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DTC Lessons from an Ecommerce retention expert

Each week, we're calling on an expert in the Ecommerce space to share their wisdom on building a bulletproof DTC brand in 2022 and beyond.

Today, it's the turn of Adam Pearce, Chief Executive Officer at Blend Commerce. Blend specialises in growth and customer retention, and they're clearly very good at it. This year, they've won a string of awards including Global Ecommerce Agency of the Year and Global CRO Agency of the Year.

We chatted with Adam to find out how brands can survive and thrive the hardest economic times since 2009.

What's your role and what do you do on a daily basis? 20 words or fewer.

My flashy title is CEO, but I make sure that our team of eCommerce pros have what they need to help our clients retain customers.

It’s a tough year for Ecommerce. Which area should DTC brands be focusing their time and efforts towards?

As we saw from the pandemic, when times are tough, consumers look for consistency and stability. Use your data to focus on your most loyal customers - once you've identified them, make sure that the experience they have with you onsite and offsite is one that indicates that you care, value their input and want to create products for their specific needs. While this doesn't mean cutting your acquisition budgets to zero, it does mean reapportioning some of that spend on tools that help you serve your existing customers better. By doing this, your Customer Lifetime Value and long term business viability will be in a much better place.

At Blend, you help leading brands to grow and scale. Can you share 2 success stories with DTC brands?

1. We started working with a food brand that was seeing visitors leave the site quickly. We used heatmapping tools to see that in particular the main navigation of the site was causing issues. As the brand serves individuals following specialist diets, as well as those that aren't, we had to help customers find the products they were looking for, quickly. To do this, we implemented an onsite quiz, with a CTA, just below the main navigation. The button simply read 'Need some help? Click here'. The onsite quiz asked a handful of questions about diet, lifestyle and taste preferences. Once completed, it provided some recommended products, and we used the data to personalise email welcome flows. The quiz converted at over 25%, and significantly improved the purchase rate of the welcome email flow.


2. A personal care brand approached us as they were seeing a falling conversion rate. Despite being successful with their initial products, increasing sku's had lead to a fall in conversions. From our research, we saw collection pages had very poor filtering and product pages didn't allow customers to truly understand the benefits of each product type. We improved the collection page filtering, giving more power to the customer to find the products they needed. Additionally, we enabled more content blocks on the product page, along with bundle building to allow the brand toi increase AOV. 3 months on, the brand increased their conversion rate by 22%.

You specialise in helping brands retain customers - what piece of advice would you give to DTC brands who want to improve in this area?

As business owners, we all get excited when we sell a product or get a contract signed. Unfortunately, our customers and clients aren't the same. For them, the journey has just begun once they hand over their cash. DTC brands that focus on the post purchase experience through email and SMS, and onsite personalisation are the ones that win. Getting the customer to the 3rd or 4th purchase is key, as this is the point customers genuinely become 'loyal'.

What are the biggest trends you’re seeing right now in your specialism?

The biggest trends we're seeing right now are:


- Understanding acquisition better through tools like Triple Whale.

- Using onsite video with tools like Videowise.

- Using TikTok as a marketing channel.


Jump on the first two, but be cautious with TikTok. Its ONE of your marketing channels - its needs to be authentic and raw and repurposing from Facebook and Instagram can land you in hot water.

If you could tell DTC brands to stop making one mistake, what would it be?

If you're going to work with an agency, don't treat them like a restaurant. What I mean by this is that many brands who approach agencies feel that the onus should be on them to dictate what needs to happen. I don't see it this way. Ultimately, business owners have a goal, usually revenue in the next 12 months. Tell your agency this, give them your brand guidelines, and then make THEM do the work. Keep them focused on your goal, and by letting them prescribe what's needed, you'll get much better results.


Complete the sentence: DTC brands that survive and thrive in the recession will ____.

Shift acquisition spending to retention, and focus acquisition on new customers to be based on the profiles of your most loyal existing customers.


Who are 3 essential agencies to follow right now?

-Charle

-Quickfire Media

-SuperCo


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