Category: CRM Commandments

CRM Commandments

Paul Smith: Creatively Designing Customer Relationships?

Welcome to episode 35 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to Paul Smith.

The British fashion designer – mostly famous for its quality of clothes and unique combinations of pattern and color – was made a Royal Designer for the Industry in 1991.

But is Paul Smith making customers feel like royalty? Let’s start checking.

Be Transparent 10/10

AD spoke to the iconic British designer, Paul Smith, on some very real matters as he recently celebrated his 50th anniversary in the fashion industry.

“It’s more important than ever to have a point of view and a point of difference. It’s also important to know your customer well. I still love to go to my flagship shop on Albermarle Street in London on Saturdays and work on the shop floor. It’s the best way to meet my customers and get to know what they want.”

Paul Smith is and always has been open, honest, and authentic with customers and fans. His foundation offers the best advice to help young designers learn how to take their “ambition to the next level.”

And here’s what he has to say on decision making:

“Over the years, some of the decisions I’ve made have been not that wise, and probably some of the staff would think, ‘Oh gosh, I wish he’d not done that.’ I’m not autocratic, and I do try to get opinions, but at some point, you have to make a decision because you can’t keep beating around the bush. You have to say, ‘We’re stopping that for the time being. And let’s think about it.’”

As customers, we usually forgive mistakes if brands behave transparently. And Paul Smith surely is.

Incentives and Perks 10/10

The first banner on the brand’s HP is the following 50% discount offer.

Throughout our customer journey when analyzing the brand, the newsletter signup offer below appeared.

Also, Paul Smith is currently having a Men’s AW20 sale.

Finally, the brand offers customers the ability to shop with gift cards.

That’s enough promotions to get a perfect score here.

Be Relevant 10/10

When searching whether the brand states/acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic and if/how customers may be affected when shopping – we found the following text written on their Shipping & Returns Policy:

“Due to recent Covid-19 Tier changes, we cannot ship Interior items available in our shops. Once you place an order, a member of Customer Services will be in touch to confirm shipping details as we find out more from Government updates.”

In fact, the brand has updated its FAQ page to add an entire COVID-19 update section.

The brand also acknowledges that customers are likely to make returns after the holiday shopping season and updated their returns page to say:

We also noticed that the brand has Click & Collect shopping options when browsing the site.

Furthermore, Paul smith has altered its product offering to help customers during this challenging year by creating a “Shop now. Pay later with Klarna.” option.

Here’s how it works:

“We’re excited to announce we have partnered with Klarna to bring you new ways to pay at checkout. It’s a safe and simple way to get the stuff you want when you want it.”

Finally, the brand has a virtual personal shopping experience, perfect for customers who are in-and-out of lockdowns due to the pandemic. It’s excellent in that customers can book a virtual appointment with a Paul Smith stylist – all from the comfort of their home! (More detail on this in the UX commandment below)

We don’t think any brand we examined so far checked ALL THE BOXES here as Paul Smith has.

Be Helpful 10/10

The brand is on a “path to sustainability”.

In addition, and what we found unique to this brand, is the following “modern slavery statement” which reads:

At Paul Smith, we are absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our corporate activities, and to ensuring that our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.”

The page goes on to detail how their business, supply chains, policies, and distribution methods ensure there is no modern slavery or human trafficking. Their employees and recruitment practices have no risk of slavery and human trafficking, too, and Paul Smith even provides a full statement confirming their due diligence on the matter.

Finally, in recent news – Paul Smith reflects on his new foundation and legacy after 50 years in fashion. The article details the interview with the fashion designer – which includes info on the Paul Smith foundation that invests in young artists. Paul Smith also funds a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Arts.

“The idea is that [the foundation] will provide advice for creative people, whether you’re a young graphic designer or a chef, even,” Smith said. “Over the years, we’ve had so many people come to this building thinking that they want to be a fashion designer, and I say, ‘It’s lovely to be a fashion designer, but it’s a very oversubscribed job.’ My approach has always been to demystify the job and make it more understandable and, in a way, more accessible.”

Realtime Personalization 2/10

In case you didn’t notice – the brand did not drop a single point in the first four sections of this analysis. This is unprecedented.

Unfortunately, this is where the streak ends – as, in a similar fashion to most of the brands we analyzed, they too are behind the curve when it comes to realtime personalization.

When entering the website, we were able to choose our country/region, as shown below, to get a more personalized shopping experience.

When adding a white dress shirt to our bag, no cross-sell principles or upsell techniques were used by the brand whatsoever – too bad!

Though the following similar item suggestions were suggested when scrolling down the same page, when going back to the brand’s HP, nothing was altered to suit our product of interest –men’s dress shirts and coats.

Finally, when logging off the brand’s website and hopping on to our Facebook and Instagram accounts, no realtime retargeting efforts were made by Paul Smith.

Master UX 10/10

Alright – and we’re back to the perfect tens!

The first impression we got from the brand is that it has a simple, clean, and refined user interface and design. Navigating and browsing through the different categories is easy and fun.

The colors and the look-and-feel are excellent for the brand and reflect the retailer’s unique fashionable offering.

Also, when adding items to our cart, we were presented with an overview of the product including what it’s made of, how to care for it, sizing, shipping, and more – all very convenient for the modern online shopper.

The Paul Smith online shopping experience with a personal stylist, mentioned above – is clearly the cherry on top of a perfect user experience. What can be better than an in-house stylist helping a customer find what they’re looking for – just like a brick and motor shop? Virtual appointments are available Monday to Friday and to book one, customers need to fill in a form and choose an appointment time up to 2 weeks in advance.

Leverage Social Media 7/10

The brand has over 850K likes on Facebook, 150K followers on Twitter, and 425K on Instagram.

They post the same type of content on all three social networks mentioned above –mainly promoting their latest collections and offers.

Here and there, they add a touch of seasonal flavor:

And a bit from Paul Smith, himself:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paul Smith (@paulsmithdesign)

Seems as if the brand is strictly sticking to fashion on social media – which might be intentional, but perhaps missing on the power of these platforms to push the bigger-picture agendas the brand promotes.


Overall, and even with the low score on the personalization section, Paul Smith is getting a 59/70 here (84%), placing them in 6th place. Brilliant work!

Clearly, the brand’s communications are very much aligned with what is expected of brands nowadays. But still, like most of the brands on our list below – Paul Smith is definitely lacking personalization as far as their CRM practices go, and customers deserve better here. With a solid 8/10 on personalization, they would be ranked first!

You can read more on personalization here and here.

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. Paul Smith 84%
  7. Vrbo 83%
  8. N Brown Group 81%
  9. West Elm 81%
  10. The North Face 81%
  11. Holland and Barret 80%
  12. lululemon 80%
  13. Brooks Running 79%
  14. Best Buy 78%
  15. Nando’s 75%
  16. Etsy 76%
  17. The Body Shop 74%
  18. Gymshark 73%
  19. William Hill 73%
  20. Essence 72%
  21. Iceland Foods 71%
  22. Total Wine & More 70%
  23. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  24. Walgreens 70%
  25. Kohl’s 70%
  26. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  27. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  28. Fiverr 67%
  29. Next 63%
  30. Patagonia 61%
  31. Express 60%
  32. Burberry 60%
  33. Zara 59%
  34. COS 57%
  35. Dream11 53%

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



The post Paul Smith: Creatively Designing Customer Relationships? appeared first on Post Funnel.


