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Summertime Prep Webinar: Are You Ready for Vacation? - Recording

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Summer 2021 is bright for eCommerce! In this webinar, four leading brands share their summer eCommerce strategies, tips, and tactics 🎯.

Partners/Sponsors:
- Daasity
- Skubana
- Justuno
- Gorgias

Speakers:
- Mike Demson, Sr. Marketing Mgr, DripDrop ORS
- Hayden Wadsworth, Co-Founder/CEO, HydroJug
- Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour, COO, Beach Bunny Swimwear
- Daniel Abramov, CDO, TKEES
- (Host) Jeremy Horowitz, Dir. of Marketing, Daasity

Key Takeaways:
- Brands are working hard to personalize every element of their platforms and messaging to better connect with customers 👩 .
- Brands are preparing for the Summer sales spike by treating sustained higher demand like BFCM/December Holidays 🎄

Watch the replay right here or read the transcript below:

WBR_ Summertime Prep Webinar_play

Transcript

Jeremy Horowitz:
Let's get kicked off and dive into the conversation. So, really excited for everyone and thank you for joining us today, to talk about preparing for the summertime rush and getting vacation ready. I also wanna quickly thank all of our sponsors who joined us today, Justuno, Skubana and Gorgias, for putting on this great event. So, quickly some housekeeping to get away before we get to the good stuff. I am your host, Jeremy Horowitz. I'm the Director of Marketing here at Daasity. I will be here to moderate our incredible group of panelists who will be able to share a lot of amazing insights. Some housekeeping, everybody will be muted to start off with, if you have any questions or Q&A, please submit them below. And then the session will be recorded so we will also be sharing this out as well as recording it and cutting up content for everybody that will be promoting out over the next couple of weeks. So, to get to the good stuff and why everybody came. Our incredible panelists to really dive into all the great topics that we're gonna talk about today, around preparing for the summer rush. So, lemme introduce everybody. So, Mike, do you wanna quickly introduce yourself and what you all are working on at DripDrop?

Mike Demson:
Oh, you bet. Mike Demson, Senior Marketing Manager at DripDrop. We are a patented electrolyte powder so summer is a good time for us.

Jeremy Horowitz:
I can imagine. There gonna be a lot of hot sweaty people out there. Hayden, do you wanna just give us a quick background on yourself and HydroJug?

Hayden Wadsworth:
Yeah, for sure. So, Hayden Wadsworth, I'm the CEO and co-founder at HydroJug. We have a lot of products in development but kinda under the same thing with Mike, we sell half gallon water bottles to help people stay hydrated. So summers are good months for us as well.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome, we're gonna be talking a lot about hydration today then. Stephanie, can you give us a quick background on yourself and Beach Bunny?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So I've been with Beach Bunny for nine years now and our core is bikinis. So you can imagine summertime is definitely our peak. We ramp up in spring and starting this weekend, Memorial Day, is when we take off through Labor Day.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. And then Daniel, bring us home with yourself about yourself in TKEES.

Daniel Abramov:
I'm Dan and I'm Chief Digital Officer at TKEES. I've been here for about four years. And TKEES is an apparel and footwear company, footwear first and our core product is the flip-flops. So, naturally summer is our Christmas and we have a great time during the summer months.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome, all right, so let's dive right into it. I'm gonna stop sharing my screen so we can see everyone's beautiful face. So, to kick right off, Hayden, I'm gonna put you on the spot first. How do you prepare for summer marketing and how do you think about that versus the major spikes that you see throughout the year?

Hayden Wadsworth:
So, kinda like you mentioned, we definitely have spikes in the holiday time around January just how fitness goals are oriented. We kinda take a similar approach as Amazon with their Prime Day. They kinda made an event just right in the middle of summer to spike sales. And we try to do as many marketing events whether it's just a straight sales event, new product releases, special edition product, things like that, to kind of increase hype and to stimulate the sales during the summer months. Because, typically for us they are good months and we do have growth but they're not our busiest when it's compared to Black Friday and stuff like that.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's a great idea and it's the same reason why Amazon did Prime Day too. So Stephanie, same question to you, how are you all thinking about marketing and really driving a big spike over the summer?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So for us, we begin dropping our spring line in January for those who are heading down for spring break starting in February from the Eastern Seaboard. And then from there we peak up. So all of our marketing we have events from spring break to getting ready for Memorial Day. Actually this weekend we're launching using TikTok girls to launch, what are you gonna wear for Memorial Day? What does that outfit look like? All of our photo-shoots, campaigns, everything that's around best friends and travel that feel. And we then we'll add in any third party. So in the past we've carried TKEES or anything like that to give her that full package of what she needs for her summer essentials.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's awesome. Daniel, how are you all thinking about a nice marketing spike this summer?

Daniel Abramov:
That's awesome. Stephanie, thanks for that by the way. So, we start thinking about summer in January actually. In fact, summer is always on our minds. And so we start with forecasting for future months in sales. On a month by month basis, we spend out our production. And really from a marketing perspective, we have a campaign called Wherever You Go. So that's specific to travel and wherever your TKEES takes you. So, we plan all of our marketing campaigns based on new product introductions that are gonna be coming up during the summer months and really front loading a lot of our production and inventory to ensure that we have just-in-time delivery. And we have expedited shipping for customers when the time comes for them to pull the trigger and make a purchase.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Preparing is always great. Mike, how are you all thinking about the summer rush and marketing at DripDrop?

