As we round up 2021 I can't help but look back at some of our most interesting, or rather unique growth hacks we came up with that helped our beauty brand generate almost 8 figures this year. Not everything was focused on the typical stuff, it included everything from cost-cutting to more creative media buying etc.
Of course, naturally, there is a lot of different things we did, but I think below are some of my favorite, or most impactful.
PROFILE: We are a Shopify Plus store selling beauty gadgets and skincare mostly to Women 40+ with a focus on North America, UK, Australia, and Singapore/Hong Kong.
So for us anyways 2021 became the year for SMS. Sure, we used to send occasional text messages in the past, but 2021 is when we really got into our groove. It became not only about sending out blasts and annoying the hell out of people, but also about building relationships. Here's some of the highlights.
SMSBump - We use this as our 2 way SMS system as well as for natural flows.
PROS: It's easy to use, and in a lot of ways reminds me of klaviyo. It allows us to send SMS Birthday gifts on the month of a customer's birthday which we collect on the thank you page using an app called Reconvert Upsell and then sync it over to SMSBump. We also use SMSBump with integration to Reamaze (our chat platform) so that all sms replies come in just like a live chat so that our cs team just instantly replies to every sms. True 2 way sms is where the biggest success comes from.
Cons: People get sensitive to SMS. Expect opt-outs and aggressive replies more frequently than email.. Also, don't overdo it. 2-3x a week max, or you tend to burn out your audience.
Bonus Tip: We use SMS to invite customers to our own "customer only" Facebook group where we share videos on how to use our products, guides, contests etc. Once every 2 months, we do a full-blown contest for a gift card or high-demand product, and the contest rules and entry guide is posted in the group. The Emails + SMS all urge people to join the group and enter the contest there.
#2 Shipping Protection - Navidium App
I've written about this briefly before. But coming off the tail end of working with one of the "leading Insurance" folks, we realized we were wasting money by allowing "said insurance company" to collect premiums from our customers and never actually approve claims. So we built our own. We now even made it public for all stores to use and it works incredibly well once the onboarding is complete.
It also became more critical as end-of-route shipping costs increased, and we are torn between raising prices or finding some other way to make up the 5% or so increase in Cost of Goods and Fulfillment.
How it works: When customers add items to the cart, a small widget is displayed above the checkout button (or below) or on the shipping page of checkout (Shopify Plus stores Only) which adds a % or static amount preset in the backend as "shipping protection against stolen, lost, damaged" deliveries. The customer pays this fee, and we (the merchant) keep that fee. If a package is marked delivered and doesn't arrive, we have the funds from the collective bunch of customers to easily offset any losses.
Pros: It really works. Customers leave it opted in (65-85%) and on average we make about $7k-$15k a month depending on the month's sales etc. It's by far one of the largest profit vs loss levers we were able to pull this year, reducing our shipping costs in a real meaningful way.
Cons: It seems disingenuous at first. A little "icky." But... After doing this for a year, I can happily report that customers actually appreciate it. Sure, there is a handful a year that don't get it, but the vast majority appreciate the added peace of mind. Not all of us are Amazon who can handle losing thousands of packages a year. I know we can't. So in short, it's the fastest and easiest way to add a little extra back into the company.
Bonus Tip: Apps like Navidium allow you to keep raising the amount of "shipping protection". Some stores I've spoken to who tried this have made their own hard coded version, but it means that every order pays the same amount. This just doesn't work as well as a dynamic one which charges less for smaller orders and more for larger ones.
This one is really the bomb! We all know the typical discounts (Buy 1 Get 1, discount %, etc.)
But this year we focused a lot on rewarding customer loyalty. We wanted retention customers to have a larger discount especially since we weren't spending on FB/Google ads to get them to buy a second time. But we don't want to cheapen the key products. So here's what we did.
> We create a custom collection made up of say 15 items. All of them range in price from $65-90.
> We create a discount called Buy 2 for $100. What this does is essentially say that a customer can buy any 2 items from this collection for $100 regardless of the price.
> Ultimate special offers will show the discount amount in cart, and we even use a URL flag (ie yourstore.com/collections/buy2100?sol=BUY100 which basically only triggers the 2 for $100 sale when the URL includes that extra "sol=buy100". This way normal new top of funnel customers don't see the sale, and only email + SMS + FB Group, etc customers do.
Pros: Pushing customers to spend more and to get into "shopping mode" has proven to strategically really work. Instead of just offering 30% off, we push them to shop and find 2 items, and almost guarantee ourselves a min of $100 AOV on retention.
Cons: It takes some creativity, and can be confusing for customers sometimes. It also might not work for all brands if your typical product price is well below $50.
Hopefully, you enjoy these, if you have any questions reply, I'll try my best to be responsive 🙂
Getting customers to buy two items instead of discounting one is great for AOV! I like that strategy. See if you can get a countdown timer going with promotions like that and you'll see sales jump big time. We use this strategy for weekend sales, holidays, etc. That timer counting down makes the conversion rate jump every time!
@elevatione What conversion rate differences have you noticed on order completion in running the insurance offer versus not running the shipping protection (the control)? I could potentially see it swinging either way where the protection gives added confidence (leading to revenue/profit as you shared) or a surprise it is not included if the option is unselected which would lead to a drop.