DemandJump Secures $6 Million Funding Round

DemandJump, a customer acquisition platform, has completed a $6 million Series A financing round. The capital was funded by a group investors including Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Flyover Capital, Cultivation Capital, 4G Ventures, Bob Davoli and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

The marketing platform plans to use the capital on sales, marketing and product innovation expansion.

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Tapping Community To Connect Digital Strategies

0aaKelly Stickel RemodistaKelly Stickel launched Remodista to focus on retail disruption. By using Community as a business model, Remodista is working to “build, foster and create a trusted environment where we attract like-minded individuals thinking through disruption and innovation. Through collaborative research and analysis, we think through the business challenges looking at the future of retail.”

Stickel and a panel of retail leaders will share their insights on Community and Commerce during the Retail Innovation Conference, May 9-10 in New York City. This Q&A provides a preview of this compelling session:

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Calyx Flowers Replaces ‘Robotic’ Service Reps With Retention-Focused Call Center

When Mark Ranalletti and Kap Wallingford purchased Calyx Flowers in summer 2015, the husband-and-wife team sought to pivot the online flower seller from a customer acquisition-focused brand to a customer retention-focused brand. The new Calyx Flowers team wanted the customer service atmosphere to focus on employees, replacing a former system that Ranalletti described as “robotic.”

With the company suffering from a nearly 20% year-over-year sales decline and going through multiple owners in its 30+ years in business, Calyx Flowers partnered with call center SaviLinx in October 2016 to make this shift a reality.

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TechStyle Fashion Group Selects Marketing Analytics Solution

1-TechStyleTechStyle Fashion Group, parent company to JustFab, FabKids, ShoeDazzle and Fabletics, has made measuring its customer acquisition marketing performance easier.

The retailer will use Visual IQ’s IQ Intelligence Suite to measure the true impact of its marketing efforts and identify the touch points that are the most effective across the customer journey. The technology provides a data-driven and holistic approach for measuring, predicting and improving marketing’s impact on sales, revenue and other desired business outcomes. TechStyle will be able to measure and optimize its entire cross-channel, cross-brand and cross-region media mix to drive strategic business goals.

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Top Tips For Building A Sustainable Subscription Service

Although Unilever’s $1 billion acquisition of Dollar Shave Club may have paved the way for other industry disruptors to procure their own funding, other subscription retailers have not instilled the same confidence level in outside investors in 2016, leading to speculation that these merchants have already passed their peak value.

Overall, online traffic data suggests that this is not the case. In the U.S., the number of visitors to monthly subscription box sites jumped nearly 3,000% from January 2013 to January 2016, according to data from Hitwise. This would indicate that across the board, the sector has gotten a tremendous amount of exposure to the public, and that plenty of new players have entered the space. However, it also illustrates that there are more copycats selling similar merchandise, making it ever more difficult to craft a sustainable business that stands out from the rest.

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Magento Releases Dashboard To Guide Holiday Decisions

Magento Commerce has introduced a Holiday Dashboard designed to use live data to guide merchant decisions in order to maximize holiday sales. The e-Commerce platform provider also introduced the companion 2016 Magento Holiday Benchmark in August to provide aggregated trend data across a broad set of merchants.

This cloud analytics service provides merchants with improved analysis of their holiday campaigns and compares performance with competitors.

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In Fashion, Acquiring ‘Shop Hoppers’ Must Be A Top Priority

As fashion retailers aim to acquire new consumers, they should narrow their focus to shoppers that have purchased from at least one new retailer in the past year, according to a survey from Criteo.

On average, these “Shop Hoppers” purchased 4.3 product categories in 2016, 44% more than their non-Shop Hopper counterparts. These shoppers also are more fashionable, with more than twice as many Shop Hoppers saying they like to keep abreast of fashion trends.

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A User’s Guide to Content Marketing

0aDhruva Shetty VizuryGiven the increasing costs of customer acquisition, achieving brand loyalty amongst consumer bases is more important than ever. Historically, brands would reach out to customers in an aim to attract more traffic and boost sales, but today the buyer is the expert. In this change of tides, buyers independently reach out to particular brands and offer their indulgence — no longer can they simply be bought by generic coupons and ad campaigns.

