In recent years, many consumer products companies have recognized the growing customer demand for highly tailored, personalized experiences. 

Retailers dove into the personalization trend head first and enjoyed many benefits, including unified customer profiles for deeper insights, new strategies for increasing customer lifetime value, and increased retention and loyalty. Meanwhile, consumer products brands have felt the pressure to keep up with retail’s pace for personalization, but they faced unique hurdles. Because the consumer products business model traditionally doesn’t involve direct purchases, they had less data and less opportunity to create those personalized experiences. 

Thus emerged a whole new trend: some consumer product brands began looking for ways to break the mold and sell direct-to-consumer (DTC). 

Read on for the story of one such enterprising brand, Tekmovil, as they boldly set forth to open lines of DTC business and directly engage customers with tailored, relevant messages. 

About Tekmovil

Tekmovil is a highly innovative mobile technology distribution and services enterprise committed to taking the best mobile technology to new frontiers. Tekmovil leverages industry-leading expertise to provide manufacturing, network operator, and key channel partners with an edge over the competition by providing high-value services. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Tekmovil has operations that span 14 countries in three regions.

Tekmovil’s mission is to disrupt the traditional distributor model with technology-enabled services that seamlessly maximize brand and client performance while providing innovative, customer-driven, technology-backed services that translate to increased sales, customer satisfaction, and value for clients and their customers.

Tekmovil represents 14 telecommunications and Internet of Things (IoT) brands. 

Business Challenge: Expanding into DTC

Sensing a growing importance of the DTC model, Tekmovil decided in 2020 to expand beyond its business-to-business (B2B) focus and initiate a DTC business unit in order to best deliver a frictionless journey for the end consumer of mobile technology. 

Cristian Serrano joined the company in that time frame as the eCommerce & Omnichannel (DTC) Regional Director in order to plan, launch, and then lead the DTC business unit. He took on the responsibility for the revenue, growth, and profitability of DTC channels (including web, marketplaces, and retail) across the North American and Latin American regions.

In order to map and model the full customer journey across its digital and physical stores,  Cristian knew that the DTC model required Tekmovil to build a direct communication with the end user so that the company could gather, analyze, and control consumers’ first-party data, especially important given the move into a cookieless world and the growing limits established by privacy laws.

Business Opportunity: Achieving Additional Purchases of Xiaomi Products 

In its initial year, the DTC business unit limited its focus to driving e-commerce in support of its owned and operated sites in Mexico for the Xiaomi brand. 

After achieving break-even for the DTC business unit during that first year, Cristian shifted the business unit’s sights onto a Phase 2, in which the group’s primary objective was to achieve additional purchases of Xiaomi products among its 500,000 end users already in the company’s database; that database represented end users not only Mexico, but also in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and the United States.  

To achieve that objective, Cristian and the team focused on delivering an enhanced experience for those end users, which Cristian describes as the customer experience generation…a cohort encompassing all age groups that has been trained to expect the high level of service established by Amazon and other customer-centric companies.

With this thinking in mind, Cristian and his team focused on the following Phase 2 opportunities:

  • Gather, analyze, and control consumers’ first-party data: This required building a direct communication channel with each customer.
  • Create meaningful segmentations of its end user database that’s reflective of multiple countries: As it moved in Phase 2 beyond Mexico to include five additional countries, the DTC business unit realized that it would need to accommodate different languages, dialects and slangs in its communications…and to know which of these to provide as part of its communications.
  • Map and model the different customer journeys across Tekmovil’s digital and physical stores: These journeys would need to be inclusive of Tekmovil’s digital sites and brick & mortar locations.

Solution: Marketing Automation and Personalized Recommendations  

As part of its Phase 2 efforts and in order to achieve its Xiaomi repurchase goals with its end user database, the DTC business unit licensed Emarsys as its marketing automation platform.

  • A large number of personalized customer journeys powered by insights collected across Tekmovil’s digital and physical stores: The business unit generated 90-100 different journeys, including a welcome series, browse abandonment and cart abandonment campaigns.
  • Automated local email campaigns with personalized recommendations: These campaigns execute the journeys.
  • Multi-language support for content creation: The DTC business unit can generate different local campaigns that are reflective of the appropriate dialect and slang across six different countries. 

The results shown here are tied to Tekmovil’s initial period working with Emarsys:

  • 10x increase in repurchase % within the initial 3 months
  • 40x increase in repurchase % within the initial 6 months
  • 25% increase in business unit revenue
  • 10% decrease in marketing costs

“Using Emarsys to create, run, and optimize nearly 100 customer journeys, we achieved massive repurchase results,” said Cristian. “Emarsys is the Ferrari of marketing automation software.”  

Cristian Serrano, eCommerce & Omnichannel (DTC) Regional Director, Tekmovil