Behind Seafolly’s one-year-old loyalty program

By Paige Murphy | 9 March 2020

One year on from launching its Beach Club rewards program, Seafolly has signed up close to half a million members from around the world.

The swimwear brand worked with digital marketing agency Amicus and martech vendor Salesforce to launch the program for its customers.

Being a swimwear label, Seafolly chief digital officer Caroline Swarbrick told AdNews the brand hoped to boost sales outside of summer and build a loyal customer base.

“We really wanted to create a better experience along every touch point,” Swarbrick says.

“It was really key to us that the program ran both in-store and online with exactly the same terms, completely seamlessly, and have the aim to build longer-term loyalty to our customers and higher annual and lifetime spend.”

Prior to its introduction, Swarbrick says Seafolly had limited data on its customers and only sent out email communications to those in its email database.

The loyalty program was introduced to move customers from a one or two-time purchaser, to a regular and more engaged shopper through offering a more personalised experience.

“We wanted to be able to offer her better offers and exclusive offers for the club and we knew this would hopefully - with the right offers and right product coming to her at the right time - lead to a high frequency behaviour,” she says.

Since launching, the brand has seen a big shift in spending from its customers, however it was no easy feat getting the Beach Club rewards program up and running.

Having a lean team and an abundance of data put the swimwear business on a steep learning curve to ensure it got things right early on.

“We were a little bit too keen to get our program into market because we really wanted to be live for the October, November, December period,” she says.

“We planned a really simple data integration - using ‘simple’ in inverted commas. We found that by doing that we had reached far too much data into one field, and we actually weren't able to identify individually the rewards that went to which customers.

“So the challenge was then to reconfigure all of those intricacies while the program was live, which was pretty tricky. But thankfully after another six months of work we managed to meet that goal.”

When it comes to data usage, she says the brand only wants to collect the data needed to improve the customer experience.

In building the loyalty program, a consent-first approach was taken to allow customers to view what data the brand has on them and opt-in or out easily if they wish.

“We are constantly keeping abreast of any changes to be GDPR and anything else happening in the countries in which we hold consumer data and Salesforce products enable us to store data in a safe and controlled environment,” she says.

“It was also really key to us that we built an online loyalty portal so customers can see the information that we're holding on them and they can edit and change it at any time.

“We have a dynamic preference centre, so on all of our communications at any point, customers can update, opt-in or opt-out so that we make sure that we only send comms to customers and communicate to them if they're still wanting to hear from us.”

Through the Beach Club rewards program, the brand now offers more personalised communications to its members.

These communications include emails to welcome customers to the loyalty program, wish them happy birthday and inform them of rewards and changes in their membership tier.

“One of the reasons for using Salesforce is that we know we have a really high level of engagement on mobile and we also know that most of our emails are being opened on mobile,” she says.

“So, it was really key to us, that we were building communications that were mobile-responsive and that looked great on all sizes of device.”

More recently, Seafolly has started sending email and SMS notifications to let members know their rewards are expiring.

These communications have increased reward redemption by 11% while the average spend per member has increased by 20%.

In addition to this, Seafolly’s overall conversion rate on email has increased by 184% on the year prior.

“We haven't really done any outreach beyond our four walls [or] anything that we would consider to be lead generation,” Swarbrick says.

“It's been very organic growth through our store and online. For us, [almost half a million members is] a really meaningful number because that's people who have really chosen to opt into the program.

“It’s really about getting the right quality of data, which only comes with customers who actually want to join the club.”

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