consumer, I love the feeling of comfort I get knowing what’s happening with my order every step of the way.
Any predictions for the next year in retail?
More and more focus on a frictionless shopping experience. With the growing array of new avenues of communication with customers, to the rich data retailers are now able to gather and synthesize, there will be a continuous drive to stay relevant to the consumer.
Success requires knowing where their consumers are, what they may want and what they may be running out of, being able to capture their attention through a fast and seamless purchase experience, and winning their trust through transparent and reliable post purchase interaction.
What is your favorite retailer?
Nordstrom. They give me a sense of confidence that they will take care of me as a customer from the time I arrive at the store or browse their site to well after I receive my item.
What’s the last book you read?
‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ by Murakami.
What’s one thing you typically do when on the road which you don’t do at home?
I try to make time to walk around as much as possible to learn the city I’m in.
Do you share our vision and want to join our growing team? Check out Careers at Narvar.