This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.
returns, customers, brand, experience, retention, colin, exchange, product, days, work, packages, proactive, communication, ryan, incentivize, starting, retain, cx, purchase, buy
Colin Waters, Noah Rahimzadeh, Mariah Parsons, Vaishali Ravi, Ryan Powell
Mariah Parsons 00:04
Hi there, I'm Mariah Parsons, your host of retention Chronicles, ecommerce brands are starting to shift their strategy to focus on retention in the customer experience. And so we've decided to reach out to top DC brands and dive deeper into their tactics and challenges. But here's the thing, we love going on tangents. And so with our guests, you'll often find us talking about the latest trends, as well as any and all things in the Shopify ecosystem. So go ahead and start that workout or go on that walk and tune in as we chat with the leading minds in the space retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo. A shipment in order tracking platform, improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our other episodes at Go. malomo.com Hey, everyone, it's your host Mariah here again. Today we have a very special episode for you. On September 7 2023 Malama hosted our first ever live podcast with some amazing partners of ours. This live podcast is broken up into two episodes. So this is part one, and it was focused on how to best prep for Black Friday Cyber Monday or bfcm from both a marketing and CX brand perspective, while Part Two was focused on how to best retain holiday customers from a brand and SAS perspective. A special thank you to our panelists Colin waters assistant director of customer experience at brew mate Katie Eric's director of customer experience at suit shop. Max Conley director of E commerce at rocket chocolate Ryan Powell Group Director of Marketing and partnerships at Ryder ecommerce by Sally Ravi Product Marketing Manager at loop MLM was very own no over him today in yow inning. One more thing before we get started. If you listen to the last week's episode, you'll know about the tracking page contest that we are currently running until October 2 2023. I wanted to emphasize that it's open to any and all Shopify and Shopify Plus brands and agencies. So you can check that out at Go malomo.com/tracking-page-contest or by following the link in our bio. Hope you enjoy this awesome episode.
Noah Rahimzadeh 02:41
I'm excited welcome everybody to session to what we are calling retention on the brain, I guess to stick with the theme of back to school. We've got an incredible panel. For those who don't know me, I'm no Rahim today and I head up partnerships here at Malomo. And before we get to the conversation, I'd love to just do a super quick intro from the rest of the panel. So I'm super lucky to be joined by two of our most strategic partners people I work with at least weekly if not daily, Brian and vice scholly from loop and whiplash and one of our favorite merchants as well brew mate. So let's have Ryan kick us off. Tell us a little about yourself your organization. And we can't let you off the hook favorite thing you did this summer.
Ryan Powell 03:30
Yep, so Ryan Powell and we're Kolbert writer e commerce by whiplash. We are a tech forward three PL. I'm responsible for marketing and partnerships here at Ryder. Best thing I did was go to a cabin without Wi Fi or cell service for 10 days. It was fantastic.
Noah Rahimzadeh 03:50
That is a great one. I want to change mine now. I did an idle wild trip in California. So I came I was a little more unique than Ozarks. And I was very cool getting away like that. Vi scholly. How about you?
Vaishali Ravi 04:05
That's fine. I went to band camp and idle wild growing up. But I'm pretty surely I am a product marketing manager at loop. And I'm lucky enough to work on our tracking integrations, among many other things. And if you don't know loop, we are a returns platform focused on engaging exchanges and retained revenue. And I went to Mexico for a week this summer. And that was really fun. Yeah, Mexico City's great, great food.
Noah Rahimzadeh 04:33
Good time to study for the whole week. Yes, I
took the class there so I couldn't really go anywhere else. Very cool.
Noah Rahimzadeh 04:40
Have not been it's on the list. Colin will round out with you.
Colin Waters 04:45
Yeah. Hi, everybody if you're new, or didn't join in the first session, Colin waters. I am the Associate Director of CX for roommate. I'm probably more of a retention minded CX person than just Tell them the bad news and kind of deal with it. So I manage our team in a way that like, you know, we protected I consider ourselves like the insurance policy for bromate. Right, we're there to protect everybody's hard work. And retaining revenue and retaining customers is a big part of what I think about. And favorite thing that I did this summer was we had a baby, so I didn't do anything difficult. But I got to enjoy the good parts of that. So yeah, so far, so good there. Congrats. Yeah, thanks.