N Brown Group: CRM Brand(s) Analysis

Welcome to episode 34 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to N Brown Group plc.

Most people may not know this company by name, but it’s safe to assume most UK customers have come across the group’s brands – JD WILLIAMS, HOME ESSENTIALS, simply be, Ambrose Wilson, and others.

And before we start going through the CRM tactics here and giving grades, we just wanted to note that this analysis is different from the first 33. Instead of choosing one of the group’s brands, we mixed things a little and randomly chose a different brand for each category. You’ll see.

So, how will the group’s brands score on each of the commandments below? Let’s find out.

1. Be Transparent 10/10

N Brown Group deserves a perfect score here for a number of reasons as with this retailer – everything is out in the open for customers. For starters, N Group’s HP slide banner displays their first-half results as well as their 2020 annual report.

In addition, and as previously reported on PF – N Brown Group announced that it had secured shareholders’ support in its bid to raise £100m to strengthen its balance sheet and accelerate profitable growth.

“Having restructured the business and transitioned to more than 90% of revenues from digital, we now see a clear opportunity to capitalise on various industry drivers, not least the increasing trend towards online retail, and further improve our customer proposition,” said Steve Johnson, CEO at N Brown Group.

“While we are mindful of the ongoing uncertainty of the UK retail environment, we are confident we can continue to build on the unique strength of the group’s brands and remain focused on creating a sustainable business delivering profitable growth over the long term.”

We’ve analyzed dozens of brands so far. Such openness is rare.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Here, we checked out a few of the group’s brands to see whether they provide customers with incentives and perks for shopping (and re-shopping) with them. And the many brands do indeed offer promotions.

Ambrose Wilson:


It’s clear that the group’s brands know how to play the D2C game – especially when it comes to discounts and offers. They get a perfect 10 here also thanks to the wide range of offers. Again, one might think it’s trivial, but after looking into so many online stores in recent months – we actually know it’s not too common. And what we saw here is exceptional in terms of “having something for everyone” – the newcomer, the bargain hunter, the social-distancing customer, and more – on the discounts aspect.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

Regardless of this challenging past year, the group’s brands are out on a mission to support Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).

One of N Group’s main brands, Jacamo, is best known for selling plus-sized clothing, focusing on larger sized clothing for men, a segment usually much less attended to than others.

While the group’s intimate wear brand, Figleaves, caters to customers with larger bust sizes – with marketing language that represents women of various backgrounds, religions, and races.

So, although D&I is a subject that should be top of mind for every brand – the brands under N Group’s name have already incorporated this into their underlying values for years.

“We believe in FASHION WITHOUT BOUNDARIES and fabulous clothes for every age in a range of sizes,” N Group communicates to customers on their website.

Furthermore, for the sake of this commandment – we checked whether Jacamo had altered their product offering or service to help customers shop in a more convenient, fast, and safe way as the coronavirus continues to affect us all. Or, at least, help with the online holiday shopping spree.

And here, once again, the brand is checking the boxes with an extended returns offer:

As recently reported on PF – the post-holiday shopping season could be even more hectic than the shipageddon – with tons of customers planning on making a return after XMAS. So, obviously, it is excellent to see Jacamo acknowledging it.

Also, very relevant to these WFH, comfy clothing times – the brand has created an entire Loungewear section for customers to shop quickly and easily.

4. Be Helpful 8/10

Sustainability is among the group’s central values. N Group writes on its website:

“We strive to make as little environmental impact on THE PLANET

as possible, and we are always considering how better to enrich both our customer and employee experience.”

They also have an entire strategy webpage on sustainable growth that reads:


Over the last two financial years, the group has undertaken a significant restructuring programme, which has created the right platform for sustainable growth. We are now in an “accelerate” phase driven by five growth pillars which have been developed to reflect the focus of the business and the external environment.”

Still, we couldn’t find a recent way the fashion retailer has been giving back to society and those in need during this past challenging year. Other brands (check the rankings below) have supported charities and causes by providing monetary donations to show empathy towards emotional and sensitive issues.

5. Realtime Personalization 3/10

For this commandment – we chose to analyses the brand, Ambrose Wilson.

When adding children’s sneakers to our shopping cart, we presented with item suggestions – but they were totally off… weird!

Then when adding a toy accessory kit, the same thing happened:

Therefore, though the brand has cross-sell and up-sell marketing techniques in place on their site – they were totally off – really leaving the personalization factor out!

When exiting all sites that we took into account during this analysis – no realtime retargeting efforts were made by the brand whatsoever on our social media accounts. (FB and IG)

6. Master UX 9/10

For the sake of this commandment, we rated the user experience of Home Essential’s website.

Everything from presenting us with the most relevant products to these times (new home gym workout equipment and cozy home blankets) and the entire look and feel of the brand’s site was both neat and memorable.

When shopping, customers can also narrow search results for a more direct experience – whereby you can choose the color, area of the home, price range, review rating, brand, and more.

When adding and removing items from our cart – and heading over to check out – the process was easy and even fun! Our experience with this brand was great – overall. It gets a 9/10 (and not a perfect score) because the very Amazonesque experience lacked a bit of originality.

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10

Here, we rated the brand Simply Be.

Their Instagram account has over 200k followers. On this platform, they post in high frequency – more than a couple of times a day – content that promotes their attire – and provides promo codes, inspiration, and videos to help strengthen customer relationships.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Simply Be (@simplybeuk)

Their Twitter account has over 94k followers.

On this platform, the brand last Tweeted in October 2020 – not great. Also, their pinned Tweet is a message apologizing to customers for longer customer service response times. From April. If the issue still persists, then, yeah, it’s a long time to wait for response…

Their Facebook account has over 440K likes. On this platform, they also post in high frequency – the same kind of content they post on Instagram.

They lose points also because they were no evident attempt to match the kind of content to the platform.


Overall, Nando’s is getting a 57/70 here (81%), placing them in 7th place in a tie with West Elm and The North Face.

Though this is quite a high score and ranking on our list, N Group still has to ask themselves, “What does personalization mean?”, in order to really give their customers the personal touch and experience they deserve.

There are many tools out there that can help with your personalization efforts – we can expect this new influx of capital into the company’s coffers to drive them in that direction, among others.

For example, Optimove data showed that customers who landed on a personalized homepage version stayed on the site 22% longer than users who didn’t.

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. N Brown Group 81%
  8. West Elm 81%
  9. The North Face 81%
  10. Holland and Barret 80%
  11. lululemon 80%
  12. Brooks Running 79%
  13. Best Buy 78%
  14. Nando’s 75%
  15. Etsy 76%
  16. The Body Shop 74%
  17. Gymshark 73%
  18. William Hill 73%
  19. Essence 72%
  20. Iceland Foods 71%
  21. Total Wine & More 70%
  22. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  23. Walgreens 70%
  24. Kohl’s 70%
  25. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  26. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  27. Fiverr 67%
  28. Next 63%
  29. Patagonia 61%
  30. Express 60%
  31. Burberry 60%
  32. Zara 59%
  33. COS 57%
  34. Dream11 53%

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

The post N Brown Group: CRM Brand(s) Analysis appeared first on Post Funnel.


