How Mejuri is winning over its target audience? – Seven key strategy decisions review on a new online retail business

Personal Experience – I collaborated with Mejuri!!!

As an active user on Instagram, I was flattered that Mejuri (a Toronto-based jewelry store) has invited me to join in their influencer partnership campaign. They have sent a couple of emails to me every time when they launched a new product, asking me if I would like to promote their products on my Instagram through IG story or content post. Since 2019, I started to get in touch with this brand and collaborated with them in several campaigns including Black Friday Promotion, March Pearls Launch etc. After a long-term partnership, I became more addicted to their products and their philosophy delivered, so I even introduce this brand to my friends and on my other social media channels. 

Mejuri as a newly established jewelry brand is growing fast and has attracted its target audience through its exceptional digital marketing strategies. The company conveys a new concept to position its products: fine jewelry for every day. Unlike the traditional model, the business has adopted the digital-first approach which optimises its digital presence to achieve sales growth. 

Source: Mejuri Website

Let’s take a look at which key strategy decisions that Mejuri has considered when initiating their strategies. 

1.Market and Product Development Strategy

As one of the marketing mix, it is important that online businesses should identify its target market (existing markets and potential markets) and then develop product strategies through different stages. This is the fundamental step to build up own value position that is competitive to other competitors and understand what customers may want from your delivered products. 

Mejuri used a market penetration strategy for its existing products. The philosophy of the company determines that unlike traditional luxury brands they offer relatively lower price jewelry to achieve an occasional purchase, which improves customer value through increasing purchase and usage frequency. In terms of customer loyalty improvement, Mejuri engaged user-generated content mixed with its own campaigns, allowing consumers to tag Mejuri on social media platforms and share their experiences while wearing the jewelry (Karin 2020). This strategy helps the business to somehow enhance customer loyalty as social media posts or comments have a significant influence on the company’s brand building. I became more trusted and believe that Mejuri did provide high-quality products after browsing those aesthetic posts shared by Instagram users. And it is shown that 40% of Mejuri’s revenue is from repeat consumers (Elizabeth 2016). 

When it comes to new products launch, Mejuri cast aside seasonal collections approach, instead, they created weekly editions every Monday to launch two to five new pieces (Elizabeth 2016). Besides, the company created waitlists, meaning that consumers can sign up for launches to get early access via email or SMS (Elizabeth 2016). This is important particularly for online businesses as it can add value to not only its brand but its products, consumers are always more willing to purchase the pre-launched products and enjoy the premium experience.

2.Business and Revenue Models Strategy

This is important when online businesses hit a wall at generating profits, which means that they need to consider alternative revenue models not only focusing on transactional base but subscription base. And for online retailers, they should also consider a mix of on and offline transactions. 

The basic business model Mejuri adopted is direct-to-consumer (B2C). Centered on its customer-first ethos that delivers heightened digital functionality, Mejuri sells fine and seem-fine jewelry with relatively low prices (Elizabeth 2016).

In terms of revenue models, Mejuri first adopted web sales which is another form of transactional revenue model to generate traffic, customer conversion rate. This is the popular form that most online retailers use allowing customers to purchase their products via a web search. 

Later in 2018, Mejuri opened its first pop-up store in Toronto called The Vault. The focus of this store is not about transactional base but more about hospitality and relationship building, and building brand awareness and customer loyalty in the context that fits into Instagram and influencers (Katie 2019). This may not directly generate revenue for the business, however, the pop-up store helps new online businesses edge into brick-and-mortar for the first time, identify values when testing new markets, and build personal relationships with customers, which indirectly boost online sales (Katie 2019). 

Source: Google Image

3.Targeting Market, Positioning and Differentiation Strategy 

These are the necessary decision-making approaches for online marketers when precisely target their potential and current markets. Without appropriately segmenting your market, online businesses may go into a failure no matter how many resources have been invested in. And if online marketers could not identify proposition and create unique value for each segment, it is hard to attract customers and retain them in the long-term. Before implementing any strategy, ask these questions first: ‘who is your target customer (target market)?, why do they purchase your products instead of other competitors (differentiation)? and what do they do with your products (positioning)?’ 

Unlike traditional luxury jewelry brands, Mejuri maintains its mission on fine jewelry every day and the company believes that luxury should be accessible, fun, and part of your every day (Cassidy 2019). Keeping its promise, the company is targeting consumers especially women and young people who want to buy good quality jewelry regularly for themselves at an affordable price, which is different from the traditional concept i.e. buying jewelry only for gifting. 

Apart from this, Mejuri also fills a unique niche. Many young people are interested in ethical and sustainable living particularly during COVID-19, and the company who is committed to high manufacturing standards and quality materials targets this group of people and develops a brand proposition in their minds. On its website, they demonstrated the use of enduring materials from metals to chains, set with genuine gemstones and ethically sourced diamonds (Mejuri 2020). 

4.Customer Engagement and Social Media Strategy

For a new online retail business during the introduction stage, a simple interactive website and social media engagement may be required. However, in order to achieve target sales in the long run, fully interactive site and marketing automation providing relationship marketing with customers are necessary. 