Marketers can’t just look to retain customers, they need to deeply engage with them to build full brand loyalty. Simply advertising a promotion — like in traditional marketing — is likely to result in a one-time purchase. Content marketing, however, allows consumers to be immersed in the experience of the brand’s expertise and consider their opinions as they make their initial evaluations of competing products. Simply put, content marketing uniquely allows brands to communicate with consumers and sell values and ideas without outright selling anything.

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Optimove Integrates With Google Ads To Boost Customer Retention

1optimove

1optimove[Editor’s Note: This article has been edited since its original publication to reflect updated information.]

Customer Marketing Cloud Optimove has announced an integration with DoubleClick by Google, designed to add customer retention capabilities to its customer acquisition solution. By targeting existing customers through personalized ads on Google.com and across the Google Display Network, Optimove will enable marketers to increase customer spend, engagement and retention.

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CMO Conversation: Moosejaw’s Dan Pingree

0danpingreeFreely admitting a tendency toward “dumb” content and marketing, Moosejaw is an entertaining outdoor retailer that doesn’t ever take itself too seriously.

Case in point, the example below: part of an image from a product page on the Moosejaw.com site.

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Recently, I had a chance to chat with Moosejaw’s Vice President of Marketing, Dan Pingree, to find out what makes him and Moosejaw tick:

Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How do you define your role as the head of marketing at Moosejaw?

Dan Pingree: I have been here four years and my role overseeing the marketing team covers every part of the customer acquisition and retention journey. It’s quite a broad role at Moosejaw compared to other places I’ve worked. We have data analytics, email marketing, SEO and SEM within our team, consistent with other companies. But we also manage creative — graphic designers, etc. One of the things that allows us to bring the brand to life is our incredible graphic design assets. These are very talented people. We also house our photo and video team, and content publishing team — which in many other companies would be in IT. We combined these assets with product descriptions and video on every product page. We also manage all brick-and-mortar marketing; We have 10 stores comprising about 15% of our business; 85% is from online sales. We manage in-store events, signage, promotions, Madness events that happen regularly — planned and executed by our team in concert with store management. Social media is on our team also; and business development.

RTP: How well does Marketing collaborate with IT at Moosejaw?

Pingree: We literally sit right next to the IT team — we don’t even have cubicles; we sit at desks next to each other, so IT is literally right at our side. I think that questions get answered very quickly. It can be a bit chaotic at times, but I would say our marketing team is a bit more technical than your average marketing team. We are one of IT’s customers.

RTP: How has your education and past work experience influenced your job at Moosejaw?

Pingree: My work experience has been a combination of e-Commerce and product management. I graduated from Harvard Business School 15 years ago and worked at places like Microsoft and Drugstore.com (now part of Walgreens). This is my first foray into the outdoor space, but digital marketing and e-Commerce have been part of my background over the last 15 years. Brick-and-mortar also is new to me, and I didn’t have experience publishing a catalog or doing direct mail campaigns. But my approach to marketing is very analytical. While we have a healthy tension between pure creative and more analytical marketers, we all understand the importance of marrying the two and staying on brand with effective campaigns. The ethos is so wacky at times…we want the humor aspects to be so simple and so dumb that hopefully we don’t have customers who “don’t get it.” We try to make it fun-loving and simple. Also, we don’t set out to upset people, but sometimes being on brand means offending certain types who think we’re the dumbest retailer they’ve ever seen. To me that’s an indication that we’re being true to our brand identity, and the vast majority of people really love it as something different and refreshing. Own it. Love it. Then it will resonate with people.

RTP: How are you using new technology solutions to improve business at Moosejaw?

Pingree: We try to use best-in-class solutions that will help us effectively target customers. We use AgilOne to help us understand the customer at the profile level, so we can serve them more relevant offers in outbound marketing and while they are on our site.  We’ve also found a lot of value doing A/B testing with MonetateSilverpop has been extremely effective, as well as the abandoned cart solution from SAP. And we’re using Liveperson for online chat.  We’ve also recently implemented Amazon Pay and it’s been performing way beyond our expectations so far.

