With a global community of more than 1.3 million shoppers, Feelunique, a UK-based online beauty and cosmetics retailer, is leveraging this vast following and turning them into powerful brand advocates. Having already introduced a loyalty program, a social media influencer program and a monthly product sampling offer, Feelunique sought to provide a platform where shoppers could easily share their positive experiences with friends and family.
Feelunique has more than 130,000 daily site visits and sells more than 30,000 products from 500 brands. Nearly two thirds (65%)of sales come from the very social demographic of global Gen Z and Millennial shoppers under the age of 35. With 61% of women likely to recommend a beauty brand to a friend or family member, according to Ben Van Pelt, Marketing Manager at Feelunique, the decision to implement a referral marketing program made perfect sense for the company.
The retailer partnered with SaaS technology platform Mention Me to launch the word-of-mouth referral program.The program offers customers and their friends £10 off (20% off in the U.S.) on their next beauty order by sharing Feelunique’s web site.
“First and foremost, our business recognized that word-of-mouth was one of the most powerful forms of marketing, and so shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Van Pelt in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “By providing your customers with a platform, you can then facilitate your advocates to share your brand with their peer group. If your business is already providing a great customer experience, all you need to do is give them the tools to enable them to spread the word.”
Two Goals: Improved Customer Acquisition, Conversion Rates
The program reflects two goals Feelunique wants to reach through referral marketing:
- Making referral marketing 10% of all customer acquisition efforts (although the long-term goal is much higher); and
- Increasing conversion rates.
“We know that referral also encourages another purchase from the existing customer, often with a higher AOV than when made via other channels,” said Van Pelt.
As a retailer that ships to approximately 120 countries, Feelunique is seeking out different growth strategies to reach new consumers in these markets, with a special focus on more organic methods than traditional advertising.
“The network effect of existing customers telling their friends is a great way to grow out a new market without having to rely on advertising alone,” Van Pelt said. “Additionally, many of us have friends or family overseas; this platform simply helps to facilitate this global connection.”
A/B Testing, Name Sharing Are The Newest Tools In The Feelunique Arsenal
The Mention Me platform stood out for the Feelunique team for two unique functionalities, according to Van Pelt.
“Their rigorous A/B testing by cohort enables us to do multivariate testing to optimize the campaign —we haven’t been able to do this before,” said Van Pelt. “Secondly is their name sharing technology. Instead of having to remember or use a link or line of code, being able to just refer by name really simplifies the customer journey. We have it in our checkout and the customer can receive their reward immediately so it really helps to boost conversion.”
To activate the program, shoppers can simply tell their friends to come to Feelunique and enter the referrer’s name in exchange for a promotion code. Shoppers also can recommend the company by link, email, on Facebook or on Twitter.
“Traditionally we’ve grown our loyal customer base through our suite of leading beauty brands/products portfolio, combined with the speed and efficiency of our service, so the process has been pretty organic,” said Van Pelt. “We have however, recently added a loyalty platform which gives you access to 10% discount to a brand for life, a birthday bonus and credit on spend. The program is called ‘MyFeelunique Platinum’ and in time we’ll integrate Mention Me’s Refer-a-Friend platform.”