According to an interview with the co-founder of Mejuri, she mentioned that she believed in the power of testimonials, transparency and feedback, and customer happiness as well as further encouraging open dialogue and conversation (Elizabeth 2016). Until now, Mejuri has more than 820,000 followers on Instagram, the company said that their Instagram is a living, breathing feedback and discussion board for their team and community (Elizabeth 2016). Their digital adaptations enable the company to work more closely with its customers and interact with them regularly. And Mejuri’s social media account focuses on user-generated content which can provide more authentic feedback. 

Another common tactic most online retailers implement nowadays is selling products directly through the Instagram platform. Mejuri followed the same pace, generating profits via social media platforms. 

Source: Mejuri Instagram

Apart from the above-mentioned social media strategies, SEO (search engine optimisation) can help businesses generate traffic and enhance brand exposure. I used to work in a real-estate development company called Country Garden Australia, we have leveraged an SEO online marketing campaign when we rebranded our company. It was quite challenging and may involve any PR issues during rebranding, however, I have to say that the SEO campaign is helpful for the company to enhance its brand image and reach a broader audience. When you search ‘Risland Australia’ on Google, you can see the website listed on the top that directs you to the page ‘Risland Australia Brand Announcement’ followed by its LinkedIn and positive news regarding how the company responded COVID-19. From a psychological perspective, these positive information can somehow establish a reputable brand image for the company.

5.Multichannel Distribution Strategy

This refers to how businesses use different social media platforms to target different market segments, which may not seem to be significant for a newly established online business as sometimes many companies focus on one particular distribution channel to promote and deliver their products. Later during the growth stage, marketers may need to consider expanding its distribution channels to enlarge its customer base and increase its brand exposure. 

Mejuri mainly focused on virtual/online channels to sell their jewelry including Instagram, website, email subscription, as their primary strategy is based on a digital-first approach. The company achieved a sales growth at nearly 500% because of its robust social strategy that optimises its digital presence as a customer dialogue with smartphone-centric communication (Elizabeth 2016). 

During the growth stage, Mejuri opened its first physical store as part of its multichannel retail strategy. The aim of the pop-up stores was not driving sales but it tended to boost online sales as this provided a platform to engage influencers, sponsors, and VIP customers to communicate and actively interact. Building such a dialogue among existing customers helps to enhance its brand awareness and customer loyalty. 

Source: Google Image

6.Online Communications Mix and Budget

New online businesses must consider budget aspects when making any marketing strategy decisions during the product lifecycle. Without great control over your budget, any strategy may not be profitable as expected. Besides, while determining any kind of online communication techniques, marketers also need to decide whether their primary purpose is customer acquisition, retention, or relationship building. 

The online communication techniques Mejuri adopted include influencer campaigns, online ads, and email marketing. They all increase brand exposure and generate traffic for the company’s website. As mentioned in the previous personal experience, Mejuri entered into an influencer campaign with me requiring me to post at least one Instagram story and post within the timeframe. Besides, they provided me with a discount code to share with my followers. By doing this, the company is trying to expand its online presence through influencers and generate sales via consumers’ use of the discount code. From my perspective, I think why the company is targeting me as their influencer is not because of my followers (just a small number of followers on Instagram), but it is because of my engagement with the audience. Therefore, I think when the online retailers are looking for an influencer, they should consider whether he/she is good at content creating and actively engaging with others. 

Mejuri also invested in the Instagram business promotion campaign, which allows the sponsored ads to pop up on the Instagram page. This kind of strategy may be costly, but it can somehow increase brand exposure and generate traffic. 

7.Organisational Capabilities and Governance

This decision element helps the businesses to review and examine their internal capabilities, which is supportive of the above-mentioned aspects. The 7-s framework (structure, systems, style, staff, skills, strategy, shared values) determines whether the businesses acquire sufficient resources in implementing strategies and can achieve the ultimate goal. 

Back to the Mejuri case, the company is constantly focusing on its internal tone of voice: Mejuri is your friend who is having fun with you, who knows more about jewelry. We’re not above you, we’re with you (Karin 2020). And it is said that they do not need too many guidelines when they hired staff who believe in the mission of the company (Karin 2020). This reflects a strong corporate culture and consistency within the organisation. 

Reference List

Elizabeth, D 2016, ‘Jewelry Brand Mejuri Takes Millennial Business Approach for Big Payoffs’, Dash Ventures, viewed 31 August 2020, <http://dashventures.com/press/jewelry-brand-mejuri-takes-millennial-business-approach-for-big-payoffs/&gt;

Karin, E 2020, ‘Mejuri: A Masterclass In Disrupting The Jewelry Industry, On A Global Scale’, Forbes, 8 May, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/karineldor/2020/05/08/mejuri-a-masterclass-in-disrupting-the-jewelry-industry-on-a-global-scale/#183f934f2c59&gt;

Katie, R 2019, ‘How Mejuri is using pop-up stores as part of a multichannel retail strategy’, Glossy, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.glossy.co/fashion/how-mejuri-is-using-pop-up-stores-as-part-of-a-multichannel-retail-strategy&gt;

Mejuri 2020, Mejuri Inc, Canada, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://mejuri.com/materials&gt;

Everlane Case Review

Everlane Tells You How To Gain Target Audience

On Social Media

Everlane, an American clothing retailer that sells primarily online, adopts several social media marketing strategies to gain its online sales growth. 

