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How lululemon is Shaping Customer Relationships

We all knew it would happen. And so, welcome to PostFunnel’s 31st episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series, where we finally got to lululemon.

And with no further ado, let’s dive into it.

1. Be Transparent 10/10

According to a recent Bloomberg article, lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said: “[our] range was so narrow that many professional athletes weren’t even able to wear lululemon’s leggings. The larger-sized products only hit store shelves this year because it took time to develop new silhouettes. [But] the company should have made the change sooner.”

Need we say more, how this kind of quote helps to show the brand’s “human” side?

“New leaders around the table were able to challenge the positioning of the brand,” McDonald added – further showing the public that perhaps lululemon isn’t the perfect company, but it is taking action and committing to change to do better.

Such openness is key in creating meaningful relationships with customers.

2. Incentives and Perks 1/10

Other than gift cards, which according to the company are “just like cash – they have no transaction fees and never expire. They can be redeemed at any of our stores or online,” we didn’t receive any promotional offers from the brand whatsoever.

Incentives and perks for customers are a basic staple in CRM, not only (but, perhaps, especially) at these times when the economy is still recovering. Especially from such a well-established company like lululemon that has a large, loyal community and customer base. Too bad!

3. Be Relevant 9/10

The top header of the brand’s HP reads: Order gifts by December 20 at 11:59pm PST and get them by December 24, Shop Gift Ideas. The relevancy is clear. But still, do not take for granted or lightly, especially with the stress on carriers this holiday season.

Furthermore, a few scrolls down the HP, customers can shop for the perfect gift according to gender.

Also, and as previously mentioned, lululemon has started expanding the sizes of the clothing it sells. Therefore, the brand addresses and commits to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in its overall product offering, work culture, and marketing strategy.

“As a brand, who are we to determine the exclusive nature of the product purely based on size?” said lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald.

4. Be Helpful 10/10

lululemon has a COVID-19 FAQ page – which might seem obvious for these times – but many other brands we’ve analyzed haven’t made one yet. The page includes a personal note that reads:

“It’s great to see you here (and we’re excited to welcome you back).

People first. The safety and wellbeing of our guests, partners, and teams is our top priority—always. We’re welcoming our guests back to stores, where permitted by local government and public health authorities.”

On the rest of the note, they mention how they are monitoring the changing landscape of COVID-19 to make the best decisions possible to support their people.

They also have great VIRTUAL SHOPPING support. While they can’t support with questions around returns or existing purchases, they’d be happy to help you shop online with fit and sizes.

Lululemon recently acquired Mirror – the home connected-fitness startup that allows customers to workout from home in front of a mirror that requires less than two feet of wall space. Customers can benefit from, ” Every type of workout—50+ genres—with new Live Classes every week and thousands of on-demand classes in 5- to 60-minute sessions, and beginner to expert levels,” as written on their website.

We have talked about it here on PF over the past few months – lululemon has been putting serious focus on being “there” for customers during lockdowns and other corona-inflicted restrictions, along with taking real with its pledge towards D&I. In fact, they have an entire dedicated webpage that addresses inclusion, diversity, equity, and action – stating that “We’re committed to making real, lasting change.”

This is how a modern brand should behave.

5. Realtime Personalization 7/10

After adding tights to our bag, we received a “goes well with” item recommendations, a basic yet not prevalent-enough CRM technique.

When we went back to the HP, the personalization continued.

However, when hopping onto our social media accounts in realtime, no re-targeting efforts were made by the brand.

6. Master UX 9/10

lululemon has a virtual shopping experience for customers to “Shop face to face with a team member — from anywhere.” Couldn’t get any better than this.

The brand also has a live chat option and a self-explanatory and straightforward interface that perfectly showcases their apparel.

Finally, the brand offers so much more than just clothing – like yoga mats, water bottles, accessories, and an entire community section with free training videos to help customers “work up a sweat” from home.

What’s impressive here is that lululemon doesn’t just offer customers the ability to shop but also gives them extra value.

Overall, fantastic experience – that with a little more personalization capabilities would have gotten a perfect ten here.

7. Leverage Social Media 10/10

On all three social media channels that we checked (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) – lululemon is doing a fantastic job at properly engaging customers and creating a community that suits the specific target audience at hand.

On Instagram, the brand boasts over 3.4 million followers. They post in high frequency and have an active user base. They also have meditation, yoga, workout videos, and so much more highlighted and pinned to their feed for users to access at all times.

On Facebook, the brand has over 2.1 million followers and also posts in high frequency here. Content ranges from yoga videos to inspirational quotes and live Q&As – there’s something for everyone.

On Twitter, lululemon has 1 million followers. The brand uses this platform smartly in that rather than promoting their products, they Tweet timely content, such as tips on how to soothe yourself:

Overall, lululemon is getting a 56/70 here (80%) placing them at the edge of our top 10.

Now, imagine they’d be a little more generous with their offers and perks, and with a mediocre 5 or 6 points on that category, they’d jump into the top 5. Should they ace that personalization thingy, even Pets at Home’s top spot is within reach.

But, as McDonald the CEO will for sure agree – no company is perfect.

Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:

  1. Pets at Home 91%
  2. Lowe’s 90%
  3. Petco 90%
  4. Target 87%
  5. Uniqlo 86%
  6. Vrbo 83%
  7. West Elm 81%
  8. The North Face 81%
  9. Holland and Barret 80%
  10. lululemon 80%
  11. Brooks Running 79%
  12. Best Buy 78%
  13. Etsy 76%
  14. The Body Shop 74%
  15. Gymshark 73%
  16. William Hill 73%
  17. Essence 72%
  18. Iceland Foods 71%
  19. Total Wine & More 70%
  20. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  21. Walgreens 70%
  22. Kohl’s 70%
  23. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  24. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  25. Fiverr 67%
  26. Next 63%
  27. Patagonia 61%
  28. Burberry 60%
  29. Zara 59%
  30. COS 57%
  31. Dream11 53%

We publish a new analysis every week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!

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