Bronto’s City Tour made its first stop in London on Sept. 22. It was so fantastic that we just had to share some of the great things we learned. Here’s a quick recap from the keynote presentation by Jonathan Dicks, eCommerce Director for Hudson Shoes, a London-based shoe wholesaler and online retailer.
Hudson Shoes launched in 1990 as a designer of contemporary, classic and original shoes that they sold wholesale to retailers. Several years ago, Hudson Shoes entered the ecommerce arena, which is their only retail outlet. This poses a bit of a challenge for Hudson: They have to find ways to engage today’s savvy online shopper while also protecting their relationships with wholesalers.
Many Small Steps Lead to a Big Leap in Revenue
Jonathan Dicks opened his keynote session with a list of Hudson’s goals: increase online revenue, create long-lasting loyalty, engage with customers, be innovative and showcase value. Goal No. 1 is well underway: After only one year with Bronto, 8% of total revenue can be attributed to the online channel. The nuts and bolts of the online success is showcased in the Hudson Shoes case study, so this recap will focus on the remaining three goals.
Create Long-Lasting Loyalty
Hudson Shoes thinks of themselves as a family and they want their customers to feel like a part of that group. Dicks says, “Essentially, brand loyalty is the heart of the business.” Hudson builds brand loyalty through the other two goals of the company: 1) engage with customers and 2) innovate and showcase.
Engage With Customers
Hudson Shoes strives to build a friendship with their customers. “We want to engage with our customers, whether it’s through imagery on social networking or via our customer services, communication via email or live chat; we strive to have the same brand appearance,” Dicks said. Creating familiarity at all touchpoints develops the personality of the company, which deepens the relationship that leads to loyalty. “So these two things are married,” he added.
Showcase & Innovate
The showcase goal is multi-faceted, but the bottom line is to highlight the unique selling points of the company. “We offer styles online that are not offered to our wholesale customers,” Dicks said. “This exclusivity improves loyalty by driving customers back to our website and hopefully making them feel special.” The strategy also helps protect the relationships Hudson has with its wholesalers.
The innovation component is the “secret sauce” at Hudson Shoes. “We have introduced a shoe care line of products that are far from our average order value of £120, yet over time they add a significant source of revenue,” Dicks said. Not only does this innovative solution add revenue, it increases customer loyalty. Customers know that Hudson cares about them when they see that Hudson wants their shoes to last longer. “Footwear has a really rough time: weather scuffs, bruises, kicks, and day-to-day wear,” Dicks noted. “By prolonging the life of their shoes, we prolong the relationship with our customers.”
Here are a few more useful tips Dicks shared during his presentation:
- Do you have a Wish List? If so, stop copying Amazon and change the name to something else. Hudson uses Save For Later because they want customers to remember to buy the shoes, not ‘wish’ they could get them.
- Adding the Save For Later basket will improve your abandoned basket percentage, but do you also contact the customer within an hour of the abandoned basket? Start now!
- How early do you start marketing for Christmas? Start earlier! Last year Hudson started hinting in the footer as early as November and gained a 182% uplift in revenue YOY.
- Do you send out a Christmas Eve gift certificate campaign? Start now!
Jonathan Dicks’ closing remarks wrapped up with advice on ‘sharing not shoving’ your message. The multi-faceted approach that Hudson Shoes employs creates a personality that engages with customers who connect with the brand and become loyal followers, a part of the family.
Want to learn more about the best and brightest in commerce marketing? Join us for the City Tour event nearest you. And keep checking the blog for more posts from this series in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can find a collection of other recently published Q&As here.