Everlane is committed to providing exceptional quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency (Everlane 2020). It is easy for a company to establish brilliant promises on its website to impress the audience for the first time, however, it is difficult to make them truly believe in what you are doing and retain their loyalty. A close and active customer engagement through social media platforms would be a good idea to achieve this. Everlane uses multichannel social media not for flashy content meant solely to sell, but for authentic storytelling about the business’ mission and vision (Lizz 2019) and community engagement. Following screenshots show some insights about Everlane’s social media performance in August 2020 (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram):

Based on the statistics, we can see that compared with Instagram, fans’ growth on Everlane’s Facebook declined slightly and there were fewer Twitter replies maybe due to fewer active users on Facebook and Twitter. While Instagram can be seen as the most active platform where Everlane gained much impression and engagement from the audience. The following screenshot shows the difference in engagement insights of Facebook and Instagram in terms of one identical post: Everlane continues to show its commitment to social responsibility on every channel, however the comments and likes on Instagram are far more active than Facebook. And the company became less active on Twitter as the most recent post was in June. 

The above statistics tell us that Everlane may perform better in terms of consumer engagement, brand exposure, and consumers-conversion rate on Instagram than the other social media platforms. The philosophy of the company is to build authenticity into the fabric of the brand, and social media can be the place where Everlane creates a vision for consumers of how, when, and where they could wear each piece and gains transparent feedback from the public (Lizz 2019). 

The company also hosted a campaign called Transparency Tuesdays which involves a Q&A session on Instagram stories, Everlane community managers take questions from the social audience and provide their comments, suggestions, and responses in terms of for example why international returns are expensive (Lizz 2019). Besides, they used Instagram story as the major platform to unfold their behind-the-scenes looks at how the company is recycling plastic bottles and discarded wool to create new products, and employee life at Everlane (Lizz 2019). These lifestyle moments and close audience interaction bring consumers firmly into the story of Everlane. 

Another campaign Everlane launched is the Affiliates Program, which invites or encourages influencers who are interested in the brand and want to earn commission on net sales. Influencers nowadays are getting more value-added and persuasive when promoting products and representing an online brand, and this helps the company to enhance its brand exposure and moreover convey the story through ‘real people’.

Reference List

Everlane 2020, Everlane, Inc, United States, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.everlane.com/privacy&gt;

Lizz, K 2019, ‘Social Spotlight: Everlane and the Impact of Zero Impact’, Sprout Social, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-spotlight-everlane/&gt;

10 Fabulous Social Media Marketing Tactics for Your Online Fashion Store

In a crowded fashion market, it is challenging for a new launch fashion store to stand out. Obviously, you’ve got a tough task ahead of you in developing social media marketing tactics in the ever-changing fashion industry. Here, I’ve compiled a list of 10 fabulous tips to get you to become popular and attract your target audience. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will be able to catch your audience’s eyes, boost your online sales, promote your brand in a distinguished way. 

Do you gain some inspiration from Everlane’s case? let’s check out the 10 fabulous social media marketing tactics you can’t miss!

1.Target your audience and create social media accounts

2.Run a giveaway/promotion/discount code on social media

3.Appropriately use right #hashtag

4.Use video whenever possible

5.Partner with well-known fashion bloggers/influencers

6.Be active on social media live story

7.Enable shopping on social media

8.Sponsor and promote your posts/Invest in post ads

9.Run email marketing campaign

10.Run audience campaign

1.Target your audience and create social media accounts

Almost all social media platforms are free to sign up including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. As an online fashion store, focusing more on Instagram is highly recommended. Based on the statistics, there were about 1 billion Instagram monthly users as of June 2018 (Mansoor 2020). Creating the account is just the first simple step, more importantly, you have to emphasise quality content marketing. You should not only maintain the consistency of the color platter that fits your brand image but keeps your content short and precise which can immediately deliver the message to your audience. Also, frequently posting compelling content is needed to maintain your social media traffic.

Some other popular social media platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest are suggested as well especially Pinterest has a decisive influence on consumers’ purchasing behaviors. However, you should be careful when targeting the Asian audience as the Asian user rate for Pinterest is only 4.86% as of July 2020 (Statcounter 2020). Alternative social media platforms such as Weibo and Little Red Book should be considered when your target market is based in China. According to research, Little Red Book focuses more on the beauty and fashion segment where is a great platform to engage influential users to promote fashion brand (Martin 2018). Besides, not only the platform is becoming increasingly popular in China, but there are also a good amount of users based in the U.S., U.K., and Australia who exhibit stronger influence than other user groups (Martin 2018). 

2.Run a giveaway/promotion/discount code on social media

You can offer different incentives to buyers depending on different occasions to increase your followers and boost sales. For example, prior to Easter, you can offer an Easter Discount Code with the icon of a fancy Easter egg to encourage purchase. Or if it’s Black Friday when it is a great time to boost your online sales, you can offer some promotion benefits such as free shipping, 30% discount code, or half price for the third purchase etc. 

3.Appropriately use right #hashtag

Hashtag has strongly organised a big part of social media, appropriately choosing a hashtag can increase your target audience. Choosing a short phrase to ensure it is closely related to your brand (Kerry 2020) such as your brand name or latest product name. Another tip is using a hashtag on your Instagram story. For example, as an online fashion brand, you can consider live-tweeting or covering high profile events such as Vogue Night and commenting on what celebrities are wearing (Mark 2018). 

