New Zealand-based footwear brand, Merchant 1948, has exclusively revealed to Ragtrader the ways in which the business is improving its ecommerce, personalisation and logistics services.

Merchant 1948 CEO Shane Anselmi said the business has heightened its focus on customer acquisition in Australia and has aligned its online and offline experiences to unify the brand across channels.

"Alignment between the online and offline experience has really turned our strategy from one specifically e-commerce driven to overall business objectives.

"Where our marketing team has previously been somewhat siloed (traditional vs digital vs in-store experience) we now operate as a streamlined team, regrouping on a weekly (and often daily) basis with an overarching objective to build brand identity and drive awareness in the Australian market.

"Specifically within e-commerce; customer acquisition is a key focus for us currently. We use highly targeted lead generation ads through Facebook to convert lookalike audiences to our own web audiences as well as location targeting to serve social and google ads to our potential audiences in our key growth areas," he said.

By aligning the marketing team across the board, Merchant 1948 has been able to improve the EDMs it sends out to heighten personalisation.

"We’ve recently re-built our email automations and flows for when customers are first being introduced to our brand," Anselmi said.

"We have used segmentation to deliver personalised welcome emails based on our subscribers' gender and previous interactions with our brand. For example, customers vs subscribers and male vs female will get different content.

"We use AI-powered technology to deliver personal product recommendations to our customers onsite, through social media and through our email campaigns.

"We analyse omni-channel behaviours to develop a unique understanding of our customers and display the most relevant products to each individual user, whether they are first time buyers or our most loyal customers."

The brand has also focused on logistics and the speed of order fulfilment, opting to default to store fulfilment first, rather than from the warehouse. 

"We’re now fulfilling online orders from our network of stores as the first option (based on stock availability) [rather than] fulfilling from our warehouse. This has meant a faster service for our customers which has been a challenge for us previously.

"Click and collect was implemented over three years ago, and is now part of our 'business as usual' operation, something we see as a fundamental for operating a truly online to offline (and vice-versa) experience.

"Pre-orders, same day delivery, and Saturday delivery are projects we hope to roll-out within the year," Anselmi said.

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