LensOnline appreciates the most how Custobar can adapt to their needs

Customer data and marketing automation are vital when it comes to ensuring the success of ecommerce companies like LensOnline. Ecommerce Product Manager Kevin Moral is delighted with the fact that he recently switched to Custobar as significant new opportunities quickly came the way of his department. But that’s certainly not the only reason why he chose this customer data & marketing automation platform.

Belgian ecommerce company LensGroup, parent company of well-known Belgian contact lens webshop LensOnline, has more than 400,000 customers across Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Germany. It is one of Europe’s three largest lens product ecommerce companies. And, having taken over its Belgian competitor Lensworld in 2017, it has become the largest player in the Belgian online market for contact lenses.

Ever since its establishment in 2004, LensGroup has used a hybrid model, according to which it combines online sales with collaborations with local opticians that offer contact lens services like routine check-ups and personal advice. As explained by Kevin Moral, LensOnline Ecommerce Product Manager, coronavirus threw a bit of a spanner in the works this year.

Kevin Moral, LensOnline

With the retail closures, we obviously experienced a slight decline in shop sales. But that drop was more than offset by a rise in online sales. Our online sales carried on and made this an excellent year from a business perspective.

- Kevin Moral, Ecommerce Product Manager, LensOnline

Unlimited segmentation options

According to Kevin Moral, this success isn’t just due to the fact that consumers turned to online shopping en masse during the pandemic, but is also thanks to the company’s switch to customer data & marketing automation platform Custobar.

Previously, we’d used a different emailing tool. But we’d constantly come up against limitations, such as a lack of personalisation options & extensive segmentation and limited graphic design facilities. By pure coincidence, Custobar contacted us at that time with their proposal for a solution. We immediately realised that we’d have many more segmentation options with Custobar.

Surprisingly easy to use

And, in Custobar, Kevin Moral has found a degree of user-friendliness that he hasn’t before encountered among these types of platforms.

Their customer data and marketing automation platform is very easy to use. That’s especially useful to content marketers who want to create campaigns, segments and so forth. It’s so user-friendly that now we’re considering letting shop managers run their own marketing campaigns. They’d be able to use the platform as a kind of mini-CRM for their own shops to facilitate the management of a wide range of marketing channels like Facebook and email, and even AdWords or SMS.

Endless possibilities

But access for store managers is still a future concept. During this start-up phase, Kevin Moral still wants to himself take full advantage of all the possibilities offered by his new customer data & marketing platform. And there are plenty of those.

During the initial phase, we’re mainly focusing on emailing campaigns. These involve newsletters, as well as more personal campaigns aimed at customers who have, for example, decided to make purchases based on loyalty promotions. However, we’ve also started working on SMS marketing and personalised campaigns run across Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

But Custobar’s simplicity and intuitiveness in use aren’t the only great advantage of this platform. The fact that we can import as much personal data as we like for the segmentation of our customers has very quickly become hugely important to us. Custobar configured a number of fields by default, but we can always add extra fields that are specifically relevant to our business. Custobar also applies an entire series of plugins that make it easy to link to other platforms. But you can link other services yourself or ask Custobar to arrange the setup on your behalf. In a nutshell, you aren’t limited to the integrations configured by default in Custobar. You can always go ahead and develop your own facilities. That’s the major advantage of this platform.

Machine learning

Kevin Moral is also looking ahead to the future.

In 2021, we plan to start working on truly automated campaign flows, tailored on the basis of customers, their purchase history and their customer journey. We also want to enrich the data with an algorithm based on machine learning. That should allow us to – as closely as possible – estimate the dates of our customers’ next orders. We do not, for example, know how long a month’s worth of daily lenses will last a customer. This can vary from one to two or even three months, depending on how often in the week lenses are worn. So, a machine learning algorithm based on the habits of every customer could be extremely useful here.

Always available

Kevin Moral explains that Custobar is constantly guiding LensGroup so that it can take full advantage of all the facilities offered by the platform.

Every trimester, we hold follow-up sessions with Custobar’s customer success manager during which we examine current activities and determine how Custobar can help us move forward. Their support service is also very responsive. We even interact frequently with Tatu Kuivahlahti, CEO of Custobar. So, I can confidently say that we have a lot of intercommunication with them, and that they’re always available to help their customers.

Remarkable results

Kevin Moral strikes a satisfied note when he tells us that Custobar’s broad range of services and facilities has already yielded great results for LensGroup.

Our previous solution really didn’t allow us to record clear-cut statistics, so I can’t give you accurate progress figures. However, the fact that we’ve taken giant leaps forward is undisputable. The numbers that we can now see thanks to Custobar are looking great. Our deliverability, for example, is at 99.7%. So not bad at all. Our email campaigns have an open rate of 25%, which is well above the average open rate in the industry. In my opinion, that’s mainly the result of an improvement in segmentation that we’ve been able to achieve thanks to Custobar. After all, we can now send much more personalised emails geared towards the interests of our customers. In a nutshell, the results have been great! We’re extremely satisfied, especially because we can see that our email campaigns are having a clear effect on our turnover and our sales figures.

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