How Do Nando’s CRM Practices Taste?

Welcome to episode 33 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to Nando’s – home of the legendary flame-grilled Afro-Portuguese inspired, South African born PERi-PERi chicken. Today, we will be focusing our analysis on Nando’s UK – where the chain is massively popular.

And so, drum(stick)rolls, please!

1. Be Transparent 8/10

Nando’s was mentioned in the news at the beginning of the month along with McDonald’s for selling chicken that was fed on soya and this was linked to deforestation in Brazil.

Both firms admitted there was “more to do to ensure the feed used in their supply chains is sustainable.” Nando’s is getting a few points here by not avoiding the reports and openly talking about improving practices.

“We will be supporting research into more sustainable types of feed for chickens, which may include insects/algae, as part of our overarching commitment to environmental sustainability,” a Nando’s spokesperson told Footprint in August.

Additionally, a main part of the brand’s social media strategy revolves around real people – adding to the brand’s humanizing-factor (which is what transparency is all about).

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Nando’s offers customers incentives for ordering online, writing the following message on a dedicated webpage:

“Throughout December, use your Nando’s Card and spend £7 to bag yourself a free Orange Reward to use in January.”

There’s a “stay in the loop” newsletter signup offer as well as gift card perks. Nando’s also has a card that offers customers rewards and points that can be redeemed for a free lunch.

In fact, the brand has an entire rewards program – actually quite impressive for a QSR!

3. Be Relevant 10/10

All three banners on the brand’s HP slide gallery are very relevant to these times as banner 1 portrays seasonal/holiday marketing, while banners 2 + 3 address the coronavirus and the measures the brand is taking to keep customers safe when shopping.

Click & Collect options, and safe delivery alternatives have been added to the brand’s product offering to combat the virus.
You can truly tell the brand is acknowledging these challenging times through constant communication with customers on their site. For instance:

Nando’s has adjusted their FAQ page to answer any questions customers may have about ordering online. In fact, they have created an entire COVID-19 page that’s continuously updated to detail all the latest delivery options, guidelines on how they keep customers and employees safe, and more information.

It is all great for customers who are in and out of lockdown and for the constant uncertainty we all face. We particularly liked this personal note from Nando’s:

4. Be Helpful 7/10

Nando’s communications strongly support being sustainable as a restaurant and are seemingly taking its role in having minimal impact on the planet seriously. They do so by talking about climate change, investing in specialized equipment to reduce energy consumption, and building green working spaces.

Nando’s wrote on Twitter that it is helping support the campaign, Feeding Britain’s Children: “For those in need of help or for those wanting to help, please visit”

They are still losing some points for that thing from section #1 above.

We deducted a chunk of points here as many other brands we’ve analyzed to date have been making more prominent donations to be helpful and give back to the community at times of need. Some of which include monetary donations or significantly aiding those affected by the pandemic.

5. Realtime Personalization 4/10

The brand makes active use of product recommendations – pushing up-selling and cross-selling offers. When adding a PERi-PERi chicken dish to our cart, we were presented with so many additional (tempting) dishes to add to our order. Everything from starters and side dishes to sharing platters, extras, and even an entire kid’s menu. Not too personalized, though.
Also, after adding some dishes to our shopping cart, we didn’t have the option to return to the brand’s HP. When exiting the delivery page and re-entering Nando’s website – we were disappointed to see that all the dishes we added to our cart disappeared. Not exactly “personalization”, maybe more UX woes. But it does stand in the way of personalizing the experience further.
When logging off the website entirely and hopping onto our social media accounts, the brand made no real-time re-targeting efforts.

6. Master UX 6/10

Overall, our experience with the brand was fair. The look-and-feel of the website has a memorable personality. Nando’s uses a unique and fun font as well as real imagery of food to get your mouth watering.

Nando’s has an entire Explore category that offers customers the option to browse through music, art, blogs, and more – an entirely different experience for their community.

When ordering food, the menu was informative and easy to navigate through. The brand provides all the possible ingredients for customers, which is very useful and convenient for vegetarians, vegans, and customers with allergies, special diets, and religious beliefs. The brand also provides nutritional information for each of its dishes.

We liked that the brand added recipes to “bring the heat home” since cautious customers are likely to stay home a lot more.

However, the entire process of adding and removing of dishes from our cart wasn’t so straightforward – as well as adding our address of delivery. This is perhaps the most crucial part to master in the user experience.

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10

Nando’s UK Twitter account has over 1.3M Followers. The brand posts every couple of days on this platform – content that not only promotes their food but sort of provides humor and escapism for these stressful times. For example:

Nando’s UK Facebook account has over 4.5 Likes. However, Nando’s last posted on Facebook in 2018. Too bad they don’t use this very powerful platform today to strengthen customer relationships!

Nando’s UK Instagram account has over 370K Followers. The brand posts various types of content to engage its Instagram community on a daily basis – and the content fits the platform nicely, including videos of people trying out their hot souces.

Some of the posts include videos on Nando’s food hacks, posts with funny captions promoting their recipes, and Nando’s even uses influencers to inspire self-love and growth.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nando’s UK & Ireland (@nandosuk)


Overall, Nando’s is getting a 52/70 here (74%), placing them in joint 14th place on our list, sharing the spot with The Body Shop. Top half of our ranking, but we actually expected them to do a little better. Maybe it’s because we like their branding, IG page, and, well, yes, the Peri Peri so much…

Some improvements in their personalization methods can really push the brand up our list. Ones that tell customers “I know you” and “this is how I can help.”

Also, being helpful is no longer an option for brands today as customers are expecting your brand to give back to society. Nando’s must acknowledge this, with more than nice words.

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. Nando’s 74%
  16. Gymshark 73%
  17. William Hill 73%
  18. Essence 72%
  19. Iceland Foods 71%
  20. Total Wine & More 70%
  21. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  22. Walgreens 70%
  23. Kohl’s 70%
  24. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  25. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  26. Fiverr 67%
  27. Next 63%
  28. Patagonia 61%
  29. Express 60%
  30. Burberry 60%
  31. Zara 59%
  32. COS 57%
  33. Dream11 53%

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

The post How Do Nando’s CRM Practices Taste? appeared first on Post Funnel.


Express: Expressing CRM Best Practices?

Welcome to episode 32 of PostFunnel’s Seven CRM Commandments series, where we get to the American fashion retailer Express.

So, is the Columbus, Ohio-based workwear retailer treating customers with CRM’s most updated best practices?

Let’s see.

1. Be Transparent 10/10

It makes perfect sense that the retailer who sells corporate wear for the office would be experiencing a decrease in sales as most folks have been working from home for the past year.

According to Market Watch, the company reported “a 30% decline in comparable sales last quarter and would cut 10% of its corporate staff to help conserve cash.”

Express CEO Timothy Baxter said that “the company is not considering bankruptcy and continues to take decisive and appropriate action to manage liquidity throughout this prolonged pandemic.”

Retail Dive added that Express’ corporate cash cut would result in an estimated $13 million in cost savings in 2021.

