Soap.com Wants to Be Customers’ Fave
You would think that a company with a broad product selection that offered convenient online ordering, competitive pricing, free two-day delivery on purchases of $39 or more and a 365-day return policy would have pretty loyal customers.
According to Teju Prabhakar, director of marketing at Soap.com, all those things have helped the company develop a loyal customer base. The company’s goal, however, is to do even better and so it has rolled out its "My 5 Faves" program. The initiative allows consumers to choose a single favorite product from five categories. Every time they order those items, they receive a 10 percent discount on the price. If items are on sale, the faves’ discount will be added. The same is true of purchases where consumers use manufacturer coupons. Consumers can change faves every 90 days.
"Our intention was always to launch a retention or loyalty program," Mr. Prabhakar told RetailWire in a recent interview. "We did a lot of research and saw that people really responded to rewards that were instant. We wanted a program where you could come back and be rewarded for shopping immediately."
Soap.com also wanted to create a program that showcased its product selection.
"The fact that you can choose from five categories, makes it more likely that you can go into a screen and see that you have a 10 percent discount that you’re not using right now, for example on vitamins, so why don’t you buy vitamins because they’re on Soap.com, as well," said Mr. Prabhakar.
The e-tailer is not concerned about margin erosion with the discounts.
"It’s something we had planned for already. We look at it, at the end of the day, as a price decrease for our customers and a way to thank them for shopping. We see it as something that will pay for itself from a retention, order size and frequency standpoint."
Soap.com customers have responded positively.
"The numbers look great and we haven’t even really been marketing the program yet. We only sent one email to our customer base. We have a lot planned in terms of inserts to let our customers know, possibly other types of broad reach media," said Mr. Prabhakar.
Vendors also see opportunities with the faves program.
"You can imagine the types of data that might be available to a vendor. We can come up with a list of the top brands that people have chosen as their faves on our site and I think if I were a brand I would really be interested to know how many people have chosen my brand as a favorite," said Mr. Prabhakar. "Those are your brand loyalists so doing something where you can engage that base even further, possibly introduce them to other products etc."
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the “My 5 Faves” program from Soap.com? Is this type of program something only an e-tailer can does it have applications in brick & mortar stores, as well?