OKA

Personalised Emails Make Customers Feel Unique

All Stories

The Goal

  • Offer a more personalised experience to customers
  • Improve performance of shopping recovery campaigns
  • Recommend relevant items

The Approach

  • Combined in-store and online purchase information with Data Loader
  • Paired browse and cart recovery emails with recommendations
  • Increased use of mobile-optimised content

The Result

  • Revenue from automated email is up 200% YOY
  • Conversion rate of cart recovery is 218% higher
  • Recommendations increase click-through rate by 9%

At luxury furniture, home accessories and gifts retailer OKA, email personalisation is key to better engaging its customers. “We want to deliver a tailored shopping experience to customers to ensure we are displaying what they want to see rather than what we want to show them,” says OKA’s email marketing executive Andrew Lothian.

The retailer’s collaboration with Bronto, and a new focus on exploiting the benefits of the platform, is enabling it to do just that with more targeted, relevant emails delivering real business results.

OKA was founded in 1999 as a direct mail order interiors company but has since grown into a successful multichannel retailer that now includes 14 stores across the UK as well as the company’s online business. Web sales were 30% of total company sales in 2016 with email generating 19% of last click web revenue. With a new focus on driving conversion via email that figure is set to be even higher this year.

Email Growing in Influence

With OKA synchronising the marketing plan on all platforms where possible – whether it be offline, online or social activity – email supports everything from promotions and season launches, to in-store events and interior design. Lothian joined the company last year with a focus on growing and retaining the customer base through lifecycle email marketing and maximising demand with triggered campaigns.

“Our aim was to personalise our emails a little more to make customers feel unique, moving away from a batch and blast approach to a 1-on-1 conversation. I wanted to make sure that we use the functionalities of the Bronto platform to its full extent, whether that be by geotargeting customers via their proximity to a store, or providing more accurate recommendations in key automated campaigns,” he says. “My main goal is to deliver a better customer experience by leveraging customer information to show them what they want to see and help them toward their next ideal purchase.”

Ensuring Relevance with Recommendations

One of the most important moves for the retailer has been the use of Bronto’s Recommendations Premium, which has led to a 9% increase in click through rates since OKA started using it seven months ago. “That’s helped us get closer to our goal of a more personalised experience since we are now able to recommend products based on what customers are browsing and purchasing,” Lothian says.

“We’ve always provided recommendations to some extent but having them housed in Bronto has allowed us to be far more relevant with the products we display,” he says. “One of the best things about the Recommendations app is that you are in control over what you display. So you can be sure that customers see what is relevant to them. You can also exclude items that you don’t want to promote.”

Converting More Shoppers into Buyers

Initially, OKA’s abandoned basket email programme was underperforming and undersending – click throughs were low, revenue was low. Lothian worked with Bronto’s Professional Services team to fix this, A/B tested when to send, switched to a mobile-friendly template and included recommendations. The overhaul increased cart recovery email sends by 297%, and conversions skyrocket. “The conversion rate of cart recovery is 218% higher, despite sending so many more reminder emails. And we’ve generated more revenue in the first six months of 2017 than the whole of last year,” he says.

Pairing browse reminder messages with recommendations has also yielded benefits. “We used to trigger browse recovery emails via a workflow. Now we’ve moved to the Browse Recovery app and added recommendations, the emails are even more relevant and timely. We send more emails but conversions are up 7% and revenue is up 5%. It’s still early days but has big potential and the goal with browse recovery is to get them to the basket stage,” he says.

Linking Online and Offline Data

The use of recommendations is also closely tied in with Bronto’s Data Loader, which allows OKA to achieve a full picture of customer behaviour across channels by linking up store and online orders associated with the email address. “This holistic customer view is helping us to be more savvy about how we talk to our customers,” Lothian says.

Targeting shoppers by location and store proximity is also a key feature, and one that OKA works on with both Bronto and Movable Ink. “We use the customer’s geoIP location and postcode to link up email and store data in Bronto and further connect our online and offline sales. Movable Ink allows us to include agile content such as maps and countdown timers for promotional emails or to alert customers within a certain radius that a store event is happening nearby,” he says.

Relevancy Remains Key

The improved campaigns have significantly grown the influence of OKA’s lifecycle email marketing with revenue from automated email up by 200% YOY. The email channel as a whole is up 10% YOY. For the future, relevancy will remain key. “Next step will be using Bronto to help win back customers who are beginning to disengage with the brand. We also want to become better at retaining customers post purchase rather than just dropping them back into the newsletter. By keeping them engaged with relevant content, we want to be able to shorten the time between current and future purchases,” Lothian says.

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