Mike Demson:
It's a really good time to be at DripDrop. We have a campaign called Beat the Heat. So, if you think about it, it's really geared towards what causes people to get dehydrated and part of the reason why there's such an elevated need for DripDrop and electrolyte patents during the summer... We really like to make sure that the right message is being tailored to the right audience. And we roll out our best promotions, buy one get one 50% off, through our entire new product catalog which is actually including 21 new flavors this summer. So, there's a lot of good stuff happening.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's very cool. Okay. So now we talked about creating all that demand, how are we actually gonna fulfill it? So how are you all thinking about handling these huge spikes? So Danielle, I'm gonna throw this one to you first.

Daniel Abramov:
For sure. So, handling the spike increase in sales always means you gotta step up. And we're stepping up across departments, whether it be CS whether it be with our 3PL partners ensuring that they have sufficient staffing across the full spectrum from receiving fulfillment and also refund processing. So ensuring that we've got appropriate assets from a Photoshop perspective, from marketing perspective, from ensuring that we have a sufficient amount of stock and inventory in place and most importantly, people and tech. So across all of these different areas that we can go through systematically one by one and make sure that every single one of those check boxes are marked off. So that's really the most important part, is ensuring that every single part of this chain from forecasting and anticipating those sales and having the right support for marketing are all covered.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Nice. Infrastructure is key. Stephanie, how are you all thinking about accommodating for the huge spike that you're probably already in the middle of slash from the sea over the rest of the summer?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
I'll echo what Daniel said. First, we definitely ramp up with customer service. So whether it's the people, and then we also partner with Chatdesk. So they're able to handle any weekend messages that we get for us, so that we're always responding to the customer during the height of the season. Our 3PL ramps up, she always wants something tomorrow cause we can't ruin her Memorial Day weekend or her wedding. So they're always ramping up as well. And then also this is when we began to run a lot of AB testing, knowing that we have more people on our site and a lot of new customers, we can start testing to then roll out those best practices through Q3 and Q4 when it's a little bit slower for us to help keep our sales up.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Mike, how are you all gonna handle the rush that you're about to see over a DripDrop?

Mike Demson:
I'll just echo everything that everyone exactly said. We're hiring like crazy. We've made hires on our e-commerce team, on our customer service team. We're in the process of, fully rolling out this brand new website data supply chain update to improve the margins on a product. And then, we really think about the digital experience as something that's really important. So with all of our emails, we're fully integrating with our analytics partners at Udacity, our conversion rate optimization partners at Justuno, and really making sure that we're putting our best foot forward during the best time of the year for us.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. A lot of opportunities to capture a lot of new info about customers. So Hayden, bring us home, how's HydroJug scaling up to accommodate for the sales you're all about to see?

Hayden Wadsworth:
Kinda similar theme here. We have to ramp up across all teams. We have a lot of, as we get into these busy seasons, we will increase the amount of cross-functional syncs that we have between directors. So everyone's on the same page. So we know that everyone from customer support and everyone to the fulfillment specialists that we have, are all on the same page on how stuff is going to work and what to be aware of.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Communication is gonna be key. There's so many going on, and then people probably also on the team wanna go on vacation as well. So, a lot of things to coordinate there. So, I know we've talked a lot about how we really optimize these events. What conversion metrics are you all looking at or looking to optimize during this period? So Mike, why don't we start with you on this topic?

Mike Demson:
You bet. So, within the scope of conversion rate optimization, we're looking both onsite and through very precise and tailored messages across an SMS. Those are two enormous channels. The way that we approach it is, we basically segment our user base around recency frequency and monetary value. The retention and LTV dashboard on Udacity is a great tool for helping us think about that. We're testing things constantly. We're sort of socializing what we're working on to get buy-in across the entire organization. And one example is, we have our engaged list that we're of course doing remarketing and retargeting towards, but we also have our re-engagement segment that we're really tailoring subject lines, call to actions, and actually creating an entirely new customer experience for that group, that's really guided towards meeting them where they are. So, a lot of good stuff.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Well, some of your promotions is a lot of great opportunities to engage a lot of different segments. So Stephanie, what conversion metrics are you all really focusing on and where do you see the big wins coming in this year?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
This year it's actually been our AOV. So in the past we have seen that she's been a little bit more promotional. And this year we are not up against price resistance, which is something that is quite baffling to us. So knowing that, normally we'd be doing a promotion with Memorial Day for swim, even on full price, this year we are not. She can get her sale items out of our sale then. So it's AOV. We're doing a lot of exit offers on AB testing there, browse abandonment. What pages are she leaving? Why is she leaving that page? What can we do? And what pages does she spend more time on? And then, the pages that aren't working, trying to update them to the pages that are. Like I said, with Justuno, testing different banners cart abandonments, and exit offers.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Also exciting. Hopefully are early signed and the people are back into spending a lot on travel in summer.

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
They are.

