White Stuff delivers a ‘human’ multichannel experience with Bazaarvoice

Summary

The partnership with Bazaarvoice enabled White Stuff to make loyalty a pillar of its strategy, and the results speak for themselves.

White Stuff’s story started in the French Alps where the founders began selling their “Boys from the White Stuff” t-shirts to pay for their skiing habit. Twenty seven years later, the founders still own the company and continue to embrace a hands-on business spirit, creating colourful ranges of clothes and actively promoting White Stuff’s foundation for disadvantaged young people.

White Stuff now has more than 85 high-street stores, a website that includes an eCommerce platform, and a printed catalogue order system. But for a company with such strong values, it was crucial that customers’ interactions with the brand remained ‘human’ across channels.

Challenge 1: Bringing the in-store experience online to drive traffic

As part of their effort to make the online shopping experience more “human”, White Stuff began integrating customer feedback on their website through a basic in-house ratings and reviews system. It served the primary requirement of having customer reviews displayed for other customers to read, but the content merely sat on the website without providing further insights to the company or their customers.

Solution: Partnering with Bazaarvoice helped White Stuff to create this online community by leveraging new functionalities such as options for customers to rate each other’s reviews, and profiling features that identify top contributors and reviewers.

Benefits: It now forms an integral part of the website, helping increase conversion by 88% and drive traffic thanks to search engine optimisation features.

“Using Bazaarvoice Conversations, customers comment on the products, and also ask about the fit or how to wear a particular item” says Lee Woods, Web Manager for White Stuff. “The conversation becomes a way of extending White Stuff as a bricks-and-mortar high-street proposition onto the web.”

Challenge 2: Find creative ways of engaging customers with the brand’s values

White Stuff’s other challenge was to find innovative ways to engage with their customers online, and ultimately turn their advocates into heroes. White Stuff has led many innovating marketing campaigns over the years, but needed the right partner to understand their brand, and to facilitate the right technology for customer engagement.

Solution: White Stuff came up with a genius idea of inviting female customers to post pictures of their male partners online and tell a story around the picture. The aim of the campaign, entitled Udderly Hot Totty, was to create an online buzz and raise awareness. The White Stuff partnered with Bazaarvoice to provide the right technology to gather and analyse user- generated content.

Benefits: After attracting 104 entries, and 3,500 online votes that determined the top 12 to appear on the calendar, the retailer promoted calendar sales both online and with popular in-store events featuring the 12 winners. All the proceeds from the calendar sales went to the White Stuff Foundation. “It’s been fantastic to be able to translate an online experience into something offline, with a tangible calendar to show at the end of it,” says Woods, “Bazaarvoice really helped us achieve a creative multi-channel campaign.”

“The great thing that we experienced with Bazaarvoice is that they got under the skin of what White Stuff is about,” explains Woods. “The way the design principles were executed, for example, fits our brand creative absolutely perfectly.”

The bottom line

“We’re not just a clothing retailer; we’re about the brand values,” says Jo Fry, PR Officer for White Stuff. Customers are increasingly looking for more intimate and authentic ways to connect with the brands they love, and given the current competitive landscape, it’s crucial for retailers to focus on brand loyalty. The partnership with Bazaarvoice enabled White Stuff to make loyalty a pillar of its strategy, and the results speak for themselves.

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