Bailey Nelson has seen online sales conversion increase by 400% in Australia and more than 600% in Canada, thanks to an innovative virtual reality-based test solution for those who bring shows.
Said James Kerridge, head of marketing and digital at Bailey Nelson CMO that before the Covid-19 pandemic, the business had focused on stores, recognizing physical stores as a key point of contact to meet customer needs. The company operates 80 locations in four countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.
While having closed stores in all markets in a week as a result of the first wave of Covid-19 blockades and facing uncertainty about how long the situation would last, it was clear that e-commerce and digital required a focus. meaningful.
“Even despite the blockade, there would be a continuing need for people to have access to glasses. The goal was to provide a more convenient service to people who need eye care, ”Kerridge said.
In addition to e-commerce, the Kerridge team was tasked with developing tactics that could differentiate the brand, as well as bridge the gap between online and offline customer experiences.
“We didn’t have a new virtual test solution: it was on our list, but as a result, we pushed ourselves to the top,” Kerridge continued. “I really wanted to make a big bet, not just rush for it and have the same as everyone else. Looking at what was there, I found that many virtual test products were obsolete on the market and did not take advantage of the best available technologies or use the best facial recognition technologies. ”
For Kerridge, Apple’s TrueDepth facial recognition capability was the group’s leader. He then met with Plattar, an Australian provider of augmented reality solutions and 3D platforms.
“At the time, Plattar wasn’t doing virtual tests, he was doing interesting things in the augmented reality space. We talked about giving the most accurate experience at home, taking advantage of facial recognition,” Kerridge explained. It’s essential if you try on glasses at home, you should have the same feeling and the same result when you get home. ”
The companies began an initial trial of the virtual trial of 60 products starting in February 2021. The strong business results were immediately evident and Kerridge worked quickly to achieve a full range of products.
“Australia performed better with Covid’s management than other markets at the time, but it still had a larger online presence and we saw a 400% improvement in conversion among those using this service,” he said. . “In Canada, which had ongoing outbreaks and several waves in most provinces, it was a much larger market uptake of 600%.
“This has allowed us to continue negotiating and caring for people who have eye care needs despite being presented with uncertainty blockages.”
Even with Sydney’s current blockchain situation, Kerridge said Bailey Nelson has seen an increase of almost 70% in sales conversion over a normal trading period, “despite having less customer traffic in our stores “. The company noted that 39% of all online shoppers in Sydney today use virtual testing.
The service is now available in all markets and all products. The company is also committed to enabling virtual testing with each product launch going forward.
Three-axis marketing plan
Kerridge joined Bailey Nelson two years ago after spending more than seven years building e-commerce from scratch at Harris Farm Markets. He cited three main marketing goals he has been working to meet since he took on the role. The first is to grow the brand and expand the brand’s appeal, while the second is to acquire, retain and “help people book, browse and buy.” The third is to reduce the gap between online and offline.
“This virtual testing initiative has helped all three things and it still has legs,” he said.
The Plattar SaaS solution was relatively easy to integrate with Bailey Nelson’s Shopify website. On compatible iPhone and iPad models, the customer chooses the pair of glasses they would like to inspect by selecting “Virtual Test”. The system logs if the client is on a compatible device and opens the front TrueDepth camera. Once the camera detects a face, the virtual glasses are superimposed on the customer’s face in real time.
The capability leverages Apple’s TrueDepth technology along with 3D using the iPhone and iPad’s LiDAR scanner. It is important to note that because prescription glasses must be properly placed on the face to function effectively, experience also strives to ensure a perfect size and fit.
While the TrueDepth iPhone camera and devices for iPhone X or later are the best and most accurate way to use virtual testing, the service works on other devices, including Google Android.
It fits well with Bailey Nelson’s current customer case, which is largely made up of younger consumers with higher consumption of smartphones and use of smartphones.
“However, we want to expand the attractiveness of the brand, so it is important to serve all customer segments. Everyone has a phone and iPhones have a very high market share. It fits in well with our business goals, ”said Kerridge.
For Kerridge, the most labor-intensive task has been to gather content about the appearance of each product, its shape, color, and measurements.
“We needed a lot of training virtually and I created a couple of roles to give him the focus he needed. We are also working in collaboration with Plattar on this, ”he said. “Content is more time consuming, but if done right, it can only be leveraged to move forward.”
One of the unexpected benefits of trying out virtual trials has been brand promotion. In recent months, a concerted effort has been made in Australia to encourage users to conduct a product review every time they purchase.
Of nearly 500 reviews so far, Bailey Nelson makes an average of 4.8 out of 5, placing the company in the top optics retailer in Australia, Kerridge said. The company also has 10,000 5-star Google reviews.
Today, 15% of total site traffic uses the virtual test solution. One of Kerridge’s current goals has been to ensure that more people know about its existence through user experience, messaging, and advertising.
“It’s always presented in our message boards through email, performance marketing and the website. We also want to make it easy for people to know you have service and we call it all product collections and display pages because be easier and more accessible, ”he said.
Now that the content has been compiled, Bailey Nelson will look for ways to include it in the in-store experience. For example, if a product is out of stock in the store but is available on the website.
With e-commerce so focused by Bailey Nelson given the Covid environment, Kerridge said the sale on the virtual test service was a no-brainer.
“But we made the judgment and this showed a strong business performance. We also knew that, when entering the test, there would be a great benefit for the brand that we would not necessarily be able to measure immediately, as it is a key competitive differential, ”he said.
In the last 18 months, the company has rebuilt its website and is in the process of redesigning it now. The changes include the creation of a custom reservation system to replace a third-party solution. A solution for mobile commerce applications is also expected in the next 1-2 years. The virtual test will once again be a basic component that will allow you to test directly from your phone, as well as the possibility of booking an eye test.
Plattar CEO and founder Rupert Deans said working with Bailey Nelson was a “brilliant” example of how visualization can transform the customer experience.
“Our goal is to enable e-commerce companies to change the way they sell and participate online through 3D and RA technologies that allow customers to experience a product as they would in real life. It’s the best way to instill confidence in buyers, “he said.
“It has been a pleasure working with Bailey Nelson to develop an unparalleled solution in the optical market category and see its online sales boom as a result.”
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