Jeremy Horowitz:
It's really exciting. So Daniel, what are you all looking at? What are you really focusing on from a conversion metric perspective?

Daniel Abramov:
For sure. So, summer tends to be the cheapest time to really acquire a customer setting. So we look at our CPAs are a critical piece in conversion mechanisms. Understanding what UPTs are for each one of those sort of transactions and looking at overall ROAS. Taking all of those and then comparing it against our forecast and ensuring that actuals and forecasts are in fact aligned or we're exceeding our forecast. So those are really great. And in generally speaking, 2021 has been a banner year over '20, which was successful in all in itself. So,, it's been very, very exciting time to wanna be at TKEES.

Jeremy Horowitz:
It's very exciting. Also, when you guys start beating out the forecast. One quick question for you just for everyone who isn't familiar, what does UPT stand for?

Daniel Abramov:
Units per transaction.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Got it. Okay. So sort of similar to the AOV mark, how many units are we rolling out in every order to keep things moving along?

Daniel Abramov:
So very similar, very similar metrics.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Cool. All right, Hayden, I'm gonna toss it to you. What are you all looking at? What conversion metrics are you really focusing on optimizing?

Hayden Wadsworth:
We look at average order value, returning customer rate, and your straight conversion rate. And how those change with our different summer promotions.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Cool. A lot of different opportunities to optimize there. So, since we're talking about metrics, what are the best tools to leverage your data? And then also, how are you leveraging that data? So Hayden, gonna pass it back to you real quick.

Hayden Wadsworth:
It seems like every software tries to do data like Shopify, Klaviyo, to name a few. And we use a data consolidator. And then from there we use that data and we have internal models that we build out. So, that data is pulled from the data consolidator and then we can customize it and tweak it to fit in our models and make predictions and leverage it.

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
Very cool. Stephanie, how are you all leveraging data?

Hayden Wadsworth:
I'll echo what Hayden said. So we have an internal model but we'll pull things from Klaviyo. We'll pull Klaviyo's or Attentive's reports for SMS, use Google analytics, and then we pull it all together, aggregate it, and then we're able to see what's working, what's not and go from there.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Mike, I feel like you kinda already addressed this but how are you all leveraging data? And is there any cool or unique ways that you are doing it?

Mike Demson:
You bet. I'll take it from sort of a different perspective. We have a fairly well-oiled machine when it comes to retention. But for us, one of the things that we want to build out and to really succeed at is building a very large national branch. One of the ways that we're approaching that is partnering with retail organizations as well as e-commerce. So, we're looking at it from a basically channel agnostic perspective. If customers are going to Amazon or if they're coming back and repurchasing on DripDrop, We're paying very close attention to both cost per order, cost per acquisition, and of course blended ROAS to really help us to understand which channels are the most efficient and then essentially scaling those channels and approaching it from that perspective.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Okay. So really think about everything holistically across the entire business. That's pretty cool. So Daniel, why don't you break down how you all are leveraging data over at TKEES?

Daniel Abramov:
Data is a critical part of this equation for sure. And something that we've been focusing on looking at it holistically. And much like what Mike alluded to just a minute ago, we look at the business from all angles, from all channels, from all sources. And we aggregate everything within our own Google BigQuery. And then we pull in data from Returnly from understanding what the return rates look like and what the customer behavior kind of how it boils down. We pull in all of our marketing data into it as well. And then we kind of have a holistic picture of what is the customer doing from a full cycle of perspective, from being introduced to the brand first place, coming on the website how they're converting, what are they buying? And then ultimately, what does their post-purchase experience look like, so that we can continue to drive that engagement and drive those retention metrics. It's kind of the way we do it. We have dashboards built out for each one of those segments of the business so that we can dig deeper and understand, is returns processing a bottleneck for us or, what area of the business can you really be optimized in order to really improve?

Jeremy Horowitz:
It's great to have that 10,000 foot view and in the trenches view to really make those greater optimizations. So since we're already talking about tech stack, I would love to know, what is everybody's top tech stack recommendations, favorite tools that they've been using, for retention and marketing recently? So Daniel, I'm gonna pass it back to you for this.

Daniel Abramov:
For sure. Probably the best ones are, I would go back to Klaviyo. Klaviyo is a great tool to use for retention and marketing and understanding, what's your customer doing from my email marketing perspective, and then how are we engaging with those users and so on? And then really the second one that I would really and go to that's really exploding right now and booming, I think it's still under utilized specifically given how recent it is but SMS marketing is really a great retention tool. So, a lot of people that are not necessarily engaged with email will respond better through SMS marketing. So being able to really nurture and grow that list from an SMS perspective is really, really helpful. Those two tools are really great in being able to really drive that retention.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. We're seeing a lot of brands manage those together. So Hayden, how about for you? What are you all seeing in their retention marketing space and tech stack wise, that's been really helpful for you all?

Hayden Wadsworth:
We use kind of all the typical softwares, like the Klaviyo and PostScript. One of the biggest ones I think is the support software though. We use Gorgias and we use all their features as far as the online chat, things like that, to make sure that we are creating the best customer experience we can especially when our customers are reaching out to us with issues. So, we really focus a lot on the support piece and customer experience piece to retain customers.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Definitely. I feel like people always bucket that separately but really you gotta look at that holistically of how does every interaction keep people coming back. So Mike, you wanna walk us through, what are your favorite tech stack in the retention marketing space?

