During our Retail Renaissance event in September, several UK brands spoke about their experience making dramatic improvements to their business, even during the pandemic.
Bulk Powders, BrandAlley, and AO.com all share how they connect with customers, increase sales, convert more first-time buyers, and leverage their data to accelerate business outcomes.
An active nutrition brand formed in 2005 by two men who noticed a lack of protein powders in the market, Bulk Powders is now in 12 countries across Europe. The company sources raw materials to create and rigorously test their products for fitness-minded customers.
The brand works with fitness and sporting influencers such as Pietro Boselli, Lucy Watson, and Joe Delaney. For the past three years, they’ve been in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
Converting Customers and Maximizing Revenue
To incentivize targeted customers, Bulk Powders connected with Emarsys to provide discounts to customers who purchased within a specific amount of time.
“We have a feed that we send from Emarsys to our website. And then obviously we use the CRM ads through Emarsys as well. And that allows us across all four of those channels to say, okay, well, certain customers, you know, maybe our actives and our high value customers who we know buy every three months, will limit the discount that they see on-site. So they might see our lowest discount v.s. customers who perhaps haven’t bought in six to nine months. You know, customers that we know don’t buy unless they get that top discount. We can give them a discount. And we know that, you know, the same discount across every single channel that they touch. So that for us is really important to ensure that we’re not giving away unnecessary margin.”
Using AI to Convert Customers via SMS and Facebook
With the specific segments built into MAX AI, the brand targeted customers via SMS and Facebook to incentivize a purchase, based on customers likely to churn.
“And what we’ve done with Emarsys, and using their revenue MAX AI segments, which allows you to target customers based on if they’re likely to respond to email, if they’re likely to go onto the website in the next 30 days, if they’re likely to churn, or if they’re likely to actually buying in the next stage anyway. We were able to split out that replenishment program, and so customers who were unlikely to buy without something extra, we were able to give them an extra voucher, which worked amazingly well. And for customers who weren’t likely to engage with our emails, we were able to put SMS in that program, or a CRM ad through Facebook. So it really took our replenishment program to the next level really, made it much more sophisticated. And we were able to put in extra costs to us as in a voucher or an SMS send but only to the customers who really needed it. We’ve been running that now for about three months and seeing an absolute, phenomenal uplift. More than I expected to see.”
BrandAlley UK offers incredible savings on luxury and premium brands such as J Brand, Hugo Boss, Reiss, and many others. Founded in 2008, the online fashion retailer has over 500 premium partners and is committed to exceptional customer experience, as displayed by over 30,000 Trustpilot reviews and a 4.9 star rating.
“We’ve been with Emarsys for about six years now … they’ve been a very instrumental part of our growth.”
How to Achieve Massive Growth
“So I think we’ve experienced this 100% growth of sales almost every month since April. And, it’s a testament to the changing product mix, and also, you know that the management team has pulled together because you need to ship the goods out of your warehouse on time. You need to deliver amazing customer service. So, everything has to be spot on in order to deliver that. It’s not only the digital marketing, the product, it’s the whole back-end system.”
AI and Omnichannel Marketing
BrandAlley used the AI capabilities of Emarsys to connect 1:1 with customers and send them the right content at the right time in the right channel.
“So a lot of the data comes from Emarsys, it’s a product called Predictive Intelligence. So what the product does is that it looks at, it analyzes [the] behavior [of] each individual customer or user. It looks at what they shopped, what they browsed… all the categories and products in our catalog at that moment in time. And then it makes connections between customers that have bought or have some sort of event and activity attached to their accounts. And then it looks and sees that it can find contacts with customers of this similar behavior. So we narrowed it down even further to make sure that we not only put the right content in front of the right people, but we also want to make sure that we obviously catch them in the right moment and also on the right channel.”
Convert First-Time Buyers to Active Customers
“I think one of the main metrics I’ve seen an increase in has been the conversion from a first-time buyer to an active customer. So after they’ve purchased once coming back, the biggest kind of difference between now and let’s say, prior to the lockdown and pandemic is that we’re seeing very, very clear differences between a new customer behavior, in terms of what they’re buying, and what they’re interested in, and they purchase.”
Their mantra is to “treat every customer like they’re your gran” and “make decisions your mum would be proud of.” At the heart of everything AO.com does is the customer experience.
What started out as a £1 bet in a pub 20 years ago, morphed into a company selling everything from refrigerators to mobile phones online and in-store across the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, with annual sales of more than £900m.
Meaningful Customer Interactions
Ever buy an expensive item, say a car, and receive an email the following month with another offer to buy a new car? Yeah, I’ve been there too. AO.com shares why they suppress customers from receiving certain types of content, based on their buying habits.
“We want every single interaction to be meaningful and, like you say, we sell a wide range of products to a wide range of people. So that can be really tricky. Just someone who wants to buy a gaming console also has the need to buy a washing machine, potentially, but it’s unlikely to be on the same day and in the same journey. So we use that data to shape that journey for them equally. If you bought a washing machine from us last week, then you are unlikely to be interested in purchasing another one the week later.”
AO.com understands that a purchase is more than a one-time deal, but more of a long-term relationship if the right content and solutions are provided.
“So once the customer purchases from us, it’s not the end of the journey – for my team particularly – that’s where it starts. They become part of the AO family. So, it’s really important for us to keep them engaged with our brand, and when someone purchases a big ticket item, they’re unlikely to replace that for some time, hopefully many years. So it’s key that we make the communications relevant and interesting to them, and that they allow us to keep speaking to them over the longer term. Our post-purchase strategy is really to combine a mix of communications that are relevant to what the customers just bought, but also introduce them to other products that might be of interest to them. So, our journey starts by gathering both a brand and a product review, as well as an NPS score, and we’re really proud to be one of the only electrical retailers who’s got over 200,000 Trustpilot reviews. But I think what’s really important is we don’t just collect them, we have a whole team of people reviewing and feeding back to key stakeholders and key trends and comments from that, and that really is fundamental to our strategy. We also proactively check in with customers six months after delivery. So, we NPS score them again at that point. It’s critical that we’re happy that a customer is still happy after six months, not after they’ve just made that immediate purchase with us.”
Pivot to Assist Customers
Even in difficult times a company must remain nimble and creative in order to best meet the needs of customers and provide for them in unlikely ways.
“We saw people start to abandon big major domestic appliances, washing machines, etc., and abandon their baskets when the services weren’t available. So our social media team had to record themselves – took it upon themselves, bless them – to record themselves plumbing-in their own washing machines, and then we uploaded that content onto abandoned basket campaigns and things. It’s a service we normally offer, but in the scenario where we couldn’t, we still wanted to help customers who were in distress and needed to be able to do that, to try and do it themselves.”
Even during times of a global pandemic, e-commerce brands have been successful in not only staying afloat, but succeeding where they never thought possible by being nimble, giving their customers priority, and using data to break down silos and reach customers across any channel.
At the heart of each customer-centric brand is the Emarsys omnichannel customer engagement platform that unifies all the data to deliver 1:1 personalization at the right moment in the right channel.
Get better business results like the brands above.
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