Success Story: The Body Shop

How a connected mobile app delights customers with the right offer at the right time

  • Headquarters

    Uster, Switzerland
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Gain deep customer insight and pair that information with time- and/or location-based notifications to deliver customers the right offer at the right time

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Appropriate, meaningful and timely promotions with a robust web dashboard that understands and groups users by a variety of common factors
    • A cross-platform loyalty app used by more than 71,000 customers to shop, receive tailored offers, earn vouchers, view purchases and more
    • Streamlined, fully integrated shopping experience across the app, web and stores’ point of sale systems

The Body Shop’s fresh take on lasting customer relationships

Formed in 1976, The Body Shop is an international, ethical beauty business. The company sells more than 900 different natural products in 2,600 stores worldwide and online. Known for its globally sustainable, humanitarian efforts, The Body Shop is an award-winning business most recently named International Responsible Business of the Year for two consecutive years.

Everywhere they turn, today’s shoppers are bombarded with offers from retailers competing for their attention. For a brand, cutting through all that noise has never been more difficult. Recognizing this, The Body Shop’s Switzerland stores saw an opportunity for a different approach: one that focused on better understanding its customers and building relationships, not blasting offers into the ether and hoping shoppers bite.


A deeper understanding of customer preference

One size doesn’t fit all, and The Body Shop knew that sending offers or messages that weren’t relevant to a user or that were out of context would cause customers to tune out, or worse, to opt out. That’s why The Body Shop, working with Smilla AG, began by first ensuring it understood the customers and their unique preferences.

It began by creating a Web Dashboard to act as the brains behind its loyalty experience. Armed with the ability to understand and group users based on demographics, purchase history and other factors, it can now create promotions that mean the most to each person. For instance, The Body Shop could target women in a certain age group who have made more than five purchases of a certain product in the last year. This deeper insight into preferences, when coupled with time- or location-based notifications, lets The Body Shop provide the right offer to the right person at the right time for more personalized interactions.


The loyalty card goes digital

With this more intelligent foundation, The Body Shop was set to reimagine customer loyalty and its “Love Your Body” program from the ground up. The face of the program – the app – needed to support both iOS and Android to reach as many shoppers as possible. After looking at various cross-platform solutions, it landed on the Axway Appcelerator Mobile Solution for speed of development and the ability to monitor apps once live.

The resulting loyalty app lets customers receive tailored offers, earn vouchers based on purchases, get invited to special events, shop for products, view their purchase history and locate stores. The interactions revolve around The Body Shop’s retail model – and with many of the stores in train stations and other busy public places, the user’s location is a key factor. By using beacons, a passerby that has signed up for the program is notified of their offers as they near a store. If they are interested, the app presents them with a QR code that can be redeemed at checkout. (Vouchers can also be redeemed in the online shop.) The objective is to engage customers in a timely fashion and make the shopping experience as convenient as possible.


The details matter

With access to The Body Shop’s point of sale system and online shop, the team used its back-end API to create an integrated experience across the different channels and keep all data in sync.

There were a number of seemingly small details added that went a long way to providing a frictionless experience for both customers and store staff. The team included the ability to view and repurchase recently bought items since customers frequently make repeat transactions. Because there are many languages used across Switzerland, it incorporated simple in-app language switching that doesn’t require changing device system settings. The team also found it helped the checkout process to temporarily auto-adjust the user’s screen brightness for easy scanning of QR codes by the point of sale system. And of course, it included the ability to contribute to The Body Shop’s foundation, reinforcing the company’s brand and founding values which are important to regular Body Shop customers.


Shopping for success

Currently, more than 71,000 customers in Switzerland are using the app. Its popularity makes sense. Thanks in large part to moves by Apple and Google, digital wallets are a growing part of many shoppers’ lives. Like other leading retailers, The Body Shop is saying goodbye to the days of plastic loyalty cards in favor of something more personal that is always at shoppers’ fingertips.

The Body Shop has big plans to continue to grow its loyalty program. As it expands and refines the app, the cross-platform approach will let it act quickly to enhance the experience it provided to its best customers.


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