4.Use video whenever possible

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who do not (Margot 2020). Video is the most visualised method to attract your audience and directly convey the brand image. For example, you can show off your seasonal collections, videoing other influencers’ wearing, giving a sneak peek into the coming collections. The video can be short and detailed as it just gives the audience an overview of your fashion brand or shows off a behind-the-scene.

Source:  Cmeocollective Instagram 

5.Partner with well-known fashion bloggers/influencers

This group of people is powerful in today’s digital world. They promote your brand and products on their social media platform representing your company. Sometimes they will ask for a free product or commission for featuring the products on a post, depending on their social media insights and the extent of the collaboration. It is suggested that you can pitch them to share the sponsored posts that reflect your brand value and brand image. This is one of the effective strategies to grow your target audience as they have trust with those well-known fashion bloggers/influencers and those bloggers have a huge impact on buyers’ purchasing behavior. Besides, you can even launch collections that involve co-branding with fashion bloggers’ names. A little tip here is that you can provide collaboration guidance for fashion bloggers to ensure they create the content that you aim for. (Check out my previous post about how I collaborated with Mejuri)

 This is one of my favorite fashion bloggers, and I bought lots of Cmeo Collective clothes that co-branded with her. 

6.Be active on social media live story

Many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube have the feature of a live story, which offers an opportunity for online retailers to create more interactive content. For example, you can run a Q&A session to engage your audience to discuss current affairs, or you can show off a sneak peek of new styles coming out. Or you can start a live chat with your audience, as this helps your audience be more familiar with your brand and engage closely, on the other hand, you can receive instant feedback from them. 

7.Enable shopping on social media

Both Facebook and Instagram allow retailers to create a business account to enable direct online shopping. How businesses can convert traffic into sales is to include shopping functions on social media considering that there are 70% shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery (Salman 2020). It is more effective to encourage consumers to make purchases after they have a visual view of how models or bloggers wear clothes. Another new platform is Facebook online shopping, which allows small businesses to create a mobile-first shopping store for free. This is highly suggested especially when you first establish your online fashion store with a limited budget but want to gain much traffic. 

8.Sponsor and promote your posts/Invest in post ads

While it is becoming competitive for business pages to gain exposure and traffic, paid ads on social media is one of the effective components even for a thrift fashion store. You don’t have to spend much on advertising, but your brand will obtain much exposure from a bigger audience. You can even customise your target audience based on country, gender, and age. When you run the sponsored ads for your business, social media will retarget the posts to those who may be interested in fashion, clothing, outfit etc. 

9.Run email marketing campaign

Email marketing, as another critical tool, helps online businesses to regularly communicate with the leads in a more formal way regarding special offers, coming collections, popular items that are back in store or even remind consumers of their unpaid items in the shopping cart. By receiving these emails, buyers must register an account on your online store, so it is important to ensure that the registration process is easy and quick. 

 I will receive emails from The Iconic weekly regarding any special offers, vouchers, or birthday code. Honestly, the email title persuades me to make purchases from them!! 

10.Run audience campaign

This means that you can create a specific event hashtag for your audience to share their outfits while wearing your brand. It is a good idea to actively engage with consumers or your social media followers. By doing this, you can either feature their photos on social media or your website. These real-life posts can create more authenticity and attraction to the target audience. 

Reference List 

Everlane 2020, Everlane, Inc, United States, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.everlane.com/privacy&gt;

Kerry, B 2020, ‘Hashtags – How To Use Hashtags on Social Media’, XEN, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://xen.com.au/hashtags-how-to-use-hashtags-on-social-media/&gt;

Lizz, K 2019, ‘Social Spotlight: Everlane and the Impact of Zero Impact’, Sprout Social, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-spotlight-everlane/&gt;

Mark, H 2018, ‘17 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Online Sales’, Shopify Blog, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/7900695-12-social-marketing-strategies-to-grow-your-online-sales#audience&gt;

Margot, W 2020, ‘31 Fabulous Fashion Marketing Tips’, WorldStream, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/07/03/fashion-marketing&gt;

Mansoor, I 2020, ‘Instagram Revenue and Usage Statistics (2020)’, Business of apps, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.businessofapps.com/data/instagram-statistics/&gt;

Martin, L 2018, ‘Analysis of the emerging Chinese social media- The Little Red Book’, Towards data science, viewed 1 September 2020, <https://towardsdatascience.com/analysis-of-the-emerging-chinese-social-media-the-little-red-book-ad7edd05459e >

Salman, A 2020, ‘Instagram by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts’, Omnicore Agency, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.omnicoreagency.com/instagram-statistics/&gt;

Statcounter 2020, ‘Social Media Stats Asia’, Statcounter GlobalStats, viewed 1 September 2020, <https://gs.statcounter.com/social-media-stats/all/asia&gt;

Airbnb’s COVID-19 Strategy – Let’s see how they reconnect hosts and guests!

Someone said that COVID-19 may be another economic recession like what happened in 2008, but they are a bit different. The financial crisis in 2008 occurred primarily due to deregulation in financial institutions, however, COVID-19 economic recession was caused by demand shortage because of the virus and then the butterfly effects happened to both consumers and businesses especially retails stores. In my previous post, I have reviewed the opportunities and challenges faced by digital marketers, now I want to share some insights about how businesses can strategically survive from the pandemic and what digital marketing strategies should be evolved to balance customers and community needs. 