“Further reducing our workforce was a difficult decision but was appropriate to calibrate the organization to capabilities of this new operating model,” said Baxter referring to the company’s inventory planning to help optimize efficiencies.

This is all really bad news for the brand, and we wish them a quick recovery. But for the sake of this segment here, the fact they’re open about the struggle and how the brand has been communicating its difficulties are humane and transparent.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Yes, the brand is handing out discounts as shown in their HP banner below:

The discounted offers (40-60% off) as well as the $10 reward deal are both very enticing promotions to get shoppers buy with the brand, even more than once.

Express Insider, their membership program also calls for customers to join throughout the customer journey in a popup banner:

Express also gives customers 10% off any purchase for signing up to their emails.

And they also offer customers further deals and discounts for opening and using the Express credit card. Oh, and they have an entire Sale section on their website with tons of discounted items, offering up to 70% off clearance merchandise.

We can’t – and won’t – ask for more than this here.

3. Be Relevant 7/10

The brand offers customers BOPIS options with the ability to pick up items purchased online in stores nearest to them – a must offer nowadays.

The brand also offers curbside pickups and other express (yuh) pick-up options – not only making it easy and convenient for the shopper but also good for combating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping customers safe.

Obviously, a big chunk of the world is shopping for the holiday season RN and it is a stressful time – therefore, Express acknowledges that with these two banners at the bottom of their HP.

However, we deducted a few points from this commandment. We couldn’t find any mention of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the brand’s product offering, as many other brands we’ve analyzed have communicated this to customers.

4. Be Helpful 3/10

Other than being helpful to customers by means of providing them with all the info they need to shop at these stressful times – as well as numerous methods to shop accordingly – we couldn’t find anything Express has recently been doing to perhaps “give back” to society, the community and/or the world.

Other brands we have analyzed to date have been helpful throughout this challenging year. Whether it be donating merchandise to frontline workers or those directly affected by COVID-19 or working with non-profit organizations, or simply raising awareness – we didn’t see any of that.

Nor anything regarding any other global trend – such as green initiatives or social issues. Thing is, these things are expected from brands nowadays.

5. Realtime Personalization 1/10

After adding an item to our cart, we went back to the brand’s HP – only to realize that our experience wasn’t personalized to our product choice. I.e., we added sweats to our cart and weren’t presented with any relevant item suggestions.

When continuing to shop – no upsell or cross-sell techniques were used either to a) try to make us buy additional items (to perhaps match the sweatpants with) or b) cross us over to another (more expensive?) category of purchase.

Finally, no retargeting efforts were made in realtime by the brand when we exited their website and went on to our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter.)

6. Master UX 7/10

When entering the brand’s FAQ page, a chatbot appeared at the bottom right-hand corner of the page – and we thought it was a helpful one.

On the other hand, when shopping around – we received the following countdown banner that reads “Hurry! Going fast,” about the item we literally just added to our cart. This sense of urgency was redundant as we didn’t even browse more than one category of clothing – nor were we anywhere close to finished shopping.

In fact, numerous times throughout the user experience, we were interrupted with various promotional popups. Annoying!

Still, however, we had a fair experience with the brand – whereby the basic stuff was simple to perform – and finding the categories of clothing we came to purchase was also easy (also thanks to the chatbot).

Also, the brand offers an abundance of information for shoppers – to really make it clear as to when and how items will be delivered to customers.

7. Leverage Social Media 4/10

Although, the retailer has an abundance of followers on all three social media channels that we checked – we feel they could have been doing a bit more to cater to them on each channel with appropriate content/videos/campaigns/offers/promos/and more.

Express’ Twitter account boasts over 235K Followers. They post in high frequency – almost every day – mostly promoting their latest collections. Here the brand does take a more “timely/relevant” approach by promoting comfy clothing:


Their Facebook account boasts over 4.7 Million likes. They post the exact same content as they do on Twitter. We never give extra points for this as it’s completely missing on the opportunity these different platforms offer brands to build meaningful relationships with customers.

Recently, we’ve been writing a whole lot about D&I, and we were pleased to see the brand acknowledging it:

Their Instagram account has over 1 Million followers. Again, on this channel, too, the brand mostly promotes their latest outfits, obviously a lot of sweaters and winter caps as well as cozy fleece jackets. Kudos to Express on their Insta page, which makes a work wear apparel line, looks super comfy for these work from home times. For example:



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by EXPRESS (@express)


But overall, no real attempt to use social media for anything, well, social.


Overall, Express is getting a 42/70 here (60%), placing them at the bottom of our table. Sometimes there are just one or two things we can point to that a brand needs to improve in order to boost their CRM tactics dramatically.

But, unfortunately, no one thing, in this case, can make a significant difference.

From personalization (a glaring hole) through social media and to be helpful as a brand, and that’s before we’re talking about some much-needed minor improvements on UX and relevancy – an overhaul is required here if they want to meet the modern customer’s expectations.

Now more than ever, consumers are expecting your brand to not only be there for them but to be helpful, relevant, and inclusive to all. The faster Express realizes this, the better.

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. Express 60%
  29. Burberry 60%
  30. Zara 59%
  31. COS 57%
  32. Dream11 53%

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

The post Express: Expressing CRM Best Practices? appeared first on Post Funnel.

CRM Commandments

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!

The post How lululemon is Shaping Customer Relationships appeared first on Post Funnel.


Is Essence Pampering Customers According to CRM Best Practices?

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 30th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series! Today, we will be analyzing Essence Makeup – a high-quality cosmetics brand.

FYI: Cosnova GmbH is the German company behind Essence, CATRICE, and L.O.V. And it appears to be big in Japan China.

So, how do you think they score and rank against the other 29 brands that we analyzed to date?

1. Be Transparent 3/10

Though we couldn’t find any recent news on the makeup brand itself, its parent company – Cosnova – has been more out-there in terms of press releases.

For example, according to news from Alibaba Group, Cosnova boosted sales by 25% YoY by turning to more engaging and interactive shopping experiences using live streaming.

“Livestreaming is ideally suited to translate the haptic and sensory buying experience into the digital world,” said Cosnova Founder and President Christina Oster-Daum.

We like it because it shows the company has been innovating to attend to the changes in customer behavior.

But, beyond these self-hyping announcements, we could not find other instances where the company or the brand are letting us behind the scenes.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

Essence Makeup offers 25% off deals and promos, as shown in the main banner on their HP:

The brand has a reward program, offering members various benefits:

They also have a newsletter signup offer, that reads:

All fantastic ways to provide customers with incentives and perks for shopping with you.

3. Be Relevant 7/10

The brand offers both “stocking stuffers” and “gift guide quizzes” for this time of year – both great examples of proper seasonal marketing.

Essence has also launched an online holiday popup store for customers this Christmas. An advent calendar, lash princess pack, shine holiday kit, spread the magic brush set, and so much more is currently on offer.

However, when it comes to acknowledging other current events that aren’t as festive, like the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected their product – there was no mention of it at all on their site. Some of the other brands we have analyzed to date mention COVID-19 updates directly on their HP while others write about it in their FAQs – there are so many ways to show support.

