Success stories
March 2, 2022

How Crocs is transforming its marketing: customer insights, valuable content, positive emotions

  • Client Crocs
  • Coverage An online store and 41 brick-and-mortar stores in Russia
  • IT
    Bitrix for the web site, 1C for the back office
  • Goals Automate marketing to boost receipts in the email and web push channels
  • Participated Crocs Russia—Head of Online Store and CRM Manager; Mindbox — Customer Success Manager
  • Timespan 9 months
  • Results 31 triggers launched for the email and web push channels

Globally recognized footwear brand from the US. Founded in 2002, the company reached annual net revenue of USD 1 bln.

Alexander Kulev

Alexander Kulev, Head of Online Store, Crocs Russia

Marketing Automation Platform: Implementation History

After the top managers of Crocs visited Russia in 2017, the Russian office focused on developing sales in digital channels. The primary focus was on the Crocs Online Store and marketplace giants like Lamoda, Ozon, Wildberries, and Tmall. In Russia, the Online Store is an independent unit controlled by the CEO of Crocs Russia.

Initially, the mailing audience of the online store was not segmented. Every customer used to receive emails like «Sale! Shop now!». To make communication with customers more personalized and meaningful, Crocs Russia needed a platform that would support a unified database to store the entire history of customer interactions. Crocs were looking for a way to fine-tune mailing segments and related triggers.

In 2018, the platform choice was based on the 40-criteria questionnaire. First the team surveyed platforms of foreign vendors recommended by headquarters. Next the team surveyed Russian market players. The first choice was not Mindbox, as Crocs was not impressed with the pre-implementation consultation.

In 2019, however, the Crocs team stopped using the first platform as it had certain internal limitations. Around this time, Crocs reps met Ivan Borovikov—the founder of Mindbox. Platform functionality seemed to be a good fit for the challenges, so the parties agreed to start the implementation. Since then, Crocs have been using Mindbox to store all the unified customer profiles and launch manual and automatic emails and web pushes.

There is a single marketer to handle everything: create a content plan, launch mailings, and analyze results.

Crocs Testimonial

Initial goals and challenges. First of all, we wanted to figure out who our customers were and what they bought. We needed to identify our customers’ behavior at brick-and-mortar and online stores to make our emails more targeted.

All our mailings used to look like this: an autumn sale started→we sent SMSes and emails to our entire contact base. What happened after that? Usually nothing.

Furthermore, we wondered which purchases came from our email subscribers and which came from passers-by. What led to a purchase: a promo SMS, a banner on a website, or a signboard «50% off sale, don’t miss out» in a shop window?

The customer base was not segmented due to no data: we did not know how often customers buy shoes/footwear. Communication with everyone was exactly the same.

Our results. With all such data finally available, we now better understand our customers. We gained a lot of insights—for example, our birthday discounts unexpectedly do not increase sales, unlike with other footwear retailers.

Instead, we are now sending a lot of content-rich emails without aggressive call-to-actions. On the whole, the result is only slightly inferior to our average promo emails, with revenue differing by just 10–12%. Even so, the email open rate increased, showing that the customers read our messages with more interest.

Our primary goal of using Mindbox is to engage customers. Initially, we had to figure out our goals. We do not aim to make a huge profit from the email channel. The main idea is to make it a reliable tool to engage customers, trigger leads, and support communication. To achieve these goals, we have manual and automatic mailings in place powered by Mindbox.

Amazingly, our customer base is growing! In 2019, we doubled our customer base, and this year we plan to increase by about 150%. That resulted from our improved mailings (e.g. we introduced a RUB500 welcome bonus) and a lead generation plan, and an agency bringing us customers.

Our Marketing Approach: We plan to transform our communications to offer valuable content. We have to look appealing to customers, to appear more casual and festive. Crocs is a brand with a vibrant summer vibe—charismatic, warm, buzzing, comfy, cheerful. And we want to emphasize this.

We aim to avoid being a discounter where all communication is limited to aggressive promo emails.

We want to make our communication more personalized. That means using trigger messages like «buy and read something interesting—e.g., about Crocs» rather than «purchase and get a gift.»

Alexander Kulev

Alexander Kulev, Head of Online Store, Crocs Russia

Our customer base doubled over 2019, and we expect it to grow by another 150% this year.

Automatic Campaigns Launched

The first thing we did was to transfer the mechanics from the previous platform: email confirmation, abandoned cart, abandoned viewing, lowering the price of an item in the cart. The setup took one week.