RTP: Is there one technology strategy that stands out right now?

Pingree: The coolest technology we’ve implemented recently is around persona marketing, where we look at a range of things, from purchase history to demographics to brand or category preferences, which feed into a more personalized email or site experience.  While early in the process, the results so far have been extremely promising.

RTP: Are there any cutting-edge strategies you’d like to talk about?

Pingree: The Moosejaw Virtual Reality App is still in the early stages. It’s free in the iTunes app store. It has commerce capabilities but it is not a commerce app. It’s focused on six different outdoor activities, featuring videos shot using drones with very high-resolution equipment.  Using a cardboard virtual reality reader you get a very unique and up-close view of each activity. You can see all the products she is wearing while she is climbing the wall and there is a sponsor for each activity. The featured products are shown and you can click on the product image and buy through the app. There’s also a gamification component. There are clues and riddles; if you answer correctly the fastest, you win all the gear within the activity. It’s starting to gain momentum, but we are finding that there’s a whole lot of education involved as to how it works and why we’re doing it. Next up? Ice climbing in Colorado and other winter sports. It’s intended to be a 24/7/365 app that is constantly refreshed.

 

RTP: How do you build the business case for new technologies and business initiatives?

Pingree: This usually involves sitting down with the CIO and CEO, discussing priorities, and debating about costs vs. benefits for every potential project.  Effort and cost to complete the project obviously factors heavily into the cost part of the equation.  Sometimes the benefit isn’t known, so we’ll use A/B testing to better understand the potential.  While we don’t have unlimited funds, I believe our internal process helps us address the high-impact projects early and learn along the way. 

RTP: What have been your proudest accomplishments since joining Moosejaw?

Pingree: When I joined my vision for marketing was to really transform online from transaction to experience. When 95% of your SKUs can be purchased from other retailers, you have to ask yourself: Why would someone shop at Moosejaw if they can buy it cheaper somewhere else? We are not going to win on price versus Amazon. In order to stay competitive and aggressive, we aim for experience. This cuts across key strategies we are working on:

Loyalty: While Moosejaw Rewards has been around for years, we have made changes that make it much easier to understand and use. Now it’s a real differentiator in creating an experience. And it incents a faster return to purchase.

Mobile: About 25% of revenue is now from mobile phones and one third of traffic, which is up significantly over the last few years. It’s now truly responsive; and the conversion rate is much closer to desktop than it used to be.

Content: This might seem like a ‘duh,’ but you need to figure out how to keep people on your site; give them fun engaging content so they can make an informed decision. We have worked to make sure our imagery is compelling: we’ve increased sizes and incorporated 360-degree spin on almost every product detail page. We have built out a significant trove of buying guides as well — all infused with the madness.

Personalization: The personas and the on-site experience are making inroads. While we haven’t cracked the [personalization] code, we are making steady progress.

RTP: Is there anyone you consider your personal and/or professional mentor or role model?

Pingree: I like to follow companies that are trying innovative things, even if they are not in retail. I love to stay on top of what’s going on at Amazon and Google. I think LinkedIn is a really innovative company. I like Bill Gates’ thoughts on solving really complicated problems in the developing world.  For example, he recently wrote a short article on the importance of chickens in developing countries, which shows that sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most impactful.  They don’t always have to use the most whiz bang technology.

RTP: What is your opinion on the future outlook for retail?

Pingree: The whole retail model really has taken its lumps in the past year — including layoffs, store closings, etc. Is the mall experience even going to be relevant as Millennials grow into adulthood and face paying down college debt and paying for healthcare? On top of that, mobile devices are smart and allow shoppers to get the lowest price immediately. We have to stay ahead of it and it has to be experiential. Only those with really unique experiences will survive. At Moosejaw, we’re working every single day to make sure that the customer experience is notable and unforgettable.