With the growth of eCommerce, the buyer journey has become more complex and less predictable. Businesses that are not able to meet their shoppers where they are and interact with them on their terms are quickly losing ground to a new set of fast-growing brands. These direct-to-consumer brands have cracked the code on growth by building an authentic, agile, and scalable alternative to old school retail.
Seeing the fate of big box retailers as a warning sign, they created businesses that are not meant to compete on price, functionality, or fulfilment alone. Instead, they focus on the game-changing experiences they can provide by developing a genuine, direct connection with their customers.
Chubbies exploded onto the eCommerce scene eight years ago with a line of brightly colored short-shorts for men. They’ve since expanded their offering to include bathing suits, sportswear, and women’s swimwear, all the while growing a fiercely loyal community of ambassadors and fans.
Chubbies has grown their customer base from a group of students on campus to an international community by paying careful attention to site data and consulting with their customers throughout the journey. Everything from their email marketing strategy to product ideas, modeling campaigns, and brick-and-mortar locations has been built in tandem with their community.
Pura Vida was born out of a college trip to Costa Rica. Now, the multi-million dollar accessories brand is the number one Google search result for the word “bracelet.” Their path from selling 400 bracelets out of a suitcase to a successful international business has relied in large part on customer-centric brand-building.
Pura Vida’s founders know their customer inside and out. They encourage top shoppers and micro-influencers who embody the Pura Vida lifestyle to create and share compelling content. That content is then incorporated into their highly customized website, where it invites new shoppers to become a part of the Pura Vida experience.
Cupshe was founded in China in 2014. Selling both apparel and swimwear, they experienced phenomenal growth right off the bat. After their initial success, they made plans to expand into the US and Australian markets.
International expansion prompted the brand to conduct a deeper analysis into what their new customers wanted and expected. After studying return rates and reviews in depth, they realized their shoppers were looking for swimwear more than anything else. Since customer opinions and feedback are the brand’s guiding force, Cupshe pivoted their product to become swimwear-only — and the move paid off in spades.
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