Then they launched new mechanics to cover more customer behavioral scenarios.The team started with an email channel, because customers are better engaged in it and there are more opportunities to create valuable and visibly appealing content, and then we connected web push.

Marketing campaign list made for Crocs
Marketing campaign list made for Crocs

Automatic Campaigns: Examples

Email: Discount Digest

Those who have not shopped with us for a long time get monthly emails about the sale of popular products. The content of the email changes depending on the interests of the client: receive kids footwear at discount if you had viewed items for kids, or men footwear if you had viewed items for men.

discount digest
The discount digest is based on the interest the customer expressed and their previous orders.

Crocs Testimonial

We moved away from the aggressive sales emails to celebrity collaborations and content marketing emails.

For example, we collaborated with Post Malone—a rapper from the US. Then, thanks to the new strategy, we sold 200 pairs of shoes in 40 minutes at full market price without any discounts.

We simply designed a subscription form, added all the subscribers to a specific Mindbox segment and from time to time sent them product launch reminders. What’s more, it was in the middle of Black Friday when shoppers didn’t buy anything without discounts.

email promoting
Product launch email promoting Post Malone featured footwear
Alexander Kulev

Alexander Kulev, Head of Online Store, Crocs Russia

Web Push: Collecting Email Addresses

A web push channel is a double-edged sword. A customer can easily subscribe to pushes and abandon their cart without providing contact information. If a client subscribed to push notifications but did not leave an email address,they receive an automatic push with a proposal to leave an address in exchange for a gift.. 2% of recipients of this push convert to email subscribers.

The mechanics work like this: by clicking on the push, the client/customer gets to a special landing page and leaves their email address, then they receive a message with a request to confirm/verify the address. If the client/customer confirms, they get another message to receive a gift promotional code.

2% convert to email subscribers
Among those who get a push collecting email, 2% convert to email subscribers
Leave your email
Leave your email, confirm it and receive your promo code

Email: Calculating NPS on Fulfilled Orders

After completing the order, the customer receives an automatic mail with a request to rate the quality of service from 1 to 5 points.

Points Statistics
Crocs Service Quality: Points Statistics

Once a customer evaluates the service, they are redirected to Yandex Market to give detailed feedback. Before the tool was utilized, Crocs had received about 15 feedback at Yandex Market over a few years. Once it was applied, 135 new feedback came within 4 months.

Crocs Testimonial

Mindbox helped us build effective communication. We regularly keep in touch with clients without spending a lot of time on this process.

One of the successful solutions was setting up a trigger email with a request to leave a review. As a result, we have received a lot of positive feedback on the Yandex Market, increasing the confidence of new and potential customers.

I also want to note the platform’s intuitive interface and the system for generating detailed reports. Special thanks to the project manager for prompt help and high involvement in working with us.

Anastasia Ryzhova

Anastasia Ryzhova, CRM Manager, Crocs Russia.

Marketing Development Plans

The next step is to transfer product recommendations on the website from another service. Recommendations will be personalized as they will be based on a shopper’s order history.

Besides, we will continue to launch new useful automated campaigns.

Crocs Testimonial

We are in the process of making plans for 2023–2025. We can already predict future revenues and have determined our marketing budget. And we know what we will be doing.

The most exciting thing — the pinnacle of Mindbox — will begin next year. First, we will complete the basic features for triggers. Next, we will conduct a whole range of activities: from segmentation to everything that Mindbox can offer. Our current marketing activities are showing an increase in revenue and increased it multiple times. We are going to double or triple our revenue throughout this year and will continue to do so the next.

We plan to introduce attention-grabbing triggers and recommendations: for example, clogs buyers will get the Jibbitz catalog and instructions on how to attach Jibbitz charms.

We like to experiment and will continue to do so. For example, we had an absolutely amazing campaign where we took an audience of swimwear buyers and mixed it with an audience that visited travel agency websites, and then we played Crocs banners with a welcome promo code. It was awesome

I have an idea to launch an extended welcome chain with 10 emails to be sent over 6 months. We will know where we started our communication with the client, what they buy and look at.

For a monobrand store like ours, email marketing will never be an instant revenue source. We use contextual advertising, Instagram and Facebook banners to encourage impulse shopping. The email channel, on the other hand, implies long-term communication. An email campaign needs careful planning to attract and retain its audience.

Our aim with emails is to create fun content that results in positive emotions and present awesome new collaborations that sell out in 10–15 minutes. This is precisely where the Mindbox platform helps us excel.

Alexander Kulev

Alexander Kulev, Head of Online Store, Crocs Russia