Your Fridays just got better. If you’ve been looking for a new podcast to help you grow your online business, look no further than Future Commerce.
The Future Commerce podcast is co-hosted and co-founded by Phillip Jackson and Brian Lange, two ecommerce luminaries and key influencers within the Magento community.
Why give this dynamic duo’s podcast a listen?
With its 125th episode airing this week, there are hours of actionable business strategies you can dive into.
To help you catch up, here’s a recap of three of our favorite episodes—all of which reinforce the value of personalized customer experiences. Plus, you’ll also find recommendations for resources that pair well with each podcast. Think of me as your content sommelier!
1 | Episode 96: “The Intersection of Preferences and Intent” (with Chris Homer, chief technology officer at thredUP)
In this episode, host Brian Lange sits down with Chris Homer, CTO of thredUp. thredUp is transforming the resell market—a market that’s expected to hit $41 billion by 2022, according to the brand’s 2018 retail report.
Chris credits thredUp’s success with embracing a data-driven culture and being customer-centric. Not since Macklemore’s breakout hit, “Thrift Shop,” has consignment shopping been so fun. And the reason? Personalization.
“Giving a personalized and convenient treasure hunt to your customer” is one of thredUp’s core pillars. The company embraces a guided commerce model, which lets customers navigate and search the site according to their own interests.
But with more than two million unique women’s and kids’ items listed on their site, it’s simply not possible for customers to sift through everything on their own. Instead, the site personalizes this treasure hunt by learning from customer cues.
When you join thredUp, you provide a size profile and select your apparel preferences—think of it like a style quiz. Then, as you browse the site, you can save your searches and favorite items to receive updates when they’re back in stock.
thredUp meets its customers at the intersection of preferences and intent, personalizing the experience with more relevant purchase recommendations. Tune in to learn more.
This podcast pairs well with: 9 Post-Purchase Email Resources to Increase Retention
When was the last time you revisited your post-purchase marketing strategy? In this article, learn about winning post-purchase email tactics, the various types of email you can send and when, content marketing tips, key segments to hit, and more. Read this article to learn how to create more repeat purchasers.
2 | Episode 114: “Store Closings in Reverse” (with Ingrid Milman, vice president of ecommerce and customer experience at e.l.f. Cosmetics)
Whether you’re a direct-to-consumer (D2C) or legacy brand, building a customer community helps you grow customer loyalty, retention, and referrals. But how do you turn one-time transactions into long-lasting relationships?
In this episode, Ingrid Milman guest hosts with Brian Lange and weighs in on the pitfalls of becoming data fatigued. In an attempt to capture every data point imaginable, brands often lose sight of the customer—what she values, how she engages with brands, and how she makes her purchasing decisions. But you have to fill in these blanks in order to create memorable marketing moments and lifelong customer relationships.
Ingrid, vice president of ecommerce and customer experience at e.l.f. Cosmetics, shares her passion for using digital marketing to enhance the customer experience and grow community. This episode looks at two brands doing this: Glossier and Lively.
Customer recognition, perks, and forums foster community, and Glossier offers all three through a special Slack channel for their top 100 “superfans.” Glossier’s members-only forum creates continuous conversation around its cosmetic products. Similarly, it incentivizes Glossier’s whole customer community to increase their brand engagement and product usage in order to unlock access to product launch announcements and exclusive deals.
Lively hosts live events—specifically “Founder Fridays,” a form of office hours in which female entrepreneurs visit and seek business advice from Lively CEO and founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant. As someone who’s career-focused (and Lively’s target demographic), this initiative resonates with me. I feel connected to the brand that wants to help me succeed, not the one that just wants to sell me more things.
Expanding your customer experience beyond product SKUs helps you build your own network of brand evangelists. Celebrate what your customers have in common and then provide opportunities for them to connect and gush about your brand. For more on this topic, listen here.
This podcast pairs well with: Ready, Set, Grow—CurlMix
CurlMix is another brand building its customer community through meetups. One pump education, two pumps motivation, this haircare line’s “Wash + Go Wednesdays” weekly live stream event is a must-watch for women with naturally curly hair. Discover how CurlMix grows its beauty community by tuning into this video.
3 | Episode 118: “Making a Lasting Impression in a Single Moment of Time” (with Charlie Cole, chief digital officer at Tumi and Joseph Ansanelli, CEO at Gladly)
In this episode, Charlie Cole, chief digital officer at TUMI and Joseph Ansanelli, CEO and co-founder at Gladly join hosts Brian and Phillip to discuss how to create customer experiences that last a lifetime.
Their first piece of advice? Understand your customers so you can anticipate their needs. Charlie tackles what he calls the slippery slope of personalization, pointing out that data should only ever be used to enhance the customer experience. Gathering big data is not the goal. Creating more personalized experiences that are enabled by that data is.
You should know how often your customers purchase from you, how recently they’ve purchased from you, how many times they’ve purchased from you in the past, what their average order value is, their browsing history, how they like to engage with your brand, if they have a color or size preference, etc.
Simply storing these insights, though, isn’t enough. You need to harness and learn from this data in order to deliver experiences worthy of your customers and their dollars. A central theme of this episode—brands miss the mark when they prioritize the sale over adding customer value.
Bottom line: Treat your customers like humans and focus on growing these relationships.
Later in the episode, Charlie and Joseph stress the need to change the narrative from customer acquisition to customer lifetime value. And they bring up a good point—while it’s important to continually generate new customers, brands need to do more with the customers they already have. Otherwise, they risk losing them and spending even more money finding new ones.
Toward the end of the episode, Joseph dreams about a world where brands can create the digital equivalent of the 1:1 personalized experience you get when you walk into a coffee shop and the barista knows your order, down to your non-dairy preference (in my case, soy). That’s how you make business personal and customer relationships value-driven. Tune in to hear more.
This podcast pairs well with: Ecommerce Sales: How Relationship Building and Planning Impact BFCM
It’s tempting to focus on new customer acquisition during the big holiday shopping season, but don’t deny the power of your existing customer relationships. Not only do you face 25 percent higher acquisition costs during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, according to recent research, but 70 percent of first-time holiday buyers don’t purchase again. Conversely, the average order value for existing customers is 17 percent higher and these are the purchasers who contributed nearly half of all BFCM sales. Read the report to learn why your current customers are the solution to your holiday sales goals.
The future of commerce
The future of commerce is personalization as these Future Commerce episodes clearly convey.
Customers are tired of poor, predictable marketing. What they really want is authentic experiences, value and trust. Your brand is too valuable to damage with outdated targeting and “one-size-fits-all” messaging.
To deliver memorable marketing, you need to have as much control of the customer experience as possible and that comes from tapping into the power of the digital channels you own—your website, email marketing, and mobile marketing. Only then can you build authentic, personalized experiences that show you understand your customers and their preferences.
Klaviyo is a proud partner of Future Commerce, so tune in every Friday as we bring you the latest success strategies in commerce.
Tune in and catch up with the full Future Commerce podcast series.
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