Tackling the complexity of customer taste

Learn how Thomas Sabo harnesses the power of customer data to tackle one of the most complex customer demands, taste rather than need

The Thomas Sabo brand has stood for versatility, innovation and trendsetting jewellery and watch designs since being established in 1984. Its high-quality portfolio fosters for all styles, budgets, and demographics — a model which underpins commercial success, but which brings with it complex demands in identifying customer taste.

This complexity is particularly manifest online. The in-store experience which fosters understanding through one-to-one relationships with customers is hard to replicate digitally. Evidence of this is seen in the high levels of cart abandonment Thomas Sabo witnessed prior to engaging Tealium. With the onset of Covid-19 and the closure of the high street stores, the need to digitally transform the business became ever more urgent. The use of data to understand need is complex enough, but when the need is to understand taste — especially in the jewellery sector where there are huge spectrums of personal passions and preferences — the tools to understand data need to be able to stand up to the challenge.

Challenge:
Understand the personal tastes and preferences of individual customers to reduce cart abandonment and drive loyalty with the shift to online-heavy retail models during lockdown.

Solution:
Harnessing Tealium AudienceStream’s ability to integrate multiple data sources to develop a highly detailed understanding of preference, behaviour, and taste.

Results:
Increased reduction in cart abandonment thanks to effective nudge mails with conversion rates six to seven times higher than average.

Florian Schlütter, Business Analyst E-Commerce at Thomas Sabo GmbH & Co. KG, “The use of data to analyse taste is a complex challenge. It needs to sit alongside understanding behaviour, and with Tealium AudienceStream, Thomas Sabo was able to drive loyalty — and sales — with customers in one of the most turbulent years in retail history. It’s also setting the company up for success for whatever comes next”

Tealium and Thomas Sabo operating as a single team

First and foremost, Tealium put in place high-touch strategic support to the Thomas Sabo data analytics team. A dedicated implementation engineer and onboarding team ensured the platform was established within a month, with regular weekly sessions taking place subsequently with the Tealium account management team.

This high-frequency support is ensuring the marketing and data analyst teams within Thomas Sabo remain ahead of the challenges being faced. The integration and connectivity offered by Tealium’s AudienceStream was a major factor in the decision to adopt the platform; it was a proposition lacking in other options. Ease-of-use for non-technical teams was also a big influence given the team driving the platform at Thomas Sabo are data analysts and marketers.

Operating without the need for Javascript skills or involvement of developers pre-emptively tackled aspects which could bottleneck rapid adaption to change.

Developing an understanding of behaviour and taste

One of the first priorities in understanding customer preference was tackling cart abandonment. Through A/B testing, Thomas Sabo was able to identify the optimal follow-up timing for nudge notifications; is one hour too soon? Six hours too long? This knowledge needed to also be framed according to factors such as time-of-day and day of the week; if a customer abandons a cart at 10pm it’s not smart to send a follow-up email four hours later at 2am. Defining how these responses need to change depending on the value of the items was critical; what’s the behaviour of the sub-€50 purchase compared to that of the over-€250 cart?

It was also key to expand this understanding into what the journey looked like in each instance – how many times did the purchaser return to the cart and, if there was no return and no completion of the sale, what promotions would bring that customer back to buy again? This analysis allows Thomas Sabo to decide whether a promotional voucher, free gift, or free shipping might close the deal and ensure a high volume of previously abandoned carts were either fulfilled or replaced with a different purchase.

Detailed insight into the products being viewed, saved, or added to carts is allowing Thomas Sabo to iteratively refine the understanding it has on every customer – which in turn is informing the communications and promotional outreach; redemption of which further fuels understanding of taste.

What results did they see?

With the help of Tealium AudienceStream it was possible for Thomas Sabo to tackle cart abandonment through nudge communications that resulted in conversion rates up to seven times higher than average. This success also applied to the targeting of customers for new jewellery collections, where Tealium AudienceStream (and Audiences in particular) helped to achieve 70% higher conversion rates than with traditional methods.

Schlütter “The success we’ve seen simply couldn’t have been achieved without the hightouch support we received from the Tealium team — from implementation and onboarding, through to fortnightly strategic counsel. They truly feel like an extension of our internal data analytics and marketing teams.”

Resource Type: Case Study
Topic: Customer Data Platforms, Personalization, Retail
Product: AudienceStream Customer Data Platform, EventStream API Hub, TiQ Tag Management
Vertical: Retail
Business Issue: Single View of the Customer (Insights), Single View of the Customer (Personalization/Experience)