Applying science to customer data 

Started by two mother-daughter teams, Strut This results from over 30 combined years of experience in premium garment design and manufacturing. As an ecommerce brand and manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California, they offer online shoppers high-quality, on-trend, and timeless garments for yoga and athleisure. Their mission is to deliver women's activewear that creates a unique combination of high function and high fashion pieces.

As a growing ecommerce brand, Strut This wanted to ensure that their marketing efforts were going into suitable projects that provided real returns. If they could stay relevant with their customers, they’d grow the business beyond their expectations.

Break-through products and viral campaigns can seem like random bursts of creativity. However, leading brands know that creative ideas need to be supported by the scientific process. At Optimizely, our market-leading Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is empowering marketers to confidently create from predictive analytics that provides guidance and keeps teams focused with data-backed insights. Making this possible within the Optimizely DXP is Optimizely Data Platform (ODP) which helped the Strut This team apply data science to their customer data and uncover new ways to deliver hyper-relevant experiences.

Sweating over the data

The Strut This team was not struggling to develop ideas for new products or campaigns, but they struggled to understand which investments would be the right move and what each customer wanted. Although Strut This had a wealth of customer data and loyal customers, they couldn't see it that way. Customer data spread across systems, and there wasn't a clear picture of who the customer was, what they cared most about, and how they got to Strut This.

The marketing team was doing the exercise but could not tell if they were getting the gains. So before going with Optimizely, they committed to developing a unified view of the customer experience and getting more targeted with their campaigns.

"We were really struggling with a lack of access to our customer. We couldn't really see where they were in the lifecycle and whether they were a first-time shopper or a loyal customer," said Natalie Lodwig, CMO of Strut This.

Limited knowledge of buying behaviors and the inability to create segments standing for buying intent for different customer profiles forced the team to send generalized, batch-and-blast messages to their entire customer base. Because of this, they were unable to personalize the shopping experience and experienced consistently low conversion rates.

The Strut This team knew they needed a way to make sense of the data they were collecting every day and turn insights into action.

Harmonized data provides breakthrough relevance, attracts and converts more shoppers

For Strut This, generic campaigns and email sequences are no longer an issue, thanks to Optimizely. In the past, Strut This tried to provide personalization as best as they could with limited data. However, as the company grew, personalization wasn't possible to scale.

First, the Strut This team used Data Platform to integrate their marketing technology. From there, they were able to harmonize their data into a unified view of the customer experience. Then came insights from the data, and Lodwig's marketing team developed a strategy for success using Optimizely. After integrating, the team named four critical types of relevance to cover the customer experience.

With Data Platform, Strut This has built out lifecycle relevance, merchandising relevance, and cross-channel relevance with highly targeted campaigns that resonate with customers.

I think the beauty of these campaigns is that we've been able to build out and replicate these models throughout our various campaigns. It's been eye-opening to continue to watch the customer evolve within the lifecycle and hone in on the personalized shopping experience, which we feel is vital for all brands in this day and age — and specifically to Strut This.

CMO, Strut This

Lifecycle relevance

With lifecycle relevance, the Strut This team can now see where each customer is in the lifecycle, what they're buying, and what product pages they're looking at to tailor campaigns to each customer at the right lifecycle stage.

By digging into customer data, Strut This found that prospects who hadn't yet bought or only purchased once were engaging differently than loyal customers. They then used this information to inform customer segmentation and build dynamic content campaigns.

Lodwig's team spotted a trend that challenged many retail brands' assumptions about shoppers; shoppers always want the newest products.

"Our no-purchasers and one-time-purchasers were more interested in our core classics and bestsellers, and we built out our win-back series based on pushing these products to these customers," Lodwig explained. "For our loyal customers, they were more interested in our new arrival collections and cross-categories."

Addressing assumptions can have an impact on revenue, "Our leggings have always been our bread and butter, but we realized pretty quickly that our loyal customers were coming back to us to finish out their set."

Today, shoppers at Strut This receive messages that best represent the brand's relationship with the customer. In addition, lifecycle tailored campaigns are more effective for Strut This because Data Platform includes the products that each customer is most likely to buy at that time.

Merchandising Relevance

Merchandising relevance allows Strut This to provide more relevance to customers by recommending products based on earlier product page views. In addition, Data Platform provides real-time personalization enabling the team to move their inventory more effectively by targeting the right products to the right customer.

With Data Platform, anything on the product detail page is tracked and available for further personalization. For example, as a clothing manufacturer and retailer, Strut This will push specific sizes to customers who had made an earlier purchase in a particular size. Strut This tracks their customers' clothing sizes and then uses this data to ensure their merchandising experiences that fit their needs.

Strut This also created an excess inventory campaign to see which customers viewed a particular product in the past and then push a flash sale promotion to that highly targeted segment of customers.

These merchandising techniques provide customers with exact sizing and information on sales for products. In addition, each product suggestion is unique to the customer's interest profile. It also helps Strut This more effectively move inventory, making room for new launches—a solution where everyone benefits for the brand and the customer.

Cross-Channel Relevance

Creating cross-channel relevance helped Strut This build a more connected experience synchronizing social channels and email campaigns. As a result, not only does Strut This tailor omnichannel campaigns to the shopper, but they also have the confidence to try innovative marketing channels to reach more shoppers.

For Strut This, influencer marketing had long been a channel they identified as a potential growth driver, but not until the team had Data Platform in place did, they have the data to know whether all the hype was worth the investment.

A fitting example of data-driven marketing made possible by Data Platform is the Strut This collaboration with blogger and Instagrammer Sivan. They worked with Sivan to develop a capsule collection, and then Sivan would use her channels to promote. The partnership brought in a lot of traffic that could be measured and leveraged via integration into AdTech with lookalike audiences that targeted new visitors from the campaign with the products they viewed Strut This website. From the beginning, Strut This was able to attribute the campaign to revenue.

"From the capsule alone, we converted over 1300 new customers, and we brought a lot of new faces to the site. More importantly, we translated 20% of those new customers to repeat and loyal customers of the brand," said Lodwig. "With [Data Platform], we were able to capture all that customer data and use retargeting and segment-syncing to build out our cross-channel campaigns on Instagram and Facebook to recapture browse-abandonments or lookalike audiences that Sivan brought into our site."

Even after Strut This sold-out Sivan's products, Data Platform supplied a safety net for otherwise lost revenue. For example, if a shopper viewed sold-out products, Data Platform a segment synchronizing for the "browse abandonment" behavior and used social media to follow up with a personalized series to encourage a purchase.

Strut This could make the most of the influencer campaign using their newly bought omnichannel data instead of letting new prospects go ignored during their crucial first impression stage.

Harmonized data provides the vital context for brands

Before Data Platform, Strut This didn't have the customer data to create behavioral campaigns with personalized messages. However, soon after Data Platform, Strut This found that behavioral marketing campaigns are 7x more effective than standard promotional messages.

"I think the beauty of these campaigns is that we've been able to build out and replicate these models throughout our various campaigns. It's been eye-opening to continue to watch the customer evolve within the lifecycle and hone in on the personalized shopping experience, which we feel is vital for all brands in this day and age — and specifically to Strut This" said Lodwig.

With a single view of the customer, today, Strut This can inject relevance into every campaign, converting interested shoppers and attracting net new shoppers alike.



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