An end-to-end approach to customer engagement is critical for excelling in this new era of retail, which is dictated by constantly shifting consumer behaviors, according to David Court, Director and Partner at McKinsey & Company.
During the Bluecore Explore Summit, which was held Sept. 13, 2018, in New York City, executives from brands including Pura Vida Bracelets revealed how they use data and innovative engagement tactics across all stages of the buying journey. Two of the biggest consumer behavior shifts are the move from in-store to online commerce, and shoppers’ high expectations from retailers, noted Court:
- Consumers are beginning to trust online reviews (88%) more than sales reps (20%);
- 83% of customers say they want personalization; and
- 94% would walk away from a brand if they don’t like the service they receive.
Retailers can respond by rethinking the way they view – and create – personalized experiences. “Service is the wrong word,” Court advised. “Experience is the right word. As we’re personalizing, we must not only personalize marketing, but experience as well. Marketing is experience, and experience is marketing. [Retailers have to] ask if that’s what’s really happening.”
Pura Vida Bracelets targets Millennial and Gen Z females with its colorful bracelets, unique charms and other boho-inspired accessories. The brand is selling a lifestyle behind its products, and it successfully taps this lifestyle to drive social word-of-mouth and top-of-the-funnel interest. Social activation, driven by influencers and “brand ambassadors,” helps the brand acquire new customers. Instagram has been “huge” for these efforts, according to Griffin Thall, CEO of Pura Vida Bracelets.
“We’ve always looked at finding a way to tell our story,” which includes fair-wage manufacturing in Costa Rica and charitable donations, Thall said. “That means finding people to tell five other people about Pura Vida.” The brand promotes opportunities for followers to become Pura Vida “reps” on its Instagram. One specific post garnered 18,000 likes, and each image promoting the program can generate up to 3,000 registrations.
In 2018, the company implemented a tiered structure to the program; reps now earn different incentives based on how much business they help generate. Should someone click through to the Pura Vida web site through Instagram or a referral link from a rep, they’re greeted by a digital game where users submit their email to spin a wheel and win a prize, such as money off their first purchase.
Pura Vida also uses in-person events to feed the top of the funnel. The brand uses Airstream trailers and partners with local venues and businesses to create a fun and “Instagrammable” moment for potential customers. “We’re not selling the product, we’re selling the experience,” Thall said. But eventually, those in-person events do turn into web site traffic.
Once web site visitors convert, Pura Vida strives to re-engage and activate these customers to generate a higher lifetime value. On the marketing side, the brand uses Bluecore to leverage a variety of behavioral trigger emails, such as cart abandonment messages and new arrival alerts based on past purchases and browsing behaviors.
The Pura Vida Monthly Club also plays a critical role in driving recurring revenue for the business. For $14.95 a month, customers receive three exclusive bracelets that are only available to club members. These styles are selected by an exclusive team of Instagram influencers and fashion stylists, which adds value and exclusivity to the program. This model has paid off: Thall noted that Pura Vida Monthly Club members have 2X higher lifetime value than the average customer.