Noah Rahimzadeh 05:30
You have to say that too. Even if you did something else. That was epic. You gotta say have in the back. Yeah.
Colin Waters 05:36
I've done so much. Right. Right. Yeah.
Noah Rahimzadeh 05:41
Awesome. Okay, appreciate you guys in the awesome intros. So since we're in session two, and everyone obviously has retention on the brain, let's talk about that. Brands are going to spend more money to acquire customers this year than ever before in history. And, you know, to us, it's it's obviously imperative that they keep those newly acquired customers after the holiday, or they risk never making their money back on the CAC. So let's start with a broad question to call in. Since he's on the brand side, can you describe to us how you're thinking about retention? As we head into the holiday season? I know you're fresh off the acquisition side. Yeah, want to get your your mind on retention here.
Colin Waters 06:27
So I mentioned it, like October was is always our biggest season ticket customers and have they have the highest kind of like, repeat rate, right. So we're able to kind of pull them in. I think the biggest thing that we do, though, is like we have a Facebook VIP group, that if you are a new customer, or you are starting to fall into the brand, like we start to promote that because like, it's this weird little groupies page, I mean, not little, like 50,000 people, right, and they just drum up this like really hype for products that like, maybe wouldn't have that necessarily. So like, we lean into that group to kind of help promote our, our kind of jumpstart into that, right. And like I was mentioning earlier, like, you know, we will do certain things that will bring that customer back, right new color, a new wave a new product, like a new collab with an influencer, things like that, too. And then in this year, specifically, you know, we started to kind of look at other ways to retain customers that don't necessarily come with an ad spend, right? Our CAC is really high, we traditionally have looked at really acquiring the first time customer, and we really haven't put too much into that second, third and fourth purchase, right, we've really kind of let that be native. So we've adjusted a little bit of our spin to kind of pull those customers back in, and then we've got to, once we get them back, we're going to spend more money on them, then we need to potentially find ways to kind of reward them to stay. So we've looked at entirely refreshing like our rewards program, like the more you spend, if you spend during this time, you'll get X amount of points, you know, to x. So we've really had to rethink that kind of that additional retention point. From the CX side, like, it's really important that if there is an issue that we're handling it right away, so if it like I said, if it's a new customer, like we are more likely to help that customer with potential like, you know, resolution of like a warranty, or something like that, to kind of retain that, and it makes sure that we haven't really, you know, blown the $40 or whatever it's cost so far to acquire that customer to bring him in, like we've got to be there like and yes, it does cost us $10 To send you a replacement apart. But like, to me, that's not the cost of a replacement, it's the cost of keeping the customer and retention. So I think of CX costs mostly as a retention costs than anything else, right. And so that's kind of how we approach it. Like, we don't let that be a barrier, we just make sure that even if we have to send an entirely new product, like we kind of acquire, we send that as a retention cost, not as a replacement cost, if you will,
Noah Rahimzadeh 08:59
got it. Do you do you have like a specific time window where you feel from the data that you need to drive a second purchase by in order to keep a customer as a repeat customer? Or do you think about that at all, like or even maybe on the community side? The Facebook group, right? Like, how much more likely are those folks to buy again, than somebody who doesn't join the community? And then I want to get on Ryan, on how he thinks you might be able to promote those things from a packaging perspective.
Colin Waters 09:31
Yeah, it's about 100 days for us, right? We need that person to come back. We are very focused on that post purchase, like experience, right? You buy one item and you're going to receive like three emails that are like, Hey, this is how you use it. How are you liking it? Okay, would you want to give us a review? Now we're going to incentivize that review with a 15% discount to kind of get you back into that right? So we're certainly trying to make that manageable and keep them keep them coming. back. So if we miss out on that first 100 days, we will then you know, we've obviously we've got customer segments built out for special promos and things like that. But we really try in that first 100 days to get them to return that second purchase. And we will try to put them hopefully into a product that maybe was a little bit out of their reach now, because it was in a promo, because it was a new launch that's outside of that discounts apply. So we're always trying to kind of give some space not 100 days, I love seeing customers who purchase multiple times on the same day or they bought it and they're like, I love this I'm getting, I'm getting three more. Another part of our retention plan to really is in returns, that we want to invest that money back into the company. And we've done a really good job doing that with return really sorry, loop. But obviously, many of you probably know return is going away. So we're having to revisit our strategy on that. And you know, that that's gonna be some a challenge in 2023 24. Right? is making sure that we're retaining that dollars, and how do we incentivize that, right? Come on, like, keep it with us, keep it with us, right? I know, a lot of customers want that experience, too. So we've also tried to make that a little bit easier for them to navigate from from that perspective, as well. Whatever, we can make it easier for them.
