By Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes, YUU co-founders.
Last Christmas (2016), for over four weeks, our website and Amazon site consistently delivered a YUUbag sale every 12 minutes.
So how did we do it? And what did we learn?
It might sound trite but putting our customers young, and older, at the heart of everything we do is the cornerstone of the business and our success to date. In the early stages of the business deeply engaging with kids and their parents during the design process of the YUU range resulted in real gems of insights and product suggestions, which we worked hard to incorporate.
In preparation for Christmas 2016 trading we spent several months going back to basics. Engaging again with children and their parents in focus groups, surveys and telephone interviews with previous customers we began to unpick the core brand pillars and touch points. This resulted in us relaunching the brand in late spring 2016, with a new logo, straplines, colour palettes and website.
Running parallel to our brand development we also scrutinised our extensive sales data over the previous years. Some clear patterns emerged and we started to see parallels with our customer feedback and surveys.
It is easy to fall into the trap of only working ‘in the business’ and not ‘on the business’. The early months of 2016 we took regular time away from the day to day to dissect the business from the top down and the bottom up. By scheduling time to re-focus back on our customers, by engaging with them directly and through a data driven analysis of our ecommerce stats there emerged a number of simple steps to help make a step change in our sales:
Firstly, by using our data more effectively and being smarter in targeting our messages to customer segments we could increase our sales conversion significantly.
Secondly, customers told us that they were actually happy to increase their basket size and spend more with us provided that there was a value offering. And our data backed this up. By simply creating a range of great value ‘bundle’ offers across our most popular ranges, we successfully converted over 40% of customers at Christmas to purchasing not just a YUUbag but a bumper Christmas bundle of seven gifts in one, featuring a range of matching accessories.
Thirdly, by the simple addition of a LiveChat service on our site we almost immediately saw a marked increase in conversion. Our customers told us that the ability to ‘talk’ through the product range and have questions answered instantly was really important. And the results were clear – around 60% of product based LiveChat interactions resulted in a sale!
Although you may not be selling into the children’s market, the principles remain the same if you want a successful online business. These include: create a product that your customers want (by asking them what they want!), be laser sharp in your targeting (don’t try to reach everyone), ensure your branding is appropriate and appealing to your target market, offer bundles (additional items to add to the basket) and add a LiveChat to your website.
YUU was founded in 2010 by Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes with the launch of the first range of kid’s activity backpacks offering an exciting, durable and portable solution to providing entertainment for children on-the-go in a caring, protective way.
Since then, YUUbags have been a storming success with sales exceeding 75,000 YUUbags from the website alone. YUUbags are also sold internationally in Australia & NZ, Russia, Benelux and Scandinavia.
In 2012, YUU appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2012 and secured investment from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden following a highly successful pitch which left all 5 Dragons wanting to invest.
The YUUgo is aimed at children aged 7-12 years. Visit www.yuuworld.com for more information.