What if shopping online was like window shopping in the real world, where you stumble upon an item you didn’t expect to find and love? Where, instead of looking for a product, does the product actually find you?
This serendipitous, delightful experience – which we dubbed Discovery Commerce at Facebook – was common before the pandemic forced a rapid digital switchover for many e-commerce brands. But now the appetite for discovery has accelerated. In a recent survey, 84% of shoppers said they discovered new brands and products online.1
There are few more qualified to talk about sparking and supporting discovery than Aubrie Richey, vice president of media for TechStyle Fashion Group, the incubator for brands like Fabletics and Savage X Fenty. In a recent conversation I had with Aubrie, she shared her top tips for marketing organizations looking to maximize their Discovery Commerce opportunity:
1. Identify and refine your competitive advantage. For TechStyle, that means letting data be the guide. By focusing its data science resources on a centralized internal team, TechStyle marketers have been quick and intrepid testers who uncover unique insights into key metrics, like the impact of ad formats on conversion rates and performance. lifetime value from customers. These capabilities, along with the agility of the team, allowed them to use Discovery Commerce from the start as an opportunity to expand to new audiences and launch new brands.
2. Accept the idea that great creativity can come from anywhere. Break out of your typical creative creation habits and test the content no matter where the inspiration comes from. It can help you find and even create new, interesting customers and avoid creative fatigue. Consider testing content created by influencers, creative partners, or even your own clients. The TechStyle team regularly conducts this kind of exploration by organizing âMarchAdnessâ and âAdfestâ contests which invite their employees to submit new creations. The team even tested whether showing their shoes on a newspaper that an employee found by the roadside would improve the performance of the ad (it did).
Of course, you don’t have to wait until you find a newspaper by the roadside to find and test creative ideas. Instead of choosing to take weeks to plan the perfect ad, go for a large amount of assets and test them frequently with machine learning. TechStyle marketers even track specific micro-variables in their ads, allowing them to precisely find and replicate what works in user-generated and influencer-generated content.
3. Leverage influencers to connect with new audiences. Influencers are at the heart of the TechStyle team’s paid and organic strategy, helping them reach new audiences they might not otherwise have discovered through a combination of human and machine commentary and advice. Delivering ads from influencers’ own handles helps generate new content, maximize Facebook auction exposure, and mutually benefit brand and influencer reach. The TechStyle team continually analyzes and tests content from the 100+ influencers in its marketing program, helping Facebook’s machine learning platform discover these unique audiences and optimize ad performance based on those learnings. This strategy also means that voices other than the brands themselves endorse brands.
4. Maximize lifetime value, not just cost per acquisition (CPA). As marketers in a subscription business, Aubrie’s team analyzes signals that turn out to be directional for higher lifetime value (LTV), i.e. identifying the behaviors exhibited by high-value users, then let machine learning find similar cohorts of customers. This allows them to bid more for high value-added audiences, rather than setting a single price for customer acquisition. In other words, his team researches the expected LTV of different customer value levels to increase profitability. And through Facebook’s post-conversion event API tool, the team is transmitting signals to help machine learning technology further optimize itself for LTV.
5. Watch the conversion path (it makes a huge difference). If you have friction at the checkout, that can make or break even the best creative strategy. For example, the TechStyle team found that their style quizzes, which are typically essential aspects of their model of engagement with their family of brands, actually reduced conversion rates for men. When the team removed the quiz and adjusted the user experience for this cohort, they saw a significant increase in conversion.
Customer expectations for the online shopping experience have reached new heights. Fostering great discoveries and fueling long-term customer relationships are the keys to success for marketers today. By remaining relentlessly data-driven, agile, and open to creativity as well as measurement and technological experimentation, e-commerce powerhouses like Fabletics effectively spark and support discovery by matching their value to needs and needs. every customer’s desires, whether expressed, unexpressed or even. unknown.