For more than 30 years, Scotch & Soda has been an innovator in the fashion world. When the time came to do the same in the E-commerce space, they experienced the inevitable drop off in sales as consumers gradually shifted from desktop to mobile. Nobody would have envisioned the opportunity that would arise as a result.
Wim van Zijl has always had an eye on the future. It comes with the territory when you represent a brand renowned for being on the cutting edge. It also helps that, in his capacity as the global E-commerce Director of Scotch & Soda, he has a very clear mandate.
It was inevitable for some time, but by early 2013, it had become apparent how important the mobile phone would become in E-commerce. We had to ensure that we embraced it immediately, and that we were fully prepared for the future.
Wim and his team faced a challenge that is all-too-common in today’s retail landscape. They had a good idea of what the future looked like and were doing all the right things, but there was no avoiding certain market truths. Chief among them was the fact that mobile conversion of shoppers to buyers was still way behind that of the desktop conversion. Wim explains:
Our ambition was always to create the best possible mobile site, but having done so we still noticed a drop-off in conversion as customers moved from desktop to mobile. This gap in revenue was something we needed to address and we needed an urgent solution, so we decided to give the emerging Highstreet Mobile platform a chance.
Highstreet aligned neatly with their existing technology landscape. Being a customer of the SAAS based e-commerce platform already, it made sense to go for the “App as a Service” model Highstreet Mobile offers. This enabled Scotch & Soda to launch quickly, while the bi-weekly updates would also allow the app to improve with every subsequent release. So as mobile technology changes – and it does so frequently and rapidly – the app changes with it. The beauty of this was that Scotch and Soda were able to focus on their brand, while their cloud-based app updated seamlessly and automatically. As a result of this, when it launched in February 2016, the results were both astounding and immediate.
Today, Scotch & Soda’s Highstreet Mobile app accounts for almost half of their mobile revenue and 15%-24% of their total online revenue. Throughout 2017, their conversion rates were astounding, at over 29% conversion per user of the app. And while these numbers are impressive in their own right, the real story is less about revenue and more about who is using the app.
Quite simply, it is the brand’s biggest fans that are the most active. They view more, buy more and show higher retention than those shopping in other channels. In a world where roughly 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers, the importance of looking after those who look after you cannot be overstated. To this end, Highstreet Mobile has proven to be the perfect channel through which to reach out to Scotch & Soda’s most loyal customers, and Wim has recognized tangible benefit from putting the brand in their back pockets:
Our Highstreet Mobile customers are some of our biggest brand advocates. They spend their hard-earned money on our products, and introduce others to the brand. They deserve to be well looked after, and so we’ve also started using the app as an exclusive channel through which to thank and reward them. It’s the perfect channel through which to identify these shoppers and offer them early access to new collections, sale items and other special perks.
In the not too distant future, successful retail brands will be making 80-90% of their revenue from mobile sales. And in the mobile era, a frictionless and delightful customer experience is more important than ever. Highstreet Mobile has been created and optimized for fashion and lifestyle brands. The focus of the platform is to make sure that brands like Scotch & Soda are equipped with all the tools they need to tell their brand stories and reach their most ardent fans. Highstreet takes care of the technology so that the brand can do what it does best.
And that’s the real genius of the Highstreet Mobile platform. Not only has it managed to solve an existing problem, it’s turned that problem into an opportunity for the savvy brand to engage with and delight their biggest fans.