LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW: How This Luxury Confectionery Brand Bridges the Gap Between the In-Store and Online Experience
Thinking outside the box has always been at the heart of LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW, a popular licorice and chocolate brand based in Denmark.
In 2007, the founder of LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW, Johan Bülow, first created his renowned gourmet licorice, which typically, is a mass-manufactured product.
In 2009, Johan, together with his production manager Tage Vedsted Kusk, invented chocolate-coated licorice—even though they were told it couldn’t be done.
Today, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW is a healthy seven-figure business that’s growing rapidly year-over-year.
LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW sells its coveted licorice products to customers all over the world via an ecommerce website, 28 brick-and-mortar shops, and over 2,000 boutiques and high-end retail stores including London’s prestigious Harrods department store.
Despite doubling in size every year, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has never lost its entrepreneurial spirit.
Speaking at the virtual Nordic Ecommerce Summit earlier this year, Michael Ewald Hansen, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW’s ecommerce director, described the team’s innovative omnichannel marketing strategy and how they bridge the gap between the in-store and online experience using email marketing—resulting in email driving 25 percent of the business’s total revenue.
Here’s what Michael had to say about LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW’s omnichannel marketing strategy.
Growing an online community in-store
For the past few years, ecommerce has been a strategically important channel for this popular licorice brand, so the LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW team manages their online store in perfect harmony alongside their retail and wholesale channels, rather than as a standalone channel.
“Our strategy gives us the focus and the resources to really build ecommerce and that’s why we’re seeing huge success and doubling our revenue every year,” said Michael.
Michael also spoke about how growing a community is crucial to the team at LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW and that email marketing is core to that mission.
“We have a novel product so it’s important for us to collect and build a community of people who love it. Email gives us a huge opportunity to communicate directly with our customers and it drives a lot of our growth,” explained Michael.
“We do multiple product launches through the year for summer, Easter, and Christmas, and we do between ten to fifteen bigger product launches per year. Collecting emails, getting people into the community, and telling them about these products before we start pushing them on social is hugely important to us. That’s also why we engaged a lot of the company to focus on building our community,” he shared.
"We have a novel product so it’s important for us to collect and build a community of people who love our product. Email gives us a huge opportunity to communicate directly with them and it drives a lot of our growth."
Michael Ewald Hansen, ecommerce director, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW
LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW employs nearly 300 retail staff across its stores and they’re incentivized—through competitions—to encourage customers to sign up for the brand’s email list while in-store, so the company can continue marketing to its customers long after they leave.
“We have an iPad in each of our stores and a sign with a QR code on it, which customers can scan to sign up for our email list. When people sign up in a store, it’s typically because they’ve either purchased or are very interested in our brand, so we send them welcome emails because they’re joining our community. We also have a QR code on all our jars with a call-to-action (CTA) that says, ‘Join the dark side,’” Michael explained.
By using novel approaches to email signups just like this, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW grew its email list by over 40,000 subscribers last year alone, which Michael says has helped them drive foot traffic to their stores as well as a large amount of online revenue.
Sneak peeks of LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW’s segmentation strategy
By driving email signups in their brick-and-mortar stores, the team at LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW can also segment customers from each store, enabling them to send store-specific content to each subscriber.
“A few hours after a customer’s visit, we send them an email saying, ‘We hope you enjoyed your visit to our store in Tivoli. Would you mind rating your store visit on Google?’ for example. This gives us a steady flow of positive reviews because people have great experiences in our stores,” Michael explained.
Beyond store-specific segmentation, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has also built segments based on customer engagement, such as customers who’ve purchased in the last seven days, fourteen days, one month, or longer.
The team then uses this data to send content to specific groups of subscribers or exclude them from certain content.
“If we have a sales push, we don’t necessarily want to push that to people who’ve purchased in the last seven to fourteen days because that might annoy them or it might be irrelevant for them, so it makes a lot of sense to exclude them,” Michael clarified.
LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW also uses this strategy to automatically alter the copy in their emails when customers have purchased certain categories of products or specific items—such as the brand’s Christmas advent calendar, which generated over €50,000 in sales from just one email earlier this year.
“When customers have already purchased the advent calendar, we don’t need to market that product to them later down the line. So when we send other content to them, we show or hide content in emails based on that. We use this data to personalize our newsletter as well as all our sales emails,” Michael explained.
“We can push all these segments into Facebook and use that in a seed audience to build lookalikes. That’s a huge and very important part of our sales acquisition. It also drives traffic,” said Michael.
Michael’s top three email automations
Twenty-five percent of LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW’s revenue comes from email marketing, so Michael was also asked to share his thoughts on email automation and must-have workflows.
1 | Welcome series
“When customers sign up for our emails, they’re joining our community, so the most important thing for us to do is to welcome them. It’s fairly simple, but a welcome series introduces them to our company. We welcome them and we tell them what we’re about and where we come from.”
“Our welcome series sees an open rate of between 70 and 80 percent and nine percent click-throughs, typically because people are very interested in the brand. Once they’ve signed up, we immediately get the content out there and include a CTA for the website to check out our products.”
2 | Cart abandonment
“Our abandoned cart flow is important and hugely effective. When customers sit with their phones in their hands and go into the cart, they might want to purchase, but then suddenly the kids are screaming or the commercials have ended and their TV show is back on. They get interrupted. So just reminding customers by saying, ‘Hey, did you forget something?’ is so effective and such a simple thing to set up. It’s a must for any ecommerce business.”
LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW’s cart abandonment emails are so effective that they see average open rates of 57 percent and a click-through rate of 16 percent—generating between €5,000 to €6,000 every month from this one workflow.
3 | Win-back campaigns
“When I talk to colleagues doing ecommerce, I always tell them, ‘Find out how long it takes between your customer’s first purchase and their second.’ If you know you have 40 days between the first and second on average, then send customers an automated email on the fortieth day. If they go beyond the norm, send them an email asking them something or telling them something about your products or offers because that’s when you want to work on winning them back.”
LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW is an exceptional example of a brand that’s using omnichannel marketing successfully to help bridge the gap between offline and online sales.
While it might sound simple enough to implement a QR code as part of their email strategy, it’s clearly worked for LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW as they saw over 40,000 new email signups just last year using this method—not to mention the fantastic revenue growth as well.
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