Airbnb has done well in combating the pandemic, rebuilding its company brand, and reconnecting with the community. Before evolving its marketing strategy, the company predicted a 54% drop in revenue causing a nosedive in the annual profits (Mark 2020). The pandemic forced Airbnb to rethink its products offering and social responsibility, and there we go, the three major changes as seen on the website has not only rebuilt hosts’ confidence in making money but also re-attracted global travelers. 

Source: Airbnb Website

The company offers ‘online experience’, ‘monthly stays’, and ‘frontline’ which is an area for hosts to offer housing to healthcare staff and first responders (Connie 2020). Among these, the online experience is the most attractive and innovative section that carves out a unique value proposition. By integrating this campaign, thousands of hosts can offer their own classes such as cooking, coffee making, or even show off their talents online, which is an interactive experience that connects visitors globally and virtually. 

This digital marketing strategy cannot be achieved without embracing technology. Airbnb online experience is hosted on the world’s favorite video-chat platform, Zoom (Mark 2020), while in many ways this seems like the natural evolution for the company and is a direct result of virtual reality. Different from other social video platforms like YouTube, Airbnb online experience is a differentiated product that integrates hosts’ talents and professionalism, as well as is more exclusive as the videos are paid ones.

Another strategy the company evolves is how to navigate hosts to embrace virtual hosting in complying with Airbnb’s cleaning protocol. Here is a good example of two super hosts are getting creative from cookies by courier to video greetings (Airbnb 2020). Every host in Airbnb acts as a digital marketer, how they adapt to the changing environment, and how they innovatively fashion the way in connecting with other visitors is important to survive from the pandemic. One of the key things from this example inspired me is not just the provision of digital guidebooks, but how they automated the way guests log in for wifi using a QR code, for example, they left a QR code with instructions for using washing machine etc. (Airbnb 2020). This not only maintains the social distance safety procedure but keeps everything effective and even involves a paperless sustainability concept! 

After reviewing the Airbnb case, here are some suggestions about how digital marketers should evolve their strategies:

Embrace technology: Considering a growing acceptance of virtual online culture, the shift from traditional mass media platforms to digital century is inevitable during COVID-19 or even post COVID-19. The way how we communicate has become virtually, so businesses must explore all technology possibilities to transform the way they offer their products, deliver them to consumers, and promote their brands. 

Differentiate product & service offerings/Be innovative: A recent report showed that 47% of consumers expect brands to translate their values and promises into innovative products and services (Accenture 2020). Some innovations may be a one-time business strategy like Airbnb online experience, but it is a short-term choice that businesses need to consider to sustain.

Listen, observe: Listen hard, and focus on human insights (Accenture 2020) and human rights. Being a good listener means you are engaging with consumers, detecting human signals, and understanding their basic needs. Especially during COVID-19, consumers’ confidence and trust in businesses are declined, and they have more concerns on health and hygiene standards, therefore showing your empathy, strengthening confidence building through every channel can better sustain your businesses. 

Some other takeaways from Airbnb case:

Based on the SOSTAC approach, Airbnb firstly conducts a situation analysis, identifying both external opportunities and threats. Traditionally, Airbnb offers face-to-face experiences to engage visitors, however, the pandemic forced the company to change everything into virtual and online. And it is shown that customers are getting used to the online lifestyle. 

When determining the current objectives, Airbnb’s main goal is to initiate value proposition to re-acquire consumers and retain them in the long-term. 

And this is why Airbnb re-designed its website, offering new features and options for customers in order to create its unique value. 

In terms of social media strategy and customer engagement, Airbnb has featured several customers’ experiences on Instagram to inspire other visitors to make reservations. The company has done well in terms of this as they created a share-based community across digital spaces, for example, they collaborated with guests and hosts to post authentic content like the online magic show on Instagram, which enhances customer interaction experiences. 

Reference List

Accenture 2020, ‘COVID-19: A brand. New. Purpose.’, Accenture, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/coronavirus-brand-new-purpose&gt;

Airbnb 2020, ‘How 2 Superhosts are embracing virtual hosting’, Airbnb Resource Centre, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://www.airbnb.com.au/resources/hosting-homes/a/how-2-superhosts-are-embracing-virtual-hosting-226&gt;

Airbnb 2020, ‘Host an online experience’, image, Airbnb, viewed 21 August 2002, <https://www.airbnb.co.uk/d/onlinehost&gt;

Connie L 2020, ‘COVID-19 forced Airbnb to rethink its product offerings; here’s some of what it came up with’, TechCrunch, viewed 21 August 2002, <https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/24/covid-19-forced-airbnb-to-rethink-its-product-offerings-heres-some-of-what-it-came-up-with/&gt;

Mark W 2020, ‘Magic shows and drag queens: A look inside Airbnb’s COVID-19 strategy’, Fast Company, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://www.fastcompany.com/90499935/magic-shows-and-drag-queens-a-look-inside-airbnbs-covid-19-strategy&gt;

Digital Marketing Success or Failure? – ‘Hello Fresh’ Review (Micro)

Micro Environment 

It is important that marketers review and examine their micro context including financial resources, HR management, supplier and customer relationship, competitors analysis, marketing mix etc. There is a lot to talk about these in depth. Despite its excellent operation on innovative products, Hello Fresh’s growth is primarily based on how the company satisfies customers’ needs and retain them. They customised every meal option with quality ingredients offering vegetarian packages, family combo or single meal to different customer segments. 

