Barbour grows online community and revenues with Wunderkind solution

Barbour, the luxury and heritage fashion brand, has boosted onsite identification to grow e-commerce revenues—thanks to a solution from Wunderkind (formerly BounceX), the leading behavioural marketing technology provider.

Established in South Shields in 1894, Barbour, best known for its iconic wax jackets and stylish outerwear and beloved by celebrities from Alexa Chung to Kate Middleton, now trades in over 40 countries worldwide. Its retail presence now spans the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, Argentina, New Zealand and Japan.  Having first pioneered mail order in 1908, Barbour has also expanded a successful D2C eCommerce offer globally.

While Barbour sources products from across the globe, its wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in its South Shields factory. It was this UK manufacturing base that allowed the fashion brand to step in and support the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting production to make gowns for medical staff when there was a shortage of PPE available.

Before the pandemic hit, Barbour already ran its own eCommerce customer data acquisition campaigns in-house. However, as it looked to scale its online operations, the fashion brand recognised the need to invest in technology to support its ambitious growth plans and deliver enhanced customer experience on-site.

With an extensive and proven track record, Barbour partnered with Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) to help improve onsite identification so that it could personalise engagement and grow its customer community, as Amy-Lee Cowey, global e-commerce & digital at Barbour, explained: “Acquiring data that is reliable, has lifetime value, and can secure consumer engagement is a challenge for most brands and at Barbour, it was no different.  We needed to ensure that the data we were collecting was robust and could stand the test of time. To do this, we wanted to give our customers the best possible experience of signing up and being part of our communication journey, and we were confident Wunderkind could do this effectively.”

Implementing Wunderkind’s real-time identification solution, which personalises the right message to the right shopper based on their buying intent, Barbour was able to organically grow its customer database–which proved especially important as it continued to trade online during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Like most businesses, coronavirus impacted our trading,” Amy-Lee Cowey commented. “Of course, our stores had to close, and as we went into lockdown, our eCommerce sales did take an initial hit. But, we were quick to recover thanks to a clear and concise communication strategy.  It was important to us to put our consumers first, not try to sell anything they didn’t need or want at that time – rather we wanted to wait until they were ready to shop with us again. The acceleration to digital has been apparent—even as stores are reopening—and has showcased the importance of eCommerce D2C even more so.”

Using a targeted welcome journey, overlays, and pop-ups, Barbour increased onsite identification rates by 26% and almost doubled its monthly sign ups. Barbour also used Wunderkind as its own sales channel, regarding the solution as a contributor to customer lifetime value, growth of its returning consumer base, and channel mix.  As a result, Barbour has seen an 8x return on spend in the last 60 days.

“Wunderkind worked hard to understand our objectives in discovery, and once the strategy was set, the team were proactive in maintaining this and driving it forward. The team are very approachable, the solution works, and we’re encouraged by the results so far,” Cowey added.

Jacqueline Abernathy, AVP of customer success at Wunderkind (formerly BounceX), commented: “Creating and growing a community that customers want to be a part of, return to, and engage in is the cornerstone of building a successful brand–and Barbour’s customer centric-approach epitomises just that. We were delighted to help them build a scaleable, future-proof, and organic way for them to continue to grow and engage their customers.”