Among the challenges faced by eco-friendly haircare brand Davines during the COVID-19 pandemic was a loss of word-of-mouth promotion from its salon partners to their clients as these businesses shut down. In response, Davines partnered with AI-powered commerce discovery platform Coveo to develop an ecommerce strategy that compensated for the loss of its salon presence, using an AI-powered approach that personalized the customer journey and also generated “buzz” — and demand for products — via social proof.
The results included increases of 2.6% in both conversion rates and revenue per visitor, along with increased AOV and month-over-month sales figures.
“We were primarily in salons, so a lot of those had shut down unfortunately, but a lot of the Davines users turned to the site for all of their haircare needs,” said Karli Bruno, Ecommerce Manager at Davines in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our part of the industry really took off. There wasn’t a lot of personalization [previously], so it was important to make the customer shopping journey as perfect as could be, as personalized as it could be.”
The Coveo technology generated personalized product recommendations based on the individual shopper’s previous behaviors and preferences, including:
- Past shopping journeys;
- Previous behavior on site; and
- Haircare preferences.
“[With] Coveo we know that we can execute some more personalization features on the site to really optimize the add-to-cart rate and conversion rate, and prevent customers from leaving our site to go to another one,” said Bruno. “That has really performed well versus customers who have not been delivered those personalized recommendations.”
“We’re also measuring customer lifetime value,” saidBrian McGlynn, VP of Ecommerce at Coveo in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “For example, where do we see users that might be coming in and looking to experiment? That maybe signals a long-term customer and we can apply automatic discounting, or using badging, using search, using promotions to entice somebody to become a customer, to sample the products or to be more involved in this part.”
Generating Buzz Via Social Proof
Implementing tools from Coveo, which acquired AI personalization provider Qubit in October 2021, allowed Davines to leverage the marketing impact of social proof, which also is based on AI-powered data to offer greater personalization within the ecommerce journeys of customers. Customers can see the frequency of items being added to other shoppers’ carts within a 24-hour period.
“It’s so important in ecommerce to really hit the right customer at the right time with the right product,” said Bruno “The longer that we work with Coveo, the stronger the technology gets, and the more it will learn about our customers, how often they’re purchasing and when they’re predicted to make their next purchase, so that we can target them at the right time.”
“Coveo also specializes in something called social group badging, which is both on our question pages and on our product pages,” said Bruno. “Using this same AI-powered algorithm, it will take into consideration the products that are trending, which products were best sellers in the past 24 hours and other products customers are adding to their carts. It really increases the product credibility, the competitiveness of the product and it just shows the customer ‘Hey, this is great and other customers are loving it — you need it now.’ It’s adding to that add-to-cart rate and really helping our shopping experience.”
Now that the salons it sells to have reopened, Davines is navigating industry challenges in growing consumer loyalty such as the negative impacts of inflation and frustration stemming from supply chain challenges.
“Whether it’s adding new algorithms to the site, testing out new copy to see what the customers respond best to, A/B testing or different product recommendations, there are always ways to expand,” said Bruno. “We’re now exploring adding product recommendations into the cart and into the mobile menu to enhance the mobile experience.”