Noah Rahimzadeh 11:15
When you say that, Colin and then obviously would love by chalet to chime in on this as well. Is it mostly about turning returns into exchanges? Or you mentioned specifically reinvesting the money back into the org? Like, can you talk a little bit more tactically about how you're doing that?
Colin Waters 11:32
Yeah, so what we have found, you know, in our previous experiences, and it's changed, obviously, throughout, you know, my time at bromate, is that not only were people investing that return price, cost, they were then increasing their spend by an average of like, $17, or something like that. So like, our ao V was then like, higher than what we were expecting, you know, we've had to kind of, and again, every every, you know, program loop eternally happy returns, you know, Navarre, whatever, whatever they are using, right, like, we found that we were actually hurting ourselves by having an exchange experience, because we were limited with what we were doing. So sometimes, like, yes, it's a great shiny tool. But we're causing retention revenue to be the same, but less spin. So we kind of redid what worked for us. And we were the top one in our vertical for a while, I don't know, if we were there now. But like, you know, it was like, an average of like a 30%, uplift on new purchases, which was great. So people were buying something and realizing that they love the product, but the ones that they were returning were the wrong size. So they buy two more, and they start that gifting process, and it kind of branches out from there. So we just tried to make that as easy as possible for them. And again, incentivize them to to keep that, you know, purchase with us and that those funds
Noah Rahimzadeh 12:52
by Shai, I'd love to get your perspective on that. What do you see from your end, you know, whether it relates specifically to, you know, the roommate vertical, or just across the board, with your with definitely,
it's so interesting to hear you talk about that, Colin, from the brand perspective, we really believe in making it easy to exchange for the right product. So your point, it's the wrong size, or it might not be a product, but they realized in person they don't like as much, maybe it's the wrong color, maybe they saw something on the website that they like more, it's essential to be able to exchange for anything in the catalog. And also to be able to, in the returns process, capture that upsell revenue, and turn your returns and exchanges experience back into a shopping experience. Our goal is always to make it feel like you're just continuing your shopping journey, and to not even give you the idea that you should be considering a refund, at least incentivize for store credit, to ensure that they keep their money with you. And that when they find something they love, that they then become a loyal customer and are willing to shop and buy again. Because if they're unhappy the first time around, it's so hard to reacquire them and it feels completely lost. So that's definitely something we think about.
Colin Waters 14:05
I think to just to add to that, like from from the roommate side, the brand side for us is like when people are on our returns page, like we have a live chat campaign that I mean, why would you have that on there? It's basically we wouldn't be there to show you through a shopping experience. I didn't like this. Oh, actually, you know what that's damaged. You know, there's a lot of touch points that returns that I think can help save retention from a customer standpoint as well. Right. And also to the near their designated shopper. Oh, you got the wrong one. I'm going to here's the link, here's the link bam, that person shopped and they're on their way without the headache of like, well, what do I really need? Let me send an email. So I think it is really important to have that exchange. You know, the dial them really really well.
Noah Rahimzadeh 14:44
That's an incredible experience like I always think about you know, ecommerce brands striving for how do we make this experience as much like a real life or in person I should say shopping experience as possible. And I think calling you just described sort of a core tenant of that. Ryan want to go to you, since we're kind of on this kick of, you know, driving repeat purchases, driving customers back to buy again and recouping that customer acquisition costs or ensuring that you at least break even? What What should brands be thinking about from a fulfillment perspective that they can do to to drive customers back for for more?