Mike Demson:
I'll just give another shout out to Klaviyo and PostScript. They're phenomenal. One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is, we've tested a few different ways to recover abandoned carts. We came across a tool by the name of that Tone, it's an AI. Essentially human guided automation to really provide real time customer service which we've seen a phenomenal return. Of course, beyond that desk is lifetime value and recency frequency. Monetary dashboard has been phenomenal in helping us to refine the timing of our post-purchase email campaigns, refining, which audience is getting, which often we're testing both dollar off and percent off to different audiences based on past purchases. And then actually personalizing messages on PostScript. We've got customers in all four times zones. With DripDrop we'd like to approach it from a very timely and relevant message. So we're actually doing local sometimes and PostScript which isn't something I've seen a ton of brands do. But if you think about it and wanna tailor a message for someone, right in the 11:00 in the AM or two o'clock, we're able to do that pretty precisely through PostScript and results are beyond something that I could have hoped for and the growth is phenomenal.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's super cool. The SMS' support seems to be taking off as well. I've been hearing a lot about that recently, separated from the more of marketing tools. So that's pretty cool. So Stephanie, any other retention marketing technologies that you've been a really big fan of?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So SMS is one that we've really focused on this year and we've increased the journey. We've added a journey for everything on SMS. And just recently we will be testing The Conversational with our customer service team. So it'll be a conversation straight from their phone to customer service versus having to be on the web and doing a chat that way. That's coming up. With Gorgias like I said, we have connected with Chatdesk. So they're always on to work with those customers. Returnly has been a big one for us. We've added at the back end when they're going in to do an exchange. We actually are using that AI for it to pull up, what has she shopped in the past and what would she like? So it'll automatically build, instead of her having to go onto the site to try and find what she may want. And then Back in Stock, we use this all the time in including for our forecasting. So just recently we pulled our Back in Stock report and 20 items came up, we called her factory and they're doing a quick turnaround. And what that happens is, each 20 item may have anywhere between 10 and 50 requests for it to come back and stock on that one specific skew. And that day sales, the minute we send that email out, you'll see they'll all go out and purchase that, because they've been waiting. And then we've also been working on our loyalty program. So we launched it in the fall before COVID. and we work with the Octiv as well and we're working on upgrading that this year.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Those Back in Stocks are a real quick win once the logistic side is figured out from a marketing perspective. So those are definitely some ways-

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
Oh, and the last thing that's new for us though, we're partnering with ShoppingGives, so doing the charity at the checkout. So that'll be something new in the next to 45 days for us too, just to make it more personal and hopefully retain our customers who are looking for just it to be more than just, I'm buying a bikini or shoes or sunscreen.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's very cool. They've been popping up a lot as well. So interesting to see how successful that is for you all. Seems like email and SMS is a big player in this and talking about really nurturing that list. But I wanna dive into how are you all thinking about building that list, and what's your current pop-up strategy and how are you thinking about that for the summer versus more of the typical winter and Q4 rush? So, Stephanie, I know you briefly talked about it before but you wanna just dive into more of how you all are thinking about leveraging pop-ups on the site.

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So, recently we just moved, our current pop-up is all through our SMS. So it captures the email and a text message and they get a 10% off for signing up that is being included in all of our marketing from Klaviyo to Instagram, Facebook, and that is helping build... It'll also be in the Evergreen on Facebook and Instagram and the sponsored ads. And then with Justuno, like I said, we are using the banner to make it more personalized for people to be like, "Oh, I'm here. "Buy this now, you can get a gift card." New product releases, all of that.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's awesome. Mike, how are you all thinking about your onsite pop-up strategy?

Mike Demson:
Well about growth, Justuno has been really great partner for us. We're able to test and identify new versus returning customers. So we're segmenting those and then understanding, who are the people we already have emails for that we really want to get onto the SMS list? And then offering the appropriate incentive to the audience that is showing up. And then of course, making sure that it's a good experience, both on email and SMS if people are opting in.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome. Segmentation. Seems to be pretty strong within there. So, I like the strategy. Hayden, how are you all thinking about it? Is there any changes that you do versus a typical like BFCM or other part of the year that you're thinking about testing out this year?

Hayden Wadsworth:
For the most part, it stays about the same throughout the summer with our pop-up strategy. There are small AB tests that we'll run if it's on specific pages. So, if a customer lands on the homepage versus a product page, they might experience a different pop-up if it is their first time visit.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. So different stages of the journey they get different messaging and experiences. Awesome. So, Daniel, how are you all thinking about pop-ups and your strategy going into this big sales period?