4.Be Helpful 8/10

Essence is a cruelty-free cosmetics brand that does not test on animals, as they write on their site:

“Essence cosmetics is owned by Cosnova Beauty from Germany where animal testing for cosmetic products has not been permitted since 1998. All of Essence products comply with the European and American ingredient, manufacturing, and testing standards. Our suppliers are also held to these same standards and we only partner with the ones that do not test on animals.”

In their accessibility statement, Essence has the following disclaimer on their site:

“Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues may be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied. We appreciate your understanding.”

On social media, among other platforms, the brand strives to be an influential vegan and animal rights activist:

However, other brands we have analyzed to date have been showing support in ways that are much more substantial and timely – for instance, a monetary donation just in time for Christmas or directly supporting those who have been affected by the pandemic by any means. Still, what Essense is promoting and how they od it, is worthy of a perfect score here.

5. Realtime Personalization 6/10

The gift guide quiz is an excellent way to personalize a customer’s shopping experience. Before taking the quiz, which includes 6 questions to get that perfect beauty product, Essence writes:

“Finding the perfect gift is not always easy but with our holiday gift guide, we have you covered! Whether you are shopping for the teen who is just starting to play with makeup, the work from home mom who wants a low-key look or a friend who loves to get full glam, we have something for everyone!

Here are the results of the quiz we took:

Very personal, very unique.

Also, when adding mascara to our cart and going back to the HP, we were presented with similar eye product suggestions at the very bottom of the page:

However, no up-sell or cross-sell techniques were used here. Too bad! They’ve got the perfect product to do so and easily could have. For instance, Essence could have suggested we match the mascara with an eyeshadow (up-sell) or an entire makeup palette (cross-sell) that’s likely to be more expensive. And we’re not even talking about cross-selling to other brands owned by COSNOVA.

Also, when exiting their site and hopping on to our social media accounts – no retargeting efforts were made by the brand, in realtime.

6. Master UX 8/10

Our experience with the brand was good overall. The website is colorful and filled with glam, perfect for its target audience.

Adding and removing items from our cart was simple – as well as the checkout process.

The brand has a clearly instructed contact us page:

As well as a well-elaborated FAQ section:

They do not get a perfect score here because we did not leave the site with a memorable experience. There was nothing about the experience itself that would make us want to come back.

7. Leverage Social Media 7/10

On Twitter, Essence has over 36K Followers. However, their last Tweet was in July, 2019! The role of Twitter in business is tremendous. Therefore, a few points were deducted here.

On Instagram, Essence has over 2.3 Million Followers. On this social media channel, the brand posts in very high frequency and uses all of its engaging features – like Instastory.

Obviously, Essence mostly posts its latest products – but also provides customers with beauty inspo, fun videos, motivational quotes, and more.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by essence cosmetics (@essence_cosmetics)


Also, this post, in particular, is a perfect example of a brand that caters to the customer and their needs:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by essence cosmetics (@essence_cosmetics)

On Facebook, Essence has over 4 Million Followers. Here the brand also posts in high frequency – mostly showing off their chic cosmetics, but also making sure to do so in the most delightful way:

The score is only 7 out of 10 here because there is still a lot more that brands can do with their social media account in order to nurture customer relationships, that Essense does not do.

Overall, Essence is getting a 49/70 here (70%) placing them 17th. Once they really fine-tune and personalize their marketing strategy, and allow themselves to share more about the people behind the logo and the products, they’ll be on their way to mastering CRM best practices.

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. Brooks Running 79%
  11. Best Buy 78%
  12. Etsy 76%
  13. The Body Shop 74%
  14. Gymshark 73%
  15. William Hill 73%
  16. Iceland Foods 71%
  17. Essence 70%
  18. Total Wine & More 70%
  19. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  20. Walgreens 70%
  21. Kohl’s 70%
  22. United Colors of Benetton 69%
  23. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  24. Fiverr 67%
  25. Next 63%
  26. Patagonia 61%
  27. Burberry 60%
  28. Zara 59%
  29. COS 57%
  30. Dream11 53%

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

The post Is Essence Pampering Customers According to CRM Best Practices? appeared first on Post Funnel.


United Colors of Benetton: Using Colorful CRM Tactics to…

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 29th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series!

This time around, we will be analyzing that colorful and carefree knitwear brand we all used to love back in the 90s – United Colors of Benetton.

Are they up to the task of what basic CRM tactics require of a brand in 2020?

1. Be Transparent 9/10

Between the way the brand has been handling an antitrust investigation in Italy, and different press releases it sent regarding the needs for accelerated modernization and digital transformation of its digital assets, we feel like the brand is “some you can talk to”. And that is what transparency is all about – a brand showing itself to be human.

Regarding that digital transformation, it was reported here on PostFunnel that the iconic fashion brand is set to transform its digital shopping experience for its loyal customers by teaming up with agency R/GA London.

“With the importance of Benetton’s digital experience more significant than ever due to the changing market conditions, we are thrilled to have been selected as their new Digital Transformation partner,” said Rebecca Bezzina, SVP managing director R/GA London.

“We look forward to helping pivot this incredible fashion brand and create a next-generation eCommerce platform that sets them apart from the competition.”

Therefore, Benetton has publicly acknowledged that it needs to improve the overall digital experience for shoppers – not shy to let customers know the truth about where the brand is heading.

2. Incentives and Perks 3/10

Other than signing up to receive the brand’s newsletter with a promise to, “Get a sneak peek at our latest news and promotions!” – we didn’t notice any other special offers, first time purchase promos, bonus codes, or other CRM marketing promotional offers that can definately work for the brand to retain customers as well as require new ones.

3. Be Relevant 7/10

The brand’s HP features a Christmas theme (holiday marketing) banner – which also gives customers the ability to browse through their “Gift Guide” – obviously relevant just in time for Christmas.

Also, their cozy home wear banner below is relevant as consumers still spend more time at home than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the brand’s FAQ section, we didn’t find any mention of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected the brand by any means.

Also, numerous brands have created new ways to shop in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. For instance, delivery methods like BOPIS, click and collect, or contact-free delivery have been introduced (among others) and have already been put in place across many retailers’ websites. For lack of this at Benetton, few points were deducted.

4. Be Helpful 8/10

United Colors of Benetton is a green fashion brand. On its sustainability webpage, they write:

“Since 2017, we have been part of the SAC (Sustainable Apparel Coalition), the largest alliance for sustainable production for fashion, footwear and textile brands.”

The brand also has a news section on their site with posts ranging from fashion to weather, inspiration, culture, and so much more.

The brand’s Dress Safely provides plenty of details on how “the Benetton Group project aimed at raising awareness and reassuring customers about the quality and safety of our garments, especially those that will be worn by children.”

Finally, with the brand’s slogan being: “All the colors of the world,” it’s clear that Benetton promotes diversity and inclusivity through its overall image and standpoint as a fashion brand.

These are all fantastic ways to show the world your brand’s values – however, how about something a bit more relevant to these times, especially for a year gripped by a global pandemic!?

5. Realtime Personalization 4/10

Although it might seem obvious, not too many brands that we’ve recently analyzed to date offer a drop-down menu to choose your country in order to localize and personalize your shopping experience. Especially not with such a wide range of options.

