How does a company survive a pandemic? This is what Crobox did.
It’s mid-March 2020 in Amsterdam. A global pandemic comes knocking at the gates of the Crobox castle.
Wearing shields (face masks) to protect ourselves from the enemy (virus), Croboxians survive the months-long siege (lockdown) through the skin of our teeth.
Ok, maybe that’s not entirely accurate.
For some companies, thriving in a time of COVID-19 does read like an epic tale of fantastical proportions. But Croboxians seize real-time opportunities in the face of diversity.
We made it through lockdown and the crisis by stepping into gear. Our battle? Taking this crisis day-by-day. Our weapons? The grit and motivation of our employees. Our goal? Making retailers stay relevant, competitive, and adapt to the changing retail landscape.
Here’s how we’ve managed to do just that.
Flattering shot of our weekly "borrel" every Friday afternoon.
It’s no secret that the retail industry has been hit hard. The 2020 forecast for retail sales growth is predicted at -5.7%.
For retailers, there’s the tension between:
a) staying afloat amidst a culture of “less shopping”
b) outshining the competition
That’s because consumer shopping habits have changed. As a result, retailers have been ramping up their digital strategy and adapting their messaging.
So we thought, how can we help?
Since the start of 2020, we’ve been improving our technology. We’ve repositioned, created a new website, and won the LVMH Innovation Award.
With the goal of making a difference in the retail space, here are some of our projects.
The first challenge at the start of 2020 was to reposition. In line with this, we launched a fresh, new website! Give it some love here.
Now you may be asking yourself, why did we decide to reposition?
A couple of factors were at play, but all are relevant if you want to understand the retail climate.
Amidst a culture of store closures, volatile marketplaces, and economic uncertainty, retailers are finding new ways to capture the attention of their customers.
We believe that the next era of retail marketing and eCommerce will bring the worlds of product and customer-centricity together in order to resonate with this new consumer.
Many leaders are already leveraging product data to inform omnichannel campaigns. Using product data in an actionable way (Product Intelligence) will allow brands to keep up with eCommerce companies born from the digital age, whilst still staying within data protection laws (read how ITP is affecting retailers here).
This is where our technology plays a big part. Using Dynamic Product Messages, we can test how different messages drive behavior on specific products, facilitating product intelligence.
We listened and learned from the challenges of our sixty clients. We gauged the market. Tested and tweaked our technology. But it was the struggles of 2020 that lit the match to light the fire of our new company direction.
Now, we can offer product-driven customer experiences to retailers who want to be data-driven and customer-centric both online and off.
Armed with a new positioning and sexy website, Crobox was off to the races! In June, we took home first place in the LVMH Innovation Award.
This year’s LVMH Awards show boasted of thirty finalists: startups with unique solutions to disrupt or innovate the retail sector. The show was 100% digital due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
But that didn’t make it any less exciting! Just ask our Head of Growth, who was presented with the award in the digitized ceremony - watch it here.
We are honored and humbled to have received such recognition, and are already in contact with several maisons to apply our tech to relieve their challenges!
For the next year, we’ll be partnering with LVMH Maisons to provide concrete solutions to their pain points.
Understanding luxury messaging through the lens of psychology is something we’re very, very excited to pursue.
Watching the virtual LVMH Award ceremony replay at the office
Something else the Croboxians have cooked up is an 80+ page ebook on nudge marketing.
“Nudging” is a term coined by behavioral economist Richard Thaler. Nudges are tiny changes to the choice architecture that drive behavior in a meaningful way.
Small nudges = big impact.
With this in mind, we’ve applied the psychology of nudging to eCommerce. Our ebook gives examples and applications of nudge theory for retailers looking to optimize their online offerings (and we may have snuck in a Biggie reference in there somewhere...)
Curious about reading the whole ebook? If you click on the CTA at the end of this article you get access to a free version.
We’ve also welcomed a handful of clients, who are looking forward to applying our technology on their eCommerce platforms.
For example, we recently went live with Wijnbeurs and Wijnvoordel! These wine webshops are using our technology to test behavioral messages and product attributes on both their PLP and PDP.