Ryan Powell 15:26
Oh, it's I think it's working with either your facility or the three people you're you're contracted with, to ensure that the forecasts are accurate, you know, and Ryder, we started our peak forecasting a while back, just need to get ahead of it. You know, I think a lot when I see the, you know, in the space, there's a lot of issues with inventory, and, you know, ran ran a run a sale, and, you know, the three PLS, there's no, there's no inventory left, and they do it late or, you know, the shop by rate limits, or head or what have you. And so making sure that you're really ahead of what you're expecting what you're driving, if you are doing retention activities, what your expectations are around that ensuring the communication is falling back to the operational side of the business. I, what I see is a lot of companies, you know, put out Malomo and loop live, and we're seeing a ton more orders come through and, you know, we weren't engaged from an operational perspective that, you know, we have this amazing new tool that's going to help drive additional sales. And so, you know, we need to make sure that those type of communications are are active and continuous when you're thinking about, you know, working on the back end.
Noah Rahimzadeh 16:46
Yeah, 100%. In prepping for this webinar, I saw this clay vo report that said, I think it was 2022. So last year, but UPS exceeded capacity by five packages per day. So if you're a brand shipping with UPS, like one in five of your packages was late. And I imagine that you see like massive, massive retention issues and major hits to LTV as a result of that. Ryan, anything to add there any data that you've seen around that?
Ryan Powell 17:20
Well, I think that the returns spaces is a very interesting one. You know, I think the focus on trying to convert and retain is important as a, you know, processor of returns, if you will, you know, it's not, you know, it's not easy, right to go through and make sure that you're understanding exactly what's going on with this return. And so, you know, I think there's gonna be some interesting opportunities in this space when I think about ecommerce and omni channel brands, as we look to the future, because there is just a great opportunity there. And I think, you know, companies like Luke do a great job of really pushing for retention and exchanges. And then, you know, the communication side of it, it's imperative. That's where Malomo kind of steps in, which is really helped a lot of the brands that we partner with.
Noah Rahimzadeh 18:11
Yeah, yeah. I'm curious what that's been like for you, Colin, just in terms of the uptick in orders and fulfillment and shipping, like, how have you handled that is that a world that you've touched or been had visibility into any insights you can share there?
Colin Waters 18:28
It's like, I probably lose sleep at night. Over Over fulfillment and logistics, and, and I probably do a lot of things is very difficult in terms of keeping spreadsheets and data, but it's very, very important, right? I mean, I think you over communicate with the customers to let them know that there are delays, again, they're outside of their control. 99% of packages are showing up on time, but it's that 1% That like, is going to be very vocal, and most of the time and I don't know if this is everybody's experiences that like, yes, we see pockets of this, right? We know your package is probably okay. I don't know that for a fact. But it's better than us sending the second package and then you receiving two things. Now, if you have a, you know, a parcel protection, kind of a piece of your equation, they're like, Okay, great, you can lean into that. But really, you don't want to just start shipping stuff because of a small delay. And like, I think it's really first setting the expectations for the customers, right? Giving them a longer window like you're balancing like, what eight to 10 days is probably realistic, but we're gonna say 10 to 12 Just in case right. But was the customer going to buy at 10 to 12? Like I needed a little bit faster? I am I mentioned it earlier in 2020. We saw a huge increase in just exposure for our for bromate. It was insane. We went kind of overnight to be in one of those like internet sensations, right? Everybody was buying it. I was drinking at home. You know, we had about 50,000 or Was that just vanished in transit. And it was very difficult for us to manage because we didn't have a tool like Malomo and clay vo setup that like, these people were reaching out to us. And we were essentially sending them just a blanket statement, but they are looking for answers, right. So if you can give them that answer ahead of time by using, you know, in transit note delivery, after seven days after 10 days after 12, putting in a component that is not your team to handle like claims, you should do that. And then should like start yesterday, like get that done, get that dialed and do dry runs. If you don't do it, now, it's gonna be too late. And then you again, it's got to be this proactive NIS kind of fire drill, right? answer for them. But that's what that's what doesn't matter, if you're just trying to keep them from coming to your inbox.