Daniel Abramov:
Similar to what Hayden is saying, actually it's a bit different. So in the world iOS 14 and privacy restrictions and marketing pop-ups, and lead gen become a very interesting way to acquire users to really understand how well your marketing is performing. So, the way we're utilizing pop-ups now or will be rather... It's interesting there in the planning stages. Is customizing the pop-up based on the source of where the customer is coming from. So if a customer's coming from TikTok marketing channel and then they would get a different pop-up that would be calling out perhaps a piece that they ended up coming from TikTok specifically And similarly, Instagram or Google. And so, being able to customize the pop-up messaging to the channels of the user is coming from and optimizing that lead generation, optimizing that conversion, is something that we're looking closely and looking for this summer.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. It sounds like a lot of personalization in the mix and it sounds like Stephanie and Mike might be some good references to talk about that strategy with. I think that leads into my next question of, how are you thinking about integrating more personalization into the customer journey overall? I know that's really been a big topic, especially recently but probably over the past couple of years also. So Mike, how are you thinking about how we're just making every stage of the process more personalized for customers?

Mike Demson:
You bet. So we like to think about the customer journey holistically. So, basically what we're treating new customers very differently than we're treating returning customers. The way that shows up on site is through different AB tests and conversion rate optimizations that we do with with Justuno. So, sort of those two distinct groups. One example is on the product description page, making it easier for returning visitors to basically check out and to basically reduce the friction there. And part of that is onsite conversion and that's something we've seen phenomenal results with.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. There's a lot of opportunities to just do a ton of testing to figure out what the right timing is. So Stephanie, same question to you. How are you thinking about personalizing that experience for your core customer more?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So, as I mentioned before SMS has been a big push for us this year. So right now we're doing it all through Attentive, who we use for SMS. So, if she's on the site, bringing her back if she leaves too quickly, or if she's abandoning her cart which is so on email, that's what happens to all of us on email, but to have it feels more urgent when it's on text because it's happening right now, you may not always be checking your email, but you get an alert on text. And then from the loyalty side, every time she comes in if she's a return customer, she logs in to her page and everything that she's purchased before is there, all of her information, how many points she has, and how she wants to use her points or get more points. So she feels like it's more of her shopping experience than it is just coming to the site. And again, same with the Justuno pop-ups. We're working on those versus returning or new customer as well.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Nice. So every part of the experience it's just a little bit different so that it always feels like they're coming back to have something new. So Daniel, how are you all thinking about increasing personalization and the customer journey for everyone over at TKEES?

Daniel Abramov:
I'm very similar to what the group has already covered. A lot of banner changes. A lot of pop-up changes that I alluded to earlier. We do offer some personalization and customization of the actual shoe itself. So you're able to monogram your product right there on the website. So you get a little bit more customized item. But from an experience standpoint because we don't use accounts on TKEES account, everybody is "Guest checkout customer." Personalization becomes a little bit more difficult, and so we're customizing it using things like pop-ups and vendors.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Hayden, how are you all thinking about personalization over at HydroJug?

Hayden Wadsworth:
There are a lot of automated things that you can do to make emails and text messages, be super personalized. We'll do things like landing pages to make a more personalized experience based on where the customer is coming from. But this also will leak into our product strategy as well where with certain releases we will send personalized notes from different people in the office to our customers. Our support team, we have processes in place where if they can pick up something from the customer from the note they wrote in, they could do something special for that customer. So we'll do things like that to make sure that it doesn't seem like we're just automating these personalized experiences and we still are like, "There's people behind the screen "and the company's a lot more "than just a Instagram page or a website."

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's a great point. Personalization can also come from the brand side not just the experience for the customer sides. It's very cool tactic as well. So, in this kind of same vein, what are some of your biggest tips to increase customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty in general? So Daniel, I'm gonna put you on the hot seat first.

Daniel Abramov:
I like the hot seat. I actually didn't cover one specific area that we launched mid COVID crisis. And we launched a TKEES internal concierge service that highlights and identifies individuals that are likely to be high LTV customers for us. And that may have already transacted with us significantly or are likely to transact in the future. So if the data models are telling us that, "Hey, this individual is likely to be "a high converting user for us," we have a dedicated members on the CS team that are responsible for the consumer service and they will reach out individually and provide almost like styling tips and advice on a one-on-one basis to each of those individuals. So they're able to text them, be able to email in or they're able to even call in and speak with the individual if they wanted to. So, from that perspective, it creates a very cohesive and engaging experience for your customer. And what we're seeing is a really great solid results and success out of it.

Jeremy Horowitz:
It's a great idea to bring that personal shopping experience from in-store retail online, and also have the have the right LTV to make it economically work for the company. So Mike, where are you all thinking about from a customer satisfaction and retention perspective?

