Carmel Zein
Senior Marketing Manager, APAC @ Yotpo
January 31st, 2022
Table Of Contents

I was thrilled to be a part of the NextGen Retail Leaders Virtual Roundtable hosted by the National Online Retailers Association (NORA) in November. As part of the event, I sat down with Emma Quirk, Global Digital Marketing Manager at at Australian suncare brand Bondi Sands to discuss customer loyalty and retention ahead of their biggest peak season and the steps they took to build their amazing loyalty program with Yotpo.

1. What are your biggest peak seasons and how do you forecast for them?  

For Bondi Sands, we now play in four major markets: APAC, NA, the UK and Europe. And being predominantly a self-tanning brand, we definitely do see strong seasonality across our regions, with our peak seasons based around summer — circling around our self-tan and suncare ranges.

We take insights across each market’s key peak seasons as they wrap up for that year, to apply any key learnings we have seen to the markets that are then entering into their peak season. However, no market is ever the same and localization is very key! We also look into our past data for previous trends within each market, and then overlay these trends with our sales objectives and KPIs to form the basis of our forecast and key digital activity.

2. With so many peak seasons to manage, can you talk us through how you approach customer retention? And has it changed since the pandemic?

Well, it has definitely changed since the pandemic — that’s for sure! During our harshest lockdowns, we saw many of our retail doors close. This really allowed us to pivot and put more emphasis online via our global eCommerce sites. With so much business focus on eComm, it became our priority door during that time.

It also made us evolve faster. We looked at ways to increase our digital disruption in the market and focused on the resources and platforms that would help elevate our eComm. We re-platformed our site, moving to Shopify Plus, which has made such a positive impact — having a really integrated site allowed us to give customers the best online experience.

We shifted CRM platforms too, moving to Klaviyo, which made us able to see more of our first-party data and have that single customer view. That really helped us elevate our email marketing practices. And then of course the rollout of our loyalty program!

3. How did your loyalty program come to be and how did you structure it?

We launched our loyalty program, Bondi Babe Rewards in May 2021. It’s a fully integrated loyalty program which runs on our eCommerce Shopify site and is also connected to our CRM network, social channels, customer service helpdesk and our review platform, Yotpo.

In terms of the steps we took to build out our program, having our customer at the forefront of Bondi Babes Rewards was of the utmost importance to us, and that’s exactly where we started. We wanted to know what our customers would like to see from us and our loyalty program. So, we surveyed a group of our VIP customers, asking questions about what type of loyalty programs they were currently using, what they liked, what they didn’t like and what they value most from loyalty programs. This became the bones of our program’s structure.

When looking for the right loyalty partner, we wanted to ensure we had synergies across our eCommerce platform, CRM network, social channels, etc. Having a strong relationship with Yotpo, our Ratings & Reviews partner, made us decide it was the best fit to continue the partnership into the loyalty arm of their business. As a digital-first brand, we see how important reviews and referrals are, and have enjoyed working with Yotpo to bring these elements into our loyalty program.

4. You recently shared with me that since we started working with you, loyalty ROI increased by 348% — a massive achievement.

Yes! Since launching in May we are seeing incredible results across the board, across all our KPIs, especially our overall program ROI!

5. What advice would you offer brands who are thinking about starting a loyalty program?

I would tell other businesses looking to set up their own loyalty program to take their time, to understand your first-party data and your customer before jumping feet first into loyalty.

We spent a great deal of time making sure that our objectives and KPIs were sound. We ran financial modelling to ensure our loyalty program would be profitable to run and spent time making 3-year projections to show the positive impact loyalty will have on the business.

Testing is also key. We spent time testing the functionality, the logic, and the customer experience before we went live. Having a solid testing period was important to iron out any glitches or issues to avoid any customer dissatisfaction at launch. You definitely want to launch and be able to deliver on the things you said you would, so testing is very important!

6. What are you doing at Bondi Sands to foster community?

Community is so important to us and making our customers feel like a part of the brand! Across digital and social we have different community groups our customers can join and participate in: our FB Group (Babes Who Bondi), email marketing (Club Bondi), and loyalty program (Bondi Babe Rewards). We offer unique experiences within these communities, providing pre-sale access for new product launches, early access to shop our promotions online, involvement in trial teams to test new products before they hit the shelf, and also opportunities to involve our Bondi Lovers in our marketing campaigns.

We recently launched a whole new category for us — skincare! Which is so exciting and very different for Bondi Sands. Our Everyday Skincare range is positioned to be created for real skin and tested by real people. So we reached out to our communities to be the face of the launch, to be our Everyday Influencers. To trial the products for 30 days and to shoot weekly check-ins of their skin journey which we have now utilized across every touchpoint of our skincare launch. It is so exciting to see our passionate customers at the forefront!

7. What are you most excited about in 2022? Any trends you are looking to explore?

Apart from building the success of our loyalty program further, one really exciting opportunity I am most looking forward to in 2022 is partnering with TikTok on a deeper level. We have just implemented TikTok Shop for our NA region for organic social shopping — similar to instagram checkout in the US. We are also looking into further testing new ad features across TikTok, like conversion ads and collection ads to continue the eComm momentum for the business.


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