Noah Rahimzadeh 20:50
That's a great way to think about it, I, you know, proactive versus reactive, if you're on the arm, if you're on the reactive side of that problem calling I'm sure it's much, much more challenging than if you have a system in place to solve for proactively,
Colin Waters 21:04
it kind of comes down to this to just really quickly like I use this phrase a lot, it's like, violently executed plan is better than a perfect plan too late, just get it done, put it in place, and then adjust on the fly as you need. Like, don't wait, don't wait, I know, your SEO and your marketing team is gonna want to put a spin on it. And like we should do, we really don't know, it just needs to get done. Like and you've got to push hard for that, from the brand standpoint, if you want to, if you want to retain your customers. I don't know if we've ever, you know, really revive those customers because of that experience. Right? We're talking packages 910 weeks late, you know, things like that.
Noah Rahimzadeh 21:39
Yeah. Yeah, great.
Colin Waters 21:42
Logistics, like transportation needs to be buttoned up too. So get with them.
Noah Rahimzadeh 21:47
Yes, by scholly, on that note, proactive versus reactive. I'm sure that, you know, when I think about holiday shopping, I think like I'm gonna go buy a bunch of stuff because it's on sale and see what what sticks, right? See what works for me what doesn't, and I'm gonna return a bunch of stuff. As a result, I'm sure I'm not alone in that. How should brands think about getting ahead of that, knowing that it's likely to happen from a returns and exchanges perspective?
Definitely, I think first setting yourself up for success. By automating your returns. If you haven't done that already, it can become such a headache, especially when you're a new brand. And maybe this is your first time going through peak season. A lot of brands say that they experience all of their, like 90% of their annual returns during holiday season. So they may not really see returns. And then especially with gift returns, you're seeing a huge uptick. So I think proactive ways that you can prevent returns is through accurate product descriptions and product imagery. And you can use return reasons from past items. So for example, if you know that a certain pair of jeans is always getting returned, and you can go and see that the return seasons are due to size, you can measure your products and redo the product charts, or the Fit chart just for those pair of jeans. Or if you're told that the color doesn't look the same online as it does in person. And that's the reason for the return. Take a few new photos. And I really like what Colin is saying about moving quickly. And if you can't get the whole team on board, just iterating and doing this almost as a band aid so that you can prevent returns, because, hey, we're in the market of returns. But the reality is, is they suck. And if we can reduce them from the get go, that's a win for everyone around I think in terms of being reactive, making sure that you have a really clear return policy, extend your return window. So people feel like they have time to try out products. And know if it's the right fit for them. Make sure that they're extended for post holiday season when they actually get back to their computer and they're able to complete those returns. And then make sure you can actually accept gift returns. Looking at gift returns as a as a new market. These are customers who maybe would have never shopped with you before, don't assume because they want to return it but they can't become loyal customers through the process. And that really goes back to ensuring that they can exchange a gift or they can at least get store credit and incentivizing them in that direction. So those are the two angles that I think about.
Noah Rahimzadeh 24:21
Yeah, I think really good tactical stuff there. And I think about this quote from I forget where I heard this, it's probably another webinar, but the guy talked about how like people who have a poor brand experience, but they're made right by the brand. And I think a lot of times that's what a return can feel like are much more likely to return to the brand than even if you have a good experience the first time so like you have a poor experience but the brand goes above and beyond to make up for it or makes it a really seamless process to make it right. That customer is much more likely to come back to that brand than if you just had a good experience from the get go. So not to put any ideas in Random heads, but something to consider there. Overall. I'm curious. Now let's let's talk a little bit about like, what I would consider retention channels. So email and SMS are obviously talked about, probably first and foremost, when retention is thought of, then you have things like loyalty and subscription programs. But what's like a key retention strategy that's regularly forgotten? I think, Colin with the Facebook group, I would probably liken that to community. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree? Absolutely. Yeah. What's something from your end that you think brands regularly neglect, or don't think enough about?