Mike Demson:
You bet. So we like to leverage every data source that we have available to us. On the retention side, one of the best performing and most efficient paid media campaigns that we have is leveraging the expected data of next quarter. With Klaviyo, really highlighting the promotion that we're doing to this particular segment and we see phenomenal return on ad spend there. Even as we look at different points of the customer journey and the customer funnel post-purchase is actually one that we've focused on quite a bit. Building the brand, nurturing the audience, and getting people excited for the product. One of the ways we do that is with a partner called Talkable. For the referral program, we have different campaigns for different audiences both on subscription and one-time customer. So we're testing and optimizing everything.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Stephanie, how are you all thinking about ways to just continue customer lifetime value retention satisfaction?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So for us, she tends to shop with us based on her best suit. So a lot of times we'll put out a poll, what suit are you looking for? Which one do you wanna see again? And although we're a really large brand, we take what they say very seriously. We do drops every month almost except for November Black Friday, we can't compete with that in a new drop. And at that time there will be different release times. So our VIP's, which is not our high intent to purchase possibly this item, they'll get the email first. Felt very special. You're the first to hear about this. You have a couple hours to shop before... And they've actually to learn that in the next two hours they know this email is gonna go out to everyone. So what causes them to come back and it's been creating a demand that it will be out of stock in the next week if they don't purchase now. So they tend to come back and continually purchase that item. I feel like one of the dinosaurs were our phone lines are still open. So, they will email us and we'll say, "Just call us, and we'll walk you through the process." And that we have seen they'll end up purchasing more online after that. And they always call and talk to us. And then we have eight stores. So we're able to say, "Where are you located? "We can always send you to our store "for an in-person fitting there as well."

Jeremy Horowitz:
It's a great utilization. I feel like phone support is now a pretty unique offering that a lot of other brands don't have. So, it's definitely a way to set yourself apart. So Hayden, what are some unique ways that you think about just making customers happier, just extending their retention with HydroJug?

Hayden Wadsworth:
A lot of this stuff has been mentioned but we'll do on release days, we'll do IG live showing the product, showing from different angles, stuff like that. I think the video experience really helps people decide. And then we'll also do live chat during those times. So people have that one-on-one experience as well. And then just your typical stuff between email and the loyalty program, making sure you're following up and segmenting and keeping the VIP's happy kind of like Stephanie mentioned.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Instagram lives. I feel like some people still leverage them as it feels like they were kind of a really big deal a couple of years ago. So it's interesting to see how brands are still getting the most out of them 'cause live shopping seems to be really taking off especially in more of like Eastern cultures. So it's interesting to see if that will translate over here in the next couple of years. So I feel like we're talking a lot about the growth side of it. Now let's talk about the inventory side. How everybody managing the inventory to make sure that we're not selling out too quickly or losing this really valuable opportunities. So, Stephanie, I know that you mentioned that keeping inventory of stock is really a big deal in Back in Stocks. How do you all manage that process?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
Well, ahead of time, we always identify bestsellers. And one thing, it's 101 in inventory, you never let those sell out. Better Reports is one of the apps that we use on Shopify to determine the sellout date of an item and all of the AEs are identified. And those once they hit a specific date generally about a hundred days out, we'll begin to reorder them with our factories. We've been with our factories for many years and so they're able to do quick turn times for us. They, I would say, always save capacity at the height of the season. And other than that, it's more just saying, "Buy it now. Otherwise it will sell out." And we'll get in a new color. So if that color sells out, we have a new color coming in behind it. That's why we've learned with e-commerce. We've had to have a drop every month of something new. Whereas the old swimwear adage was, you can drop in January for spring break and drop in March for summer and maybe do something in May. But over the past few years to keep her coming back and keep the site fresh, we have had to do a drop every month and then that's been allowing us if something sells out, there's always something coming behind it.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's a pretty great model, if something does sell out, there's always something coming next. How do you manage the balance of constantly loading new inventory versus really trying to manage those best sellers to keep them in stock for as long as possible?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So bestsellers we look at as a core business. It's a year round. It may be in core colors, whether it's black, white, red, those are always carried. And then from there, it's how we market it, I would say, to the consumer. You know they sold out last time, you better buy it now. And then we always have new coming. I would say probably Black Friday we have to get rid of the residuals or the wrong sizes that are leftover. And then we use that data to then create new size breaks. Because I would say the size breaks for us have been changing over the past couple of years. So that's the biggest one on the inventory side that we constantly have to learn from. But other than that I would say, as long as we have our core product in year round, then we're always able to re-market that and keep her coming back.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Definitely. So Daniel, how are you all thinking about the inventory balance over at TKEES?

Daniel Abramov:
Great question. Actually, one of the most critical questions for us. I alluded to forecasting to being a critical part of this whole equation. And Stephanie, to your point about the Back in Stocks, we've done a bunch of analysis on our customer segmentation and Back in Stocks in demand and things like that. What we found generally speaking is that intent is almost very, very high, if you are able to get back to the customer who signed up within seven days of Back in Stock notification. And the longer the timeframe, the more degradation that you see in conversion rates between one person signs up to one, and you're sending them Back in Stock notification. So we do everything we can to ensure that the replenishment cycles are very, very close and we're able to feed into that demand that is continuously being generated. So for that, Skubana is actually one of the better tools that we utilize in understanding all these sales velocity for various different SKUs, understanding what the run-out cycle is gonna look like based on sales patterns split 30, 45, 60 and 90 days out. And we're thinking of going backwards and forwards. So understanding that, understanding the timing, and seasonality factors that are affecting our business and putting it all together and ensuring that once that's all in our factories get the PLS ahead of time and understand what the production timelines look like in logistics and so on to get the goods over from overseas to our fulfillment centers. So, that's kind of the way we're looking at replenishing inventory on regular basis. The other part of it is we're looking at implementing this shortly as sending out a automated drop sequence. We were able to connect our Back in Stock with Klaviyo. And so, as soon as someone signs up to our Back in Stock notifications, we would send them a specialized email saying, "Hey, thanks for signing up for "wanting to purchase our German sandals "in black and size seven. "Are you interested in pre-ordering this product now, "so that you're first in line "when this product does come back in stock "on such and such date?" What that does is it automatically shortens that cycle to purchase. Gets the person excited and pulls the trigger and then you already have a pre-sold item in advance of actually getting it replenished.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's super interesting. I was actually gonna ask how are you replenishing items within seven days. But I'm guessing that you're more of sending that back in stock drip to get someone to pre-buy in seven days and not actually fulfilling the order in that short time period, right?