Wines have many attributes that make them appealing, and people have many reasons to buy one bottle over another. With our Dynamic Messages, we can test which attributes drive click and purchase behavior for which customers.
We also welcomed a New Balance, and are excited to see how our experiments will fair for sports products.
Stay tuned for what our results reveal. Or get in touch to learn more about what our technology can do for your webshop.
Whether you’re selling wine, shoes, or toilet paper - we’re here for you.
A long-time client of ours, ASICS, also continued to apply our technology to optimize their digital platform in the wake of the pandemic. How?
Say you enter an ASICS store. They provide you with a shopping assistant you can consult to find the perfect running shoe.
But what about online?
ASICS brought their guided in-store experience on their webshop in the form of a shopping wizard. Based on the shopper’s answers, the quiz generates the best running shoe for that individual.
By recruiting psychology (Crobox) and neuroscience (Braingineers), this “Shoe Finder” was taken to the next level.
With our on-site experiments, we helped ASICS create product-driven customer experiences. This hyper-targeting personalizes the customer journey. But it also emulates that in-store experience many customers are missing, especially after COVID-19 and subsequent store closures.
We are also proud of our team members, who have continued to lend their voices and expertise at various conferences in 2020.
Our Behavioral Psychologist discussed digital transformation in finance for Rydoo.
Patrick was also featured on live Dutch TV discussing sustainable return practices for retailers.
Moreover, our Head of Growth, Janelle, talked at inOrbit, a digital marketing conference with a focus on eCommerce.
This year’s inOrbit was virtual, and Janelle spoke on the topic: “Product Personalization: Why simple website personalization is no longer enough for customer-centric retailers”.
But where would our frontend and marketing be without our product team?
While the Croboxians were busy protecting the fort, our technology, data, and consumer psychologists were improving the ins and outs of our castle armory.
Here’s what they did.
Rolling out campaign badging for self-service
Our AI does all the heavy-lifting when it comes to choosing the right message for the right product and person. But what if, as a retailer, you wanted to choose your own badges?
Our campaign badging allows you to bypass your IT (who won’t take offense, we promise), and create specific messages, for specific campaigns, and specific audience segments in an easy, seamless way.
The best part?
You can do this completely independently in our app!
We’ve also added product cards to our technology. Remember Pokemon cards? The concept is similar - except for products.
For example, take Air Jordans. A Crobox product card will list the performance, engagement, and interest of these shoes in relation to how shoppers are interacting with them.
Except, unlike in Pokemon, these product cards assimilate real-time data (and unfortunately aren’t for playing. Unless...).
If you want to track how Air Jordans are selling and performing on-site, you simply type the product name in-app and it will show all this centralized product data.
This intelligence makes it easy for our clients to have the information they need to optimize their product campaigns omnichannel.
I certainly don’t remember being able to find any of my Pokemon cards so easily. Of course, the strongest Pokemons I kept locked away in a gold-lined box.
We’ve also created a product attribute identifier. Which means that now we can analyze product information to suggest which keywords we can turn into attributes to then test on-site.
It also means we can help retailers understand their products better, and what makes them great.
Whilst many brands are looking to unpick the mindset of their customers, many lose sight of what their products can offer.
But once you reset your focus to your products and the attributes your customers look for in them, this can inform your omnichannel campaigns and entire branding.
In a time of COVID-19 uncertainty, there’s nothing more powerful than a retailer who’s confident enough to reexamine their offering and core values.
We couldn’t have made it through these strange and unprecedented times (yes, I said it) without the support of our investors, clients, and, of course, our team.
And yet, despite the use of Medieval-battle-lexicon, we don’t feel like conquerors. Instead, we’re humbled to know that in the face of a pandemic, we could work through it together.
Without the motivation and resilience of our team, none of this would have been possible.
“The most important thing to come out of this pandemic for Crobox is the validation that we should continue setting a standard where our company thrives as a team. And that can only happen when our team members are happy. It’s time to renew our perspective by keeping our employees challenged, catered to, and confident.” - Joris Fonteijn, Crobox CBO
But that’s enough of the cheese. Back to castles, battles, knights, and fights -