Another strategy the company implements is to acquire its competitor Chefs Plate, with the integration, Hello Fresh will create a superior offering, serving a wider range of products in the meal kit industry and leverage marketing efficiencies as well as technology platform (Hello Fresh Group 2020).

Maintaining its core concept of sustainability, Hello Fresh’s direct-to-consumer model allows the company to streamline the traditional food supply chain, reducing extra costs and pulling directly from growers into the warehouse and then to the consumers (Kristina 2019). The balance between supply and demand cuts off food waste. 

Reference List

Hello Fresh Group 2020, HelloFresh SE, Berlin, viewed 19 August 2020, <https://www.hellofreshgroup.com/en/about-us&gt;

Kristina S 2019, ‘How HelloFresh is Using Data to Create a More Efficient Supply Chain’, Total Retail, 10 April, viewed 20 August 2020, <https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/how-hellofresh-using-data-create-more-efficient-supply-chain/&gt;

Digital Marketing Success or Failure? -‘Hello Fresh’ Review (Macro)

The environment relating to digital marketing is constantly changing and complex, therefore companies need to strategically analyse the environment including both micro/internal (controllable) and macro/external (uncontrollable) contexts. It is increasingly emphasised that the marketing environment has a profound impact on business performance and operation. Capturing this opportunity, digital businesses can target their market segments more precisely and hence achieve their market targets, otherwise, digital marketers may fall into a failure due to a lack of understanding in the external environment. I believe the following graph has shown a clear view of what is included in the micro and macro landscapes. And I will use ‘Hello Fresh’, an online meal-kit company, as a successful example to illustrate how the company strategically applies each of these elements, and some other fail examples to explain why other companies have not considered the context very well. 

Source:  https://www.brainmates.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/mktgenvironment.jpg

Watch the video to see how Hello Fresh Works!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6znOolXG34

Political Forces 

Political forces involve government actions, regulations, and policy, which is the most sensitive issue digital marketers should consider before developing business and expanding the company in another country. There are different regulations in terms of social media platforms across countries. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are banned in China, therefore, digital marketers should consider alternative platforms that are popularly used in China such as Little Red Book and Sina Weibo.

Successful Hello Fresh  

There are legislations regarding food packaging, labelling, and distribution that Hello Fresh needs to consider before moving forward to profitability. And it shows that the company is performing well particularly its recyclable box. In terms of promotion, if Hello Fresh wants to expand its market overseas like China, they might need to be careful about the social media platforms used. Little Red Book would be a great platform for a promotion consider a larger number of Chinese young users. 

Fail eBay 

eBay is a good example to explain why the business failed in China. Insufficient understanding of the Chinese political environment is one of the major reasons that leads to failure. 

Economic Forces 

Economic forces refer to factors such as inflation, unemployment, interest rates, economic conditions, consumer spending etc. (Foundations of Marketing n.d.). Consumers during the recessions period have lower purchasing power compared with the growth period when consumers can afford more luxury goods. Therefore, knowledge of economies is essential in evaluating the prosperity of a country and examining consumers spending patterns (Maximilian 2015).

Successful Hello Fresh 

Hello Fresh as a newly establish meal-kit company fashions the way consumers cook daily meals. They are targeting those want to save budget with every meal. Even during the COVID-19, Hello Fresh offers many discounts and referral coupons to increase its market share. 

Fail Airbnb

Airbnb, a company that fully embraces digital marketing by allowing users to look for desired accommodations and list their homes online, has been adversely affected by COVID-19 due to insufficient demand, and hence they should strategically analyse this changing economic condition in order to recover and sustain in the future, otherwise, it may lose a huge market share. 

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1110054/airbnb-properties-coronavirus/

Social Forces 

Firstly, social factors are tied with changing age structure, for instance, it is shown that India has one of the youngest population group and is expected to keep that status (Maximilian 2015), which may be a signal for digital marketers who focus on young generation market as this is an opportunity to establish or expand their businesses. Secondly, without understanding the different customs and values, digital marketers may cause embarrassment, boycott, or insufficient demand among consumers which ultimately may lead to failure. Another vital aspect is the usage rate of the Internet, it is shown that Asia has the highest Internet usage rate compared with the Middle East and Oceania countries such as Australia (Miniwatts Marketing Group 2020). This is particularly important for digital marketers to understand where and how they should develop social media platforms in order to promote their brands or whether they should integrate the traditional marketing process in countries who occupy a low Internet usage rate.

Successful Hello Fresh 

Consumers’ lifestyles are changing who desire a more healthy, balanced diet and organic food. Hello Fresh has captured this opportunity to offer well-prepared healthy ingredients in each meal so to satisfy consumers’ expectations. The sales of Hello Fresh significantly increase during COVID-19 thanks to the boost on online shoppers. 

Fail eBay

eBay failed in China due to the failure in understanding Chinese cultures. The concept behind eBay is an auction which is quite popular in most Western countries, however, there are fewer people in China knowing how the auction works. Also, why Taobao outperforms eBay is thanks to its name with a meaning of ‘digging for treasure’. However, eBay did not gain much attention or interest from the public.