We also couldn’t help but notice a small banner at the bottom of the brand’s HP reading, “An exclusive service on personalize your virgin wool sweater, add your initials or give a special gift.”

However, when adding an item to our cart and going back to the homepage – we weren’t presented with “similar items” suggestions. Also, when adding that same sweater to our cart – no up-sell or cross-sell efforts were made by the brand.

Finally, no re-targeting efforts were made on our social media accounts either.

6. Master UX 6/10

Overall, our experience with the brand was good. It was nice to see them offer an “inside” section aside from shopping, with a campaign, expertise, history, sustainability, and even a “how do you feel” section.

The menu bar on the top left-hand corner of the brand’s HP is also clear and neat – making it easy to interact with the brand and find the category of products you’re looking for. We’ve seen worse sites.

Kind of annoying/outdated to have to fill in the entire form below to contact their customer service team, though:

Finally, removing items from our cart also wasn’t that simple – other brands simply offer it at the click of a button.

7. Leverage Social Media 6/10

Benetton’s Twitter account boasts over 34K Followers. However, the brand’s last Tweet is from the year 2018.

Though from a couple of years ago – this was a very cool and creative idea that the brand initiated and brought to life:

Also, to the brand’s defense, Benetton India is indeed an active page on Twitter.

Benetton’s Facebook account boasts over 636K Followers.

The brand posts every couple of weeks, more or less – mostly promoting their clothing lines and/or new collections.

Benetton’s Instagram account boasts over 657K Followers. The brand is a lot more active on this social media platform, posting every single day, and also using the Instastory feature.

The brand posts colorful images from all around the world as well as videos here to properly engage its large user base.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by United Colors of Benetton (@benetton)

It’s clear that the company’s focus is on Instagram – and we agree that it’s the most suited platform for what they do. Still, neglecting other accounts isn’t ideal.


Overall, United Colors of Benetton is getting a disappointing 43/70 here (61%) placing them in joint 24th place, really near the end of the pack. We would agree and say – they are in real need of a digital overhaul. We’ll make sure to check in on them in a few months.

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. Brooks Running 79%
  11. Best Buy 78%
  12. Etsy 76%
  13. The Body Shop 74%
  14. Gymshark 73%
  15. William Hill 73%
  16. Iceland Foods 71%
  17. Total Wine & More 70%
  18. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  19. Walgreens 70%
  20. Kohl’s 70%
  21. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  22. Fiverr 67%
  23. Next 63%
  24. Patagonia 61%
  25. United Colors of Benetton 61%
  26. Burberry 60%
  27. Zara 59%
  28. COS 57%
  29. Dream11 53%

One more brand to go and we’ll be reaching a total of 30 brand analyses! Stay tuned to see who’s next.



The post United Colors of Benetton: Using Colorful CRM Tactics to Care for Customers? appeared first on Post Funnel.


Is Vrbo Making Customers Feel at Home With CRM…

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 28th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series!

Today, we will be ranking the vacation rental marketplace: HomeAway – now known as Vrbo.

Vrbo, or Vacation Rentals By Owner, is a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties around the world. And as they aim to match you with the perfect homes to stay in, can they also make customers feel as welcome through proper CRM practices? Their final score makes it very clear that they do.

Watch, book, and learn.

1. Be Transparent 9/10

Despite the merge with the HomeAway brand, and the ownership of a big company (Expedia Group), the brand makes considerable efforts to show their human side. And they do so by making their customers’ health a priority.

According to Short Term Rentals, the launch of Vrbo in the U.K. is meant to change the way British families travel during the coronavirus pandemic. To make it very clear to British customers, Vrbo has announced that it is taking extra measures to keep its properties clean and safe by closely following medical guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID. Vrbo is working with local governments to update its existing guidelines so customers can make informed decisions when booking homes. The brand has also introduced new tools and features, like a search filter for cleanliness.

“Holiday homes are the preferred accommodation choice for families wanting to go away again, after months of not being able to travel. And we are glad that we have the right measures and guidelines in place to provide them with a feeling of safety and security so that they can purely enjoy the change of scenery and the precious time together,” said, Vrbo president, Jeff Hurst.

2. Incentives and Perks 3/10

By subscribing to Vrbo with an email address, the brand promises customers special offers, travel inspiration, and additional perks/incentives. Asides from that, however, we didn’t receive any special offers such as a bonus code, deposit offers, discounted offer, or sign-up promo on the brand’s site.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

The homepage banner on the brand’s website is indeed relevant to the upcoming winter season – which is also, obviously, the holiday season – portraying that cozy Christmas feel:

Right underneath this banner, there’s a link to a dedicated webpage called Travel Safe. The page provides customers with all the info they need on how to travel safely during COVID. Obviously, for a product offering as such, not only is this relevant – but also rather – mandatory.

This next thing isn’t mandatory. Some might say it’s going above and beyond. Anyhow, according to WFMZ News, Vrbo and Lifetime have collaborated to create, “the real-life, one of a kind, Christmas movie-inspired vacation home that is available for stays for a limited time.”

It’ll be called the Vrbo “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” Holiday House. Located in Connecticut, the house will be available for booking this week!

“We’re having a lot of twinkly escapism fun with this, for sure,” said Lish Kennedy, Vrbo’s vice-president of brand marketing. “But it’s also a fit because Vrbo is all about family togetherness and Lifetime has put together a slate of holiday movies featuring all kinds of families. When we decided to bring a make-believe place to life in an over-the-top holiday Vrbo, we knew Lifetime would have the recipe.”

4. Be Helpful 10/10

The brand offers customers a Discovery Hub where they can browse through tips & resources, get inspired, see guidelines for homeowners and property managers, watch on-demand webinars, news & events, and access updates on the coronavirus.

In addition, the brand offers customers the ability to “Ask an Agent” questions that may be bothering them before booking.

They also have a “Book with Confidence” page as well, which helps the customer feel safe and secure to make a payment on their site. The page details “how to protect your trip before it begins.”

Finally, as mentioned above – through the brand’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” Holiday House – all proceeds will go to charity – which is the perfect initiative for this time of year to donate.

5. Realtime Personalization 6/10

When going back to the brand’s homepage after simply looking at one cabin near the town of Skaneateles – we were immediately prompted with similar stays in that same area – really personalizing our experience:

We were also offered to continue searching Onodaga County – our getaway of initial interest.

Finally, seems as if the brand took into consideration our interests in nature and beaches by providing us with the following personalized recommendations:

However, when exiting the site and logging onto our social media accounts, no realtime retargeting efforts were made by the brand – and they easily could have.

6. Master UX 10/10

The gallery grid view of categories is both a unique and helpful way to browse through the homes on offer – also creating an interactive and smooth UX.

When checking out a cottage that we were interested to stay in, there’s so much information available for the customer/guest – barely leaving anything out. Not only is this great for the customer but also for the Host/Brand who won’t have to deal with any of that redundant back and forth messaging before a possible booking.

Finally, the brand also has a virtual assistant chat and that’s actually helpful.

7. Leverage Social Media 10/10

Vrbo has 30k followers on its Twitter account. The brand does engage users here by tweeting funny content as well as posting images and videos that really get you into that getaway/escapism feel when scrolling down their Twitter page.

