Before using Autopilot, Pet Circle took a transactional approach to customer emails. They sent their entire customer database multiple blasts per week, with generic offers like, “Here are our prices, here are our products, will you buy from us?” It generated ROI, but had room for improvement.
Pet Circle’s Growth Manager, Christian Cameron-Strange, knows that online buyers are more responsive when past behaviors or buying histories are referenced. And while many consumers are still accustomed to one-off transactional buying experiences, they are becoming addicted to smarter, more personalized experiences and fast, expert service à la Amazon. Taken together, Pet Circle knew that being more personal and 1:1 in their marketing is a competitive advantage in the cutthroat e-commerce space.
Tactically, Christian and his team realized this when they analyzed their customer’s online buying journey for the points where people dropped off and never heard from the company again. They created an action plan to automatically segment and nurture customers through the order process, then deliver targeted messages to recover sales at those dropoff points.
The team segmented their database into several core segments: high-value customers, people who buy particular types of products, shopping cart abandoners, and people who haven’t bought anything yet. They are gradually building out personalized journeys for these core segments based on survey responses, content viewed, and products purchased.
Pet Circle’s first key journey reminds recurring buyers to update their credit card details, which prevents failed orders. This helps customers who’ve set up automated deliveries, like Susie the dog owner who needs a fresh food supply for Fido every two weeks, or Bob the cat lover who needs a new bag of litter once a month.
Before the reminder to update credit card details existed, customers only received an “order failed” message after the charge failed to go through. This put a strain on Pet Circle’s support team who had to manually follow up with customers to make the fix. The automated email has taken a huge weight off the team’s shoulders.
Another key Pet Circle journey attracts new customers and revenue by automatically requesting product reviews after purchases. “We’re keen on finding out what customers think about particular products,” Christian says. “And the reviews add social proof to each product page of our website.”
Christian’s team knows that e-commerce buyer relationships are an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. One way the team plants seeds for future purchases is mapping bad experiences to positive outcomes. To accomplish this, Pet Circle sends customers a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey asking to rank on a scale of 1-10, “How likely is it that you would recommend Pet Circle to a friend?”
If the score is greater than seven, customers are left to go on their merry way. If the score is less than seven, the team reaches out for feedback on how to make the customer experience better. It’s an automated solution that gives customers a voice, and keeps the team on their toes to provide a high level of service.
Since launching its automated journeys, Pet Circle has seen a significant increase in response rates and a better experience for its pet loving community.
In the future, Christian plans to tackle more product-specific journeys, make a dent in shopping cart abandonment with automated messaging, use content to nurture potential buyers, and continue to deliver pet happiness across Australia. Perhaps the world is next?