Source: Google Image

Technology Forces 

I believe that most of you are familiar with how technological factors influence digital marketing positively or negatively. A successful digital marketing strategy should focus on fundamental security aspects: confidentiality, integrity, availability, and legitimate use.

Besides, in terms of social media, it is also important for digital marketers to analyse which platforms are more suitable and which are more adapting to the current trends. A video from Gartner stated one of the key trends in 2020, which is the expansion of automation which is increasingly adopted by many industries for improving business effectiveness and efficiency. 

Successful Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh’ website has a visual online marketing presence with an easy and clear process about how to order meal-kit and get it delivered to your home. Besides, if you click into the website, you can see there are three icons in ‘selecting your preference’ section, which is easier for consumers to choose from their preferred meal options. This case indicates how the company utilises technology features to optimise its website. 

Fail Burger King 

Burger King created a smartphone campaign that activated the smart devices to read a list of burger ingredients posted on Wikipedia, which was a great idea before hackers altered the Wikipedia post to include ingredients like cyanide (Micah 2020), as a result, the campaign was pulled and company’s brand was damaged. Therefore, it is necessary for digital marketers to properly manage security aspects before undertaking any marketing campaigns. 

Legal Forces 

The importance of understanding different laws and ethical codes across countries determines how consumers perceive brands. Many aspects are affecting whether the company is legally playing the game, including whether the business follows data and privacy protection law, registers an appropriate trademark, protects intellectual property rights etc. 

Successful Hello Fresh 

The code of conduct established by Hello Fresh has clearly stated the protection of physical and intellectual property, quality standards and product safety, and violations and consequences, which provides an integrated framework to manage the business as well as establish trust within customers. 

Fail Fake Bags 

The importance of online shoppers’ rights was less emphasised previously in China until the new e-commerce law took effect on 2019, before that, consumers can always buy a fake Hermes bag or cosmetics that contain harmful chemicals. Although it seems that these unethical businesses gained a short-term profit, they were ultimately involved in the infringement of consumer protection law. And they are held liable and could be punished under the e-commerce law. 

Environmental Forces  

Environmental forces also refer to ecological factors, indicating that digital marketers should consider current environmental trends and concepts that are widely accepted by consumers such as the use of reusable shopping bags, electric power applications in cars and paperless transactions etc. The notion of environmental friendliness is a new category in which digital marketers are competing as they have seen it as an opportunity to target customers who are environmentally friendly by introducing ‘green’ products to capture their eyes. 

Successful Hello Fresh 

Hello Fresh is doing perfectly in terms of sustainability, packaging concerns, and carbon footprint, as they use recyclable boxes and ingredients that are protected by 100% biodegradable insulation. Besides, the packaging is way less than a standard supermarket shop. More importantly, the pre-portioned ingredients significantly reduce food waste (Hello Fresh Group 2020).

For Micro Environment Analysis on Hello Fresh Check Out My Next Post!

Reference List

Brainmates, ‘Marketing Management’, wordpress, viewed 17 August 2020, <https://www.brainmates.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/mktgenvironment.jpg&gt;

Hello Fresh Group 2020, HelloFresh SE, Berlin, viewed 19 August 2020 <https://www.hellofreshgroup.com/en/about-us&gt;

How Hello Fresh Works, 2017, online video, 5 April, created by HelloFresh Australia, viewed 19 August, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6znOolXG34&gt;

Maximilian, C 2015, ‘THE MACRO ENVIRONMENT – SIX FORCES IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF A BUSINESS’, Marketing Insider, viewed 17 August 2020, <https://marketing-insider.eu/macro-environment/&gt;

Miniwatts Marketing Group 2020, ‘Internet Users Distribution in the World – 2020 Q1’, online copy, viewed 17 August 2020, <https://internetworldstats.com/stats.htm&gt;

Micah L 2020, ‘20 of the Biggest Marketing Fails of All Time (and Why They Sucked)’, blueadz, viewed 18 August 2020, <https://www.bluleadz.com/blog/10-of-the-biggest-marketing-fails-of-2017&gt;

Statista 2020, ‘Change in Airbnb active properties due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in selected countries worldwide from January to March 2020’, online copy, viewed 17 August 2020, <https://www.statista.com/statistics/1110054/airbnb-properties-coronavirus/&gt;

The Faculty of Business, Government & Law at The University of Canberra, Foundations of Marketing, University of Canberra, Canberra.

Opportunities and Challenges for E-commerce Businesses During COVID-19

  • New/updated offerings: E-commerce businesses need to consider innovating new products or services that suit current demand, as people during or after the pandemic may concern more about personal health and product quality. 
  • Online shopping boost: COVID-19 caused many people to shop online for a wide range of products including groceries, equipment, clothes etc, where people find it convenient, efficient and safer especially during the pandemic period. Therefore, e-commerce businesses should take these advantages of changing consumer behavior by establishing a loyal relationship with customers and providing excellent services or products. This is especially beneficial for online grocery sales as people can save more time when shopping for a wide range of products.

What are the Opportunities?

What are the challenges?