Obviously, all of it has been catered to very much suit these times in every way possible, too.


On Instagram, Vrbo has +265k followers and posts the same type of content as mentioned above. They also try to reach their audience on a personal level here by providing something for everyone.

A lot of their Insta posts tend to market to the user’s family – again giving that personalization feel here – allowing the customer to interact with the brand on a higher level.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vrbo (@vrbo)

Finally, on Facebook, the travel company has 6 million page-likes. Once again, they post in high frequency here – lots of content filled with great visuals that make the user want to continue scrolling down the page and ultimately – yearn that next vacation/getaway. Well done!


Overall, Vrbo is getting a 58/70 here (83%) placing them in 6th place! Just a few tiny tips from us on realtime personalization as well as how to create the strongest, most long-lasting, and loyal customer relationships through promotional incentives (that make sense) – can really take Vrbo’s CRM results to the next level.

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. Brooks Running 79%
  11. Best Buy 78%
  12. Etsy 76%
  13. The Body Shop 74%
  14. Gymshark 73%
  15. William Hill 73%
  16. Iceland Foods 71%
  17. Total Wine & More 70%
  18. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  19. Walgreens 70%
  20. Kohl’s 70%
  21. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  22. Fiverr 67%
  23. Next 63%
  24. Patagonia 61%
  25. Burberry 60%
  26. Zara 59%
  27. COS 57%
  28. Dream11 53%

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

The post Is Vrbo Making Customers Feel at Home With CRM Too? appeared first on Post Funnel.


How is Zara Shaping Customer Relationships?

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 27th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series. Today, we will be ranking the giant clothing retailer Zara.

Though it makes sense that the chic Spanish apparel retailer owned by Inditex group, the biggest fashion group in the world, would fit CRM best practices into their marketing efforts – this might not be the case.

Smart CRM retail marketers know that treating customers to a one size fits all approach is not the way to go. So, how do you think Zara is shaping customer relationships in a post-COVID world?

1. Be Transparent 7/10

As Zara continues to feel the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 300 store closures will occur across Spain, according to an article published by Murcia Today. In response, the fashion chain seeks to optimize their online presence and sales.

Moreover, Zara has announced the closure of its outlet, Calle Mayor, in the center of Cartagena, Spain. This devastating news for the fashion brand will obviously bring with it numerous layoffs at a time when unemployment rates remain high and economic downturn continues globally.

What contributes to Zara’s transparency here is that the brand has approved the release of such announcements in the news, stating that they have no choice but to direct attention towards online sales – due to the change in customer shopping habits.

Transparencey is all about a brand coming across as more human, and with additional messages regarding store closures on their Homepage, they do get most of the points here.

2. Incentives and Perks 5/10

They do have a special prices webpage on, with lots and lots of products on sale.


But in fast fashion, consumers learn to expect cut-down prices on “old” collections. Zara is only getting 5 points here because we could not find any other promotion currently. Nothing for new customers, no newsletter signup coupons, nothing that relates to the weather or for working from home. We always encourage brands here at PostFunnel to hand out promotional offers that make sense at these times. They will always be greatly appreciated by your customers and are a great way to retain them – a classic CRM tool.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

In the kids’ section on the brand’s website, there’s a holiday time tab that links to a festive new collection that has been launched and promoted by the brand just in time for the jolly season.

In addition to this, since the festive season requires lots of gifts for loved ones, Zara has considered this by creating a unique “Gift Guide” for customers.

The brand also addresses COVID-19 with a note to shoppers on their website that reads:

“We are fully committed to supporting all our workers, and to working with our suppliers to minimize the impacts of covid-19.

We’re also working closely with suppliers to ensure they are following official guidance to protect the health of workers in factories during the pandemic.”

4. Be Helpful 10/10

The brand supports sustainability initiatives by working with suppliers to reduce waste, as written on their site:

“We work with our suppliers, workers, unions, and international organizations with the aim of developing a supply chain in which human rights are respected and promoted, contributing to the United Nations Objectives of Sustainable Development.”

In addition, Zara uses a systematic method to know where and how all their garments are being handled. Zara also works with several organizations to protect labor rights.

To further promote sustainability, the brand tracks supply chains, drives the creation of collaborative spaces, and in 2019 – Zara performed more than 12,000 audits.

At the outbreak of Covid-19, Inditex donated face masks and hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare workers due to the shortage caused by the pandemic.

5. Realtime Personalization 0/10

The brand made no realtime personalization efforts – after adding a wool coat to our cart and going back to the HP – we didn’t see any similar item suggestions, for instance.

In addition, no cross-selling or up-selling techniques were implemented – and they easily could have – for instance, asked us to match the coat with a hat or a pair of gloves, better yet a set of boots (as they’re likely to be more expensive).

Finally, when logging off the website and hopping onto our social media accounts – no retargeting efforts were made by the brand in realtime.

6. Master UX 7/10

Our overall experience with the brand was positive. The Zara website is very cool and interactive, allowing the customer to really engage with the clothing on offer.

The video background showcases various collections giving customers a vivid experience with the clothing, accessories, and new fashionable styles. It seems like their website has literally been made with style to suit its trendy clothing offer. They do not get a better score here because it could take some time to get the hand of the site’s style.

Additionally, customers have to scroll so many times (up and down – left and right) to get to the category they wish to browse, which can cause frustration and confusion.

Leverage Social Media 4/10

Zara’s Instagram account boasts over 41 million followers. But, even with such a huge following, we didn’t notice the brand using the Insta-story feature – though they do post in high frequency. We were also surprised to see the brand almost solely post photos of new collections and items for sale, and nothing much beyond that.

Zara’s Facebook account boasts over 29 million followers. On this social media channel, the brand also posts stylish photographs of their clothing which are taken artistically. Once again, we would have liked to see something a bit more engaging for social media channels.

On the other hand, we did like their “Face to Face” video featuring various artists, including this one in New York:

Zara’s Twitter account has only 10K followers. The brand Tweets the exact same content as explained in the two social media channels above, which is completely not the kind of content people on Twitter love.

Perhaps this is Zara’s approach to remaining strictly a fashion brand that simply promotes their latest trends – staying away from any possible backfire that could easily be caused on such platforms.


Overall, Zara is getting a 43/70 here (61%) placing them towards the very end of the pack. We did not see it coming.

Too bad no personalization efforts and other common promotional tactics were used to engage customers on a higher level. For a brand that is so desperately looking to shift to online, they seem overall behind the curve on that front. Such CRM tools are bound to help Zara easily move on from their one size fits all marketing approach to a more fine-tuned, personalized approach.

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

  1. Pets at Home91%
  2. Lowe’s90%
  3. Petco90%
  4. Target87%
  5. Uniqlo86%
  6. West Elm81%
  7. The North Face81%
  8. Holland and Barret 80%
  9. Brooks Running79%
  10. Best Buy78%
  11. Etsy76%
  12. The Body Shop74%
  13. Gymshark73%
  14. William Hill 73%
  15. Iceland Foods71%
  16. Total Wine & More70%
  17. Tommy Hilfiger70%
  18. Walgreens70%
  19. Kohl’s70%
  20. Buy Buy Baby68%
  21. Fiverr67%
  22. Next63%
  23. Patagonia61%
  24. Zara 59%
  25. Burberry60%
  26. COS57%
  27. Dream1153%

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

The post How is Zara Shaping Customer Relationships? appeared first on Post Funnel.