Colin Waters 25:42
I think it's like that individualization like that personal touch, right? Like, again, like, we talked about, like blanket statements. But for me, I think Max was was talking about this is like, I want to feel like I'm interacting with a real brand. And so I've done things in the past to it's, it's, it's putting in notes, right, and this is so simple, right? If you had if you've had a difficult customer, right, or you've had a great customer, and you notice that their order is just kind of in the queue, something like that, drop a note in there. For us, it's really simple. It's just like, hey, thanks for your continued patience. Like we're starting sorters a little bit later. Like sign it with, you know, your actual name, it gets printed, put into the box, like, I know, it's an easy, easy touch, but like, just feeling like you care. So like, if you're reaching out through these channels, like, do as much as you can to segment their history, their their order history, right, I think a big part of that, too, is like, reviews is probably a major, major place for us, because like that customer leaves an honest review. And like right now we have it set up that every review under three stars, or as a negative sentiment is actually creating a ticket for our team to handle right. And we might not be able to solve their issue, they might just not like the color, it could have been too large, right? But we're saying, Hey, we totally get it. Like, if you ever need anything we've got you come to us, we will help you find that issue, we're so grateful that you left us a review. But if they do really have an issue, like we solve it, for them. So I think reviews is a great place, it's where customers are probably the most honest, sometimes terribly honest. And, you know, but you get an opportunity, like you were mentioning to right or wrong, and make that customer happy. Like, maybe they won't repurchase with you. But they might at least give you a pass and not go out there and do what they swear they're going to do on social media and to all their friends and tell them how bad you guys are. So I really love getting into the reviews and seeing what we can kind of do to help from there.
Noah Rahimzadeh 27:34
Yeah, reviews is a great call out what platform do you guys use for that?
Colin Waters 27:38
We use Oh, kinder, which is, which is really nice, because they're starting to build some other things too, that like loyalty, right? They have retention, they have referrals. So like they're starting to build things that we can just kind of spin up and fold into what we already have, as opposed to having to fold in another part of you know, here's another piece of your tech stack. Well, you've got 15 of them. Where Where do I send this out? Again, like oh, just go out have one Malomo has been really great for us. Right? And just to kind of shout you guys out is that like you guys have helped us, you know, eliminate problem orders, like we see these coming in before the customer even though so we can take action on that. Right. And again, it's a personal touch, right? Maybe I can't do anything, but just FYI, it was damaged. We've already got another one in transit. Got it. And even though it was damaged. So leaning into that kind of those things that just really helps with the it's the little things right, it all adds up, goes back
Noah Rahimzadeh 28:30
to the proactive side. Right, right. I'm happy you mentioned the handwritten note too, because I wanted to go to Ryan next and ask about unique things that brands can think about doing with packaging, specifically, that you've seen work well from the three PL perspective.
Ryan Powell 28:48
Yeah, I think, you know, the packaging experiences is important. I seen you know, it's really dependent on the community that the brand has. So we have customers with communities where the ARB is like, you know, $2,000 they're unboxing experience is quite extensive the packing, you know, takes like 17 minutes to pack in order, just due to the unboxing experience. And then you know, we have a good number of brands that are really focused on sustainability, which is an interesting spot and we're seeing organizations utilize things like the books box, which is a reusable engagement tool where you can actually engage with the consumer and draw them back to this site by returning a box that's reusable and from uh, so we're seeing a lot of interesting success with with products like that. And then there's a big push obviously, to steer away from the plastic Polly's you know, it's a very common thing, especially in fashion, and everything shoves in a polybag. And so we're working with a lot of our brands to look at more sustainable options. And so I think from from our side, when you look at the experience, it's not only what the consumer experience He says, but also the products that you're using, right? Is it reusable? Is it biodegradable, can can be leveraged for something else? And then how can it drive that packaging actually potentially drive people back to your site by doing an action, like a return of the packaging or something like that?
Noah Rahimzadeh 30:18
That's why I went to you would have never thought of that. Great example, we
Colin Waters 30:22
do a lot with packaging.
Noah Rahimzadeh 30:25
Yeah, well, yeah, I think probably every day, you're doing a little little packaging over there. By scholly, anything to add here, I know, might be a tougher question from a returns perspective. But I also know that you're super glued into the the overall EECOM world. So any ideas for different or unique channels to leverage for for retention that aren't often thought of,
like, I don't know if this falls into email, SMS, but I do think a positive tracking experience goes a long way. I think, like being able to have those customer recommendations and make it more of like a landing page experience, like you do with Malomo. And also having one place as a source of truth. Like being able to find your returns on your tracking page or with loop you can send the status of a return and an exchange as well. So you're reducing the number of ticket inquiries, when you're able to look at your email and say, oh, okay, like, my refund, just got like, my item just got to the warehouse. So my refund check process and three to five days, like the more information the better. I don't think there's such a thing as like an over informed customer in the long run.