  • Supply chain and operations changes: Under the pressure of this pandemic, the political relationships across countries are in tension. Therefore, e-commerce businesses may need to look for alternative supply chains and implement new strategies for business operations.
  • Consumer behavior shift: A transformation from traditional shopping behavior to digital shopping may lead to a boost in e-businesses, which means many retailers may shift to an online platform, causing a fierce competition. Therefore, e-commerce businesses should create a better online environment such as updating websites with more secure shopping or simplify the shopping process to enhance customer online shopping experience. 
  • Impact on shipping: This pandemic may affect the effectiveness of shipping due to a lack of labour and resources. Therefore, e-commerce businesses must deal with alternative logistics and provide a good customer after-sale service as well as ensure a healthy transition. 
  • Challenges of managing visitors: It may become a challenge to manage a large volume of internet browsers as there may be more traffic on the digital platforms, and hence e-commerce businesses need to improve their IT system to maintain the relationship with customers. 

Introduction About Me

Passionate about digital marking, video making, and photography


This is Yuewen from China, my English name is Vanessa. I am currently studying at the University of Canberra majoring in Master of Business Administration. My hobbies are photography and traveling, and I enjoy exploring current changes in digital marketing. This blog will share lots of insights about digital marketing inspired by different groups of people. My aim is to become a lifestyle blogger in the future and I believe understanding the trend of digital marketing and how it works for businesses is the fundamental step for me to achieve my target. I would also like to hear from you about your understanding and opinions on digital marketing, feel free to leave comments and interact with people across the world.

Digital Marketing Concepts

The concept of digital marketing and the digital business model of an online retail business

“Digital Marketing is achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and marketing strategies”

Dave Chaffey

Digital Marketing Concepts

According to the basic concept of digital marketing, it involves achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and using appropriate marking strategies. 

On the one hand, Dave and PR (2017) stated that digital marketing reflects the interaction between consumers and businesses using a wide range of digital media, technology and digital platforms. More specifically, they have defined it as e-marketing or Internet marketing which is the heart of the digital business to get closer to customers, understand them better, and maintain a dialogue with them (Dave and PR 2017). From the perspectives of strategies in a broad way, digital marketing involves using marketing campaigns such as search marketing, online advertising and affiliate marketing to facilitate customer needs (Dave and PR 2017). Moreover, digital marketing strategy involves targeting the market and positioning to determine the optimum mix including web site hub, opt-in email, e-sponsorship, social media and content marketing. 

On the other hand, Raluca (2016) also agreed with the digital marketing concepts mentioned above, but the author defined it with an emphasis on the fundamental concept of the inbound marketing approach or customer-centric approach. Moreover, the author suggested an appropriate blend of traditional marketing and digital marketing considering the advantages of traditional marketing such as reliability and cost-efficiency for digital marketing (Raluca 2016).

Digital Business Model on The Iconic 

As one of Australia’s largest e-commerce players in the fashion industry, The Iconic launched in 2011 performed well throughout the year. The digital business model the company implements is business to consumer commerce (B2C). 

1.1 Sell-side e-commerce

In 2018, The Iconic was becoming a more customer-focused organisation achieving a successful transit from e-commerce online retailer to an organisation with a focus on technology, fashion and innovation (Vanessa 2018). Also, based on the conversation with the company’s COO, it can be seen that its mission is customer liberation which refers to understanding customers’ emotions instead of just transactions (Vanessa 2018). In other words, these strategies implemented by the company focus on relationship-building and brand building rather than just transactional objectives. Besides, the company has both the website and mobile apps as platforms for shopping, returning, customer feedback providing etc. For maintaining the concept of customer focus, the company also uses email databases and social media followings which provide the best opportunity to engage with customers on a low-cost scale, as the CMO of The Iconic believed that these free channels can generate consistent customer engagement (Josh 2018). 

In addition, Meyer, CMO of The Iconic, said that the company has pushed further paid performance marketing with media spending in other advertising mediums (Josh 2018). Considering the budgets, the company also blended a mix of both traditional and digital marketing strategies for example investing on the radio to make it work well with digital channels (Josh 2018). 

1.2 Buy-side e-commerce

The Iconic builds relationships with their sellers and work in a strong partnership with them. However, the company found it a challenge to work with close to 1000 brands. They still work closely together with those suppliers to ensure the brands can satisfy customers’ needs (Vanessa 2018). 

Reference List

Dave, C & PR, S 2017, ‘Introduction to digital marketing’, In Routledge, Digital Marketing Excellence: Planning, Optimizing and Integrating Online Marketing, 5th edition, viewed 10 August 2020, <https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=biwlDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=digital+marketing+scholarly+articles&ots=cJEmRsMhmh&sig=vzfQiu111uExjJqH34U3n1e3u5I#v=onepage&q=strategy&f=false>  

Josh, M 2018, ‘The Iconic’s balancing act: digital vs traditional’, AdNews, 25 September 2018, viewed 10 August 2020, <http://www.adnews.com.au/news/the-iconic-s-balancing-act-digital-vs-traditional&gt;

Raluca, T 2016, ‘Blending traditional and digital marketing’, Series S: Economic Sciences, Vol.9 (58), No.1, PP.52-56, viewed 10 August 2020, <http://webbut.unitbv.ro/BU2016/Series%20V/2016/BULETIN%20I%20PDF/06_Todor%20R.pdf&gt;

Vanessa, M 2018, ‘The Iconic: becoming customer-focused transformed the business’, CMO, 26 July 2018, viewed 10 August 2020, <https://www.cmo.com.au/article/644382/iconic-becoming-customer-focussed-transformed-our-business/&gt;

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