Holland & Barrett: Treating Customers to Healthy Relationships?

Welcome to PostFunnel’s 26th episode in the Seven CRM Commandments series.

Today, we will analyze Holland & Barrett, the health and wellness brand specializing in natural remedies, supplements, and healthy foods.

Let’s find out if their CRM tactics are as healthy.

1. Be Transparent 9/10

According to a Retail Gazette article, Holland & Barrett UK’s employees will be eligible to receive instant access to their wages whenever they need them through a new scheme that they have launched.

“At Holland & Barrett, we believe in the importance of making wellness accessible to all, and this includes focussing on the impact of financial stability on our colleagues’ mental health,” Holland & Barrett head of pay Tricia Foster said.

“Earned Wage Access is relatively new and hugely exciting for us and all our colleagues. It was easy to implement and gives our colleagues so much more protection from the financial pain of meeting unexpected expenses.”

Also, since the second lockdown in the U.K. has come into effect on November 5th and will continue until December 2nd, an article by Daily Express detailed whether the alternative health shop has been classified as an essential retailer to remain open.

The article states that the retailer has been granted access to remaining open in the second lockdown – however – some employees weren’t so happy with this news due to health and safety concerns.

H&B staff noted that the natural remedies and health foods shop isn’t the same as a supermarket, while others complained that the space itself is too small to abide by social distancing measures.

“It is almost practically impossible to maintain social distancing, as the miles are very short width, and when we have to deal with customer queries, they do not respect the boundaries,” a Holland & Barrett staff member said.

The company has approved the above announcements published in the press.

2. Incentives and Perks 10/10

When entering the company’s homepage, the Singles’ Day promotional offer below (with a countdown) was presented to us in a popup:

One scroll down the homepage, the following discounted offers were also presented to us:

Finally, the health & wellness brand also has a Sales and Offers page for customers to browse through and shop if they’re interested.
This, by any standard, is a wide range of special offers.

3. Be Relevant 10/10

The top of H&B’s homepage includes information on how their product offering has changed due to the virus. Click-and-collect, as well as other delivery and return offers, have been added to the brand’s offering. And an entirely new webpage has been created and dedicated to this.

Also, H&B has dedicated an entire webpage to Keeping Safe in Stores – which has a personal note from the brand that reads:

“We know that it’s more important than ever that you’re able to access the healthy food, vitamins, and supplements for special dietary needs to help keep you and your family well.

The health of our colleagues and customers is our biggest priority, so our stores have social distancing measures in place so you can feel safe when shopping with us. We’ve provided protective wear and face masks for all our colleagues and would like to remind our customers to wear a face-covering when you visit our stores unless an exemption applies.

You can check the opening hours of your local store using our Store Locator.

We look forward to seeing you soon.”

As for seasonal relevancy – so yes, seasonal marketing campaigns are also evident on the brand’s website. H&B created a Christmas ideas page for customers to browse through.

Finally, as previously mentioned, they also had that Singles’ Day offer.

4. Be Helpful 8/10

H&B supports several charities as detailed on their website. The only one we could find on this page was Healthy Hope, a foundation that helps to break the cycle of poverty for women and children by providing healthcare.

Also, on the brand’s website – H&B details its brand ethos in a timeline format going all the way back to 2007 – which mentions green initiatives, SLS and paraben bans, plastic bag bans, local sourcing commitment, wet wipes discontinuation and so much more. The last one we could find on this page was a Mental Health Programme in 2019 to support their colleagues.

Also, H&B launched a sustainability initiative by starting a process that discontinues the sale of plastic bottles.

Overall, an impressive, inspiring, well-rounded, and holistic effort by the brand to support wellness all around. However, we deducted two points here as other brands we have analyzed to date did a tiny bit more as far as being helpful, mostly by being more active specifically around the coronavirus, including significant monetary donations.

5. Realtime Personalization 3/10

Though we could not find any cross-selling techniques – the following upselling techniques were implemented by the brand when adding sunscreen to our cart, with the “customers also bought” recommendation appearing below:

However, when going back to the HP – our experience wasn’t further personalized to our products of choice, i.e. no sunscreens were promoted to us in various ways – or any other “related” items for that matter.

Also, when exiting the website and hopping onto our social media accounts, we were not retargeted by the brand in realtime. Which is a CRM promotional tactic that’s basic, well-known, and easy to do.

6. Master UX 7/10

Our overall experience with the brand was good. It was delightful to interact with the categories on offer and browse through them.

However, every time we entered a different category of products – the same (annoying) promotional popup with the countdown timer kept appearing:

When adding items to our cart, the following delivery options, with tooltips providing more info on each method, were great for the UX:

7. Leverage Social Media 10/10

H&B’s Facebook account boasts over 435K followers and has a very active and engaged social community. The brand posts in high-frequency content that not only promotes their products in a lovely and unique way, but also uploads videos on food recipes as well as provides vitamin recommendations, vouchers and giveaways, motivational poems, tips from experts, and more.

Their Instagram account boasts over 139k Followers. They post in high-frequency (every day!) and use the Instastory feature – well done. Their account obviously promotes their products, but there’s more to it than that. They post inspirational self-love tips, videos on relaxation techniques, and more. All great for these uneasy times!


View this post on Instagram


The ultimate relaxation technique? 💆‍♀️ ASMR is a popular sleep-aid and form of stress-relief with celebrities such as Cardi B – even Margot Robbie and Jake Gyllenhaal have tried their hand at it!🎙 @theasmrpsychologist discusses what ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) actually is, what causes it, and what the benefits are. 💚 A great way to relax and unwind for #stressawarenessweek, especially as there’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment. 👐 Have you ever experienced ASMR before? 🤔👇

A post shared by Holland & Barrett (@hollandandbarrett) on

Their Twitter account boasts over 42.K Followers. H&B tweets the same type of content as in the two social media channels mentioned above – which is fine as the brand caters to the same type of audience – that’s simply more active on their social media channel of choice.


Overall, H&B is getting a 57/70 here (81%) placing them in 8th place.

With a few touch ups on the brand’s realtime personalization efforts (which can easily be implemented to its product offering) and being more relevant as far as “helpful” goes amid COVID times – they could sit atop of this table.

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. West Elm 81%
  7. The North Face 81%
  8. Holland and Barret 81%
  9. Brooks Running 79%
  10. Best Buy 78%
  11. Etsy 76%
  12. The Body Shop 74%
  13. Gymshark 73%
  14. William Hill 73%
  15. Iceland Foods 71%
  16. Total Wine & More 70%
  17. Tommy Hilfiger 70%
  18. Walgreens 70%
  19. Kohl’s 70%
  20. Buy Buy Baby 68%
  21. Fiverr 67%
  22. Next 63%
  23. Patagonia 61%
  24. Burberry 60%
  25. COS 57%
  26. Dream11 53%

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

The post Holland & Barrett: Treating Customers to Healthy Relationships? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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