Daniel Abramov:
As long as you're super clear with the customer, advising that they're pre-ordering the site and they're not buying this right now. So they've expressed interest in it, it's sold out right now, but if they wish to pre-order it it's an option that's available to them.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's super cool. And then is there's a little drip if they do pre-order of like, "Hey your order is coming in X number of days," before they get their shipping confirmation?

Daniel Abramov:
Yeah, we make sure to engage with the customer on a regular basis at every step of the journey then. If they know their product is coming, they know that we're on top of it. and that it's not forgotten somewhere in the chain that they need to follow up with CS.

Jeremy Horowitz:
That's a really cool way to leverage data from a couple of different places to make that happen.

Daniel Abramov:
So, like I said, we look at everything very, very cohesively to try to engage and understand where's the customer coming from, and where's the demand coming from, so that we're able to fill that demand in a way that is not gonna leave us with an excessive amount of inventory coming Black Friday to try to offload it. We don't discount as a policy. Discounting and trying to offer products becomes a challenge. And so we're trying to mitigate that by having the right product mix all the time, whenever we're on the website.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Definitely. Which is always a very interesting challenge there to fulfill.

Daniel Abramov:
For sure.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Hayden, how are you all tackling the demand problem?

Hayden Wadsworth:
The kind of model of e-commerce is just crazy. In general, we kind of follow a similar model as Stephanie, having monthly drops. And last year with COVID and everything and they increased the demand and decrease in supply really made things difficult. And the biggest thing for us is having systems in place where we can collect reliable data which last year made that really difficult. And then using our ERP to be able to determine what we need to order when we need to order and things like that. We also started working on internal models that we can leverage AI to be able to forecast better. Have a better idea of which SKUs are gonna sell and how much. It's mostly data-driven.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. That predictive modeling, I think, a lot of brands seem to be starting to invest in that and try to just map out cause it is... Especially the past 18 months, it's been such a big variability. So Mike, what are you all planning for DripDrop for the rush that you're gonna see over the next couple months?

Mike Demson:
You bet. So, DripDrop is a pretty simple product when you actually think about it. It's salt and sugar patented into a ratio that essentially allows you to absorb these electrolytes faster. And the way that we think about it is, within where customers are on the journey, we're essentially building automations, we're building systems and processes and giving people a reason to come back. So, with launching 21 new flavors this year, it's a reason for people to be interested in the product. To try something new. It's unexpandable consumption goods. So, it's a good time.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Super exciting. Okay. So, before we get to Q&A from the audience, one final question, I always like to ask all of our panelists is, kind of what's your greatest lesson or what's your biggest impact that you would wanna share for everybody who's thinking about this? So Mike, I'm gonna pass it right back to you. What's the one nugget of wisdom you got for us?

Mike Demson:
You bet. For us, the way that we think about it is, lifetime value matters. Customer acquisition cost matters. And just thinking about the customer journey throughout the entire life cycle, we're building a ton of automations. One that I'm super excited about is the replenishment reminder. It's a simple product. It's straightforward. People use it pretty often. And it's one of those things that building out a paid media strategy that works in tandem with a retention strategy and just making sure that all of the areas of e-commerce are working in conjunction.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Hayden, what's your one piece of wisdom for everybody?

Hayden Wadsworth:
I think one of the biggest things is infrastructure and how you build things in the beginning and making sure you have that kinda longterm point of view 'cause, if we're just focusing on what matters this summer, we'll definitely be behind next summer. So, building in the right infrastructure, marketing plans where kind of e-commerce is going, things like that.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Definitely. Planning ahead is always the hardest thing to do but the most valuable at the end of the day. Stephanie, what's your two grand piece of wisdom for everybody?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
So this year with the increase in traffic and new customers and then obviously our returning customers, we have been increasing our AB testing. So, just with the amount of traffic we have on the site, this is the time to figure out what's working and what's not. In the past, we've always been a little fearful because we've said this has always worked in the past, we're gonna continue to do it. And we would AB test here and there but this year definitely with the increase in traffic, AB testing has been our big takeaway.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome. An incredible way to get a ton of data. So Daniel, bring us home, what's a one grand wisdom to wrap us up?