Noah Rahimzadeh 31:41
Yeah, that's a great point, I think the you know, the particular use case of, especially returns and exchanges, because like I said, you know, for a lot of consumers buying a ton of stuff, knowing you're gonna return a bunch, and then having to keep track of all of that manually, is a nightmare. And until really, like this year, in our integration, it was pretty, pretty challenging to do so not manually, like everything was, was pretty much. You know, you had to track everything down on your own, you had no idea when your refunds were gonna hit or your exchange product was gonna arrive. So you could try that one. And I do think that that goes a long way, because we say it all the time. But 84% of consumers won't return to a brand after just one bad shipping experience. Most consumers are going to have more than one batch of experience in this time period, right in this holiday period. But how can we proactively get ahead of those and make sure that we're properly communicating when issues do arise? Because they're kind of inevitable?
Ryan Powell 32:44
Yeah, I think communication it we've got customer advisory boards. And the number one thing like they don't care about shipping costs, they don't care about the time in transit. Number one, feedback from consumers is proactive communication. More important than anything more important than exchange is more important than, you know, the checkout experience. It's really proactive communication. And once that occurs, I feel special. As a consumer, I feel looked after I feel that I'm actually part of the brand, and the community. So I think that's a big takeaway, which is why I'm a big, big fan of what Malomo is doing. So yeah, so important.
Noah Rahimzadeh 33:29
Colin, anything that you would add from the brand perspective, why Ryan and by chalet just,
Colin Waters 33:34
yeah, it's you've got to be almost transparent to a fault, right? Like, they people expect that their package has a beacon in it and that they can follow it exactly. Got an air tag in it. It's like, no, that's not actually how that is happening. Right? Like it's it this is at the post office lost with a million other packages, like I can't go in and pull that out. Right. So I think the more communication you can get, and like we've had this discussion to like, is it real time? Or Should there be like this delay, and we have a 20 minute delay built into our delivery window? Because we have some carriers who will scan it earlier on thinking like you're living in a giant apartment complex, there isn't at one place, and then they actually have to go and deliver it right? So you might open your door and it's not there. You then immediately email us and you're like, can you check your door again, it's right there. So we have this 20 minute window, but like, man, it's such it's, you're always you're always always going to have a customer who is going to break that mold and be very vocal about it or subset. But it really just depends on your customer base, like your customer segment, like how fast are they interacting? I think the big thing from a communication standpoint right now is you really need to be pushing your carriers and who you work with transportation like get photo evidence of deliveries, like it makes a big difference in our world with a couple of our carriers where we can say that definitely is your house and they're like Oh, you know what I found it. And we're like, we knew you're trying to slide by us here. So I think just as much communication as much visibility for the customer that they expect to have, they just don't know how logistics and transportation work. So you have to kind of mean, explain it to them. It's, it's education really write. We have a macro for our UPS, mail innovations. It goes in this weird five day pool where there's no movement ups, USPS, they don't have the package. It's somewhere, it always comes out. But like we tell people like this is exactly what is happening. The post office is not going to tell you that any there's ups. But we're telling you that because we want you to know, we're not just blowing smoke up, you know. But promise it will arrive and just just trust us, right. And I think customers do that because we tell them the truth. I was too like, oh, it's in transit. Got no data. So
Noah Rahimzadeh 35:56
yes, again, I think the theme of this is proactiveness. Okay, five minutes left, we got to get to questions. So let's go down the line starting with my scholly. One, one thing that you want the listeners to take away when it comes to retention for Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers,
I would say incentivize exchanges and store credit. Give them all the reasons to say yes to coming back. Perfect.
Noah Rahimzadeh 36:24
Ryan, that's hard to find. Yeah,
Ryan Powell 36:25
I know. I mean, I honestly I think, you know, just stay on top communication, leverage tools like clay Vo is the world Malomo You know, they're essential when we see, you know, the brands that we partnered with and their success. So I'd say just really lean into that proactive communication, that's essential, especially during peak.
