Russia's largest internet retailer had attracted a lot of attention from Russian consumers and international investors. But as the company celebrated its hugely successful first decade of operations, shareholders began to expect a move into profit.
Focus had to shift from acquisition to retention, and a new marketing strategy needed to match. They came to Futurelab for help in driving relationships and profit through customer-centricity.
Learning to think long-term
For at least a generation, the rapid pace of change in Russia has meant that long-term business planning has not always paid off. Instead, those that can spot an opportunity, push hard and keep adapting have been rewarded. Our client saw online sales of books and music grow from 50-100% each year, but when faced with increasing pressure to show a profit, the CEO recognized that strategic skills and knowledge were lacking.
Only useful parallels
During a six-week Immersion phase we studied every aspect of the company’s operations, from TV advertising to logistics. We focused on opportunities to increase value per transaction, encourage repeat purchase and increase conversion rates. Despite the huge volume of website traffic and the high number of orders being sent out to customer pick-up points, many goods were never in fact collected – and therefore never paid for. Our researchers found enlightening best practice from online retail in similar cash cultures where credit and prepayment are not widely used.
Big thoughts, small details
We fed our findings and inspirations into an ambitious long-term customer strategy along with a five-year vision and mission. We developed this strategy with the people in the client company. By making sure they bought into every detail of it, we also ensured their willingness to implement it. Many consultants stop there and leave, move on to the next grand plan. At Futurelab, as long as we’re invited, we prefer to stay around. We gave our client a complete programme for implementation, with timings, dependencies and enablers, a list of the tools, training, structural changes, mindset shifts they would need along the way. A shopping list, a recipe, instructions and an appetite.
Our ambitious strategic recommendations were signed off 100% first-time, no changes no hesitation. With our support, this client is now executing the plan, improving marketing ROI and driving up customer retention.
Our people have worked with 20 of the biggest Western brands in Russia. We know the language, the culture and the commercial environment. Please get in touch for an informal chat – in Russian – to see how we can help.