Daniel Abramov:
I would say any company that's scaling should always be looking at your bottlenecks within the chain. So understand where your potential cracks are going to appear as you continue to scale, especially when you scaled aggressively. Whether it's production, whether it's logistics or whether it's internal processes or CS. The moment you're able to kind of identify those and patch those or resolve those bottlenecks, you're gonna be properly set up for success. And if you're not, what are you gonna quickly find is that you're gonna become a victim of your success. And it's gonna be a very difficult situation to kinda unravel after the fact. So, what if you can get ahead of it, great. And I would say that's probably the best advice I can give is, when you're planning for growth, make sure to identify those bottlenecks ahead of time.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome. So infrastructure planning team seems to be a pretty strong theme here that I hope everybody takes away. So, I wanna open up for Q&A for everybody who is in the audience. Ask any questions to the panelists. I know I have a couple but definitely wanna open up for everybody. So the first question that I have here is, "Will there be a list of recommended apps?" Yes, there will. My second question actually for the panel cause it seems like apps are super popular topic right now, are there any other apps that we haven't covered yet that you're testing out or you just rolled out that you're really excited about?

Daniel Abramov:
I'll take this one. There's Emotive. Have you used Tone by the way, Mike? I'd be curious to hear what your opinion is of Tone, in in SMS dabbled in a few different platforms. But right now we're with Emotive and looking at various different flows and structures that we're able to really optimize for SMS communication. So that's probably one of the areas that's most interesting. And the second part of it is in the world of iOS 14 and the privacy restrictions marketing it becomes more of an art than a science. And so, taking that science piece away that data piece out of the equation, for someone who's data-driven like myself becomes painful. So, being able to identify ways to get around it and being able to see data from a different lens, it is really, really critical. So I would say, apps that are able to provide you with different types of pop-ups methodologies, or tracking methodologies in the way that almost gets around the whole iOS 14 privacy restriction and it gives you some more visibility, I think there's gonna be a critical success in the future.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Definitely For anyone who isn't familiar exactly where Emotive and Tone fit in the tech stack, can you just quickly explain like what those services do?

Daniel Abramov:
Yeah, for sure. Sorry, I said the names because I'm so familiar and I forgot to explain what they are. So, Emotive is a competitor to Tone and is an SMS marketing platform. Tone's secret source as Mike alluded to is, human responses. So they have a team that is able to respond to those incoming SMSs and becomes an extension of your CS team effectively, to answering messages in a way that is efficient. Emotive does that, except that they do it in a different way and they have a bit of a different tech stack. So that's strictly SMS and pop-ups. Well was there something else that I mentioned that needed to be explained?

Jeremy Horowitz:
And it's not like mostly the SMS and then pop-ups really two major pieces?

Daniel Abramov:
So from a pop-up perspective, you can go to Justuno or various other providers that will give you various different capabilities for pop-ups and then customize those for your own use.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Very cool. Mike, it seemed like you had a response plan there.

Mike Demson:
You bet. So there's two, one of them I briefly touched on Talkable for referral. We've tested quite a few different offers there. Just kinda backing out. When someone tells you about a product it's much quicker to build trust and then sort of incentivizing it both on the referee and the refer side. So, we're really seeing phenomenal growth on Talkable with new customers being acquired. The other is a little bit, I don't wanna say less glamorous, but less talked about, and that's direct mail. One of the ways that we're building that into our post-purchase is, there's basically this magic window for DripDrop. Typically people are ordering on their first order. What we've seen is people are ordering about a 30 day supply. So we actually jump ahead of email and SMS and can actually send a post-purchase offer through direct mail with the provider, by the name of EKA. They basically integrate directly with our Shopify and we can automate everything. Give them a really good reason to believe. That's been phenomenal in helping to just bolster our repeat purchase rate and build on not only average order value, but lifetime value.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Sounds like another old school channel brought into a very new school use case. So that's really exciting. So Stephanie, you mentioned AB testing earlier, is there a specific tool that you all are using that you're a big fan of?

Stephanie Iannazzone-Barbour:
Yeah. Well, we're using actually quite a few. So Justuno, we're AB testing all of the pop-ups and whether it can go down to, is she looking you in the eyes or is she looking away? Which one works? So that kind of testing in Attentive for SMS, times of day different segments, same with Klaviyo, we find with SMS she likes to get her tax later in the day versus Klaviyo you can send it at one o'clock in the morning. And then one app that we use is Instagram Foursixty. I know it wasn't mentioned, but it allows the product just to be a little bit more relatable. And we find our customer shops from that. It loads onto our page, it's the third or actually it's the first one underneath the product. And then it's able to connect to Klaviyo. So then, if we're sending an email out about a gold bikini's day, it'll pull, we can do all of our grid or Instagram grid plugged in to the bottom of Klaviyo allowing that email to look also a little bit more relatable than just our true marketing campaign.

Jeremy Horowitz:
Awesome. There's a lot of great questions there. So, I think from here, we'll create a list for everybody and we can share out all of the technologies and recommendations that the panelists have made today. Also, if you're still listening and this is really interesting to you Gorgias is actually hosting a webinar tomorrow talking about ultimate tech stack and great tools to use. Where you have a bunch of recommendations there as well. So, highly recommend checking that out. I wanna just thank everybody who on the panel, everybody who came to the audience and all of our great partners for making today a great event, we really appreciate it. We're gonna follow up with the recording from today as well as a recap blog and that list of tech stack. And again, thank you everybody. And thank you all of us panelists for joining us today.

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