Noah Rahimzadeh 36:44
Colin, one thing, man, give
Colin Waters 36:47
them something that they're dying for, you know, we have a couple of colorways that, you know, have been gone for a while, and we might just bring them back for holiday, right? So we've been built up this pent up demand. So listen to your customers, what they want, and just kind of lean into that like demand, right? It doesn't maybe it doesn't make sense. You know, from like, oh, well, that's a lot of work. But like, demand drives them there. It keeps them happy. And so listen to your customers pretty big time on that what they want.
Noah Rahimzadeh 37:14
Awesome. Awesome. Okay, thank you all so much. Let's bring Mariah back. I think she's gonna leave a little q&a here for the last three minutes.
Mariah Parsons 37:23
Yes, thank you. Okay, so I believe this first one is for you, Colin, with the 100 days that you were talking about at the beginning of this session? Do you have an ideal cadence for those contacts to keep them engaged, but not overwhelmed and push them away? Does it change based on does it change based on a Ovie?
Colin Waters 37:42
It doesn't change based on ao V. It really is more dependent on what they've purchased. Right? And trying to give them that ideas. Like I think that first one is triggered four or five days after they've made the purchase, right? And that's basically like, Hey, this is how you use it. Here are some of the tips. Here's some similar items, right? Like when I introducing anything, you know, brand spanking new, then that second one is like, Hey, we're just checking in, like, are you really enjoying it? Is there things that we can help you with? And then that third one is like, let's have you leave a review. And that typically, that cadence is probably spread out over about three weeks or so. And then we've got some other segments in there to like, Hey, here's another 10% off your next order. That usually falls in within that 100 days, but we'll hit that 10% Probably in the first 45 days or so. You know, be nice to grab grab those customers as first time customers, but I think you really have to understand your customers, but also like your products like are people going to buy? Like are there multiple reasons. Like for us, I have three different roommates staring at me right now. They all do different things, right? So do you have products that can do that? If you have, you know, a try think cell phone cases, something like that something that's like, you don't need seven, eight of those, because it's the same thing. So you need to know your product and like when people are going to be making that that second purchase again. So it's anywhere from probably that first 45 days, we're really hitting them hard. And then of course, obviously there's a bunch of social media marketing that we've grabbed them into and keeping in front of them for that period as well.
Mariah Parsons 39:19
Awesome, love it. Next question is from Chelsea, can you explain how your forecasting methods integrate with specific DTC Shopify businesses needs to anticipate volume fluctuate fluctuations and maintain a consistent and efficient supply chain especially during peak season or market fluctuations? Is there? Is there any use of AI to look at?
Colin Waters 39:41
Gosh, it has been one of our biggest challenges. And the three years is just kind of saying with demand and like planning and things like that. This year specifically, like I mentioned, we have a few products that we know are just ready to like go big, right and so we We are leaning heavy, heavy, heavy into that stuff. We're getting it here early like it should all be here before October 1. And then from there, if it goes, you know, the way of the dodo and it's gone, then we have found that a lot of customers will will swing to either a different color or very similar product, maybe a different size or something like that. So we're not in AI yet for that, I'd say it's, it's our biggest challenge, but forecasting, we have really, really just dialed into those, those other ones and our core products and then everything else. We've kind of just pulled back a little bit. We sell out, we sell out, but we're really going for our homerun hitters this year.
Mariah Parsons 40:39
Love it. I know. Yeah, you answer or you asked one. In the chat. You asked a question and then Ryan got to it. For the sake of time now, I think we can wrap up and share our giveaway winner.
Noah Rahimzadeh 40:49
Pool. Do you want to do that? Do you know who it is? Yeah.
Mariah Parsons 40:53
Yeah. I know who it is. Yes. So, Brooke Kidner. Congrats, your giveaway when thank you for all the engagement. And thank you for showing up and super happy to have all of our attendees here and a very special thank you to all of our panelists. This was super educational. Yeah, great. Thank
Colin Waters 41:11
you. Absolutely. Great to be here.
Noah Rahimzadeh 41:14
Thanks so much. Good luck out there.
Mariah Parsons 41:19
Hi, everyone. Cheers, everyone.