Founded in 1998, Canadian athletic apparel retailer lululemon has always wanted to serve as a community hub for people who are interested in healthy living and mindfulness. Originally focused on yoga pants and other yoga wear, the company has since expanded its product line to include lifestyle apparel, performance shirts, shorts and pants, and yoga accessories. In addition to its e-commerce website, lululemon operates 460 stores across the globe.
Much more than just a store where people purchase physical products and athletic gear, lululemon’s focus on serving as a community hub has allowed it to establish strong relationships with customers. In the course of these relationships, the company was able to generate an enormous amount of data, but it was limited to communities and regional stores. Digital engagement and data collection was operating in a completely different silo. lululemon execs realized that they needed to unify all of their customer intelligence to be able to orchestrate experiences across physical and digital channels. The company also wanted to use its data as a lens to peer into the future, gaining insight into customer propensities and opportunities, in order to segment audiences for maximum impact.
lululemon execs set a big goal: for the brand to touch 1 billion people. But to get there, they’d need a way to effectively process and gain insights from the massive amounts of data the company collected. Manually parsing the data wasn’t an option — with disparate data types that needed different levels of processing, mere humans would be incapable of generating insights. With a top-down, company-wide initiative to align on the concept of customer-centricity, lululemon knew they’d have to better understand their customers as individuals, but what wasn’t clear was which tools and teams would need to be integrated to make it happen. And store silos, along with disconnected digital teams, created even more challenges to lululemon’s promise of a cross-channel lifestyle brand. The company knew it needed intelligent assistance that could turn its volumes of data into an actionable strategy.
lululemon partnered with AgilOne, an Acquia company, using AgilOne’s Customer Data Platform to collect customer data into a single location and better target shoppers based on brand interactions. With the high volumes of data generated and collected — customer profile data, transaction data, web data and IoT data — real-time processing of the data was imperative to be able to separate important insights from noise and deliver experiences when they mattered. Using AgilOne, lululemon was able to connect the dots between its myriad of digital and in-person channels and customer touchpoints, allowing the company to understand customers on an individual level and reciprocate their engagement.
AgilOne provided lululemon with data insights that allowed the company to tailor in-person and online campaigns. For example, lululemon could determine — based on the complete 360-degree view of the customer — whether a customer’s preferred activity was running instead of indoor cycling, or if another shopper took advantage of the company’s in-store yoga sessions every week — and then targeted each consumer with customized online and offline marketing campaigns and offers, including direct mail and tailored in-store experiences. Additionally, the company could use customer data to help inform its manufacturing processes, allowing them to more efficiently move product while discounting more strategically and selectively.
By facilitating 1:1 customer relationships for lululemon at every touchpoint, AgilOne has been able to transform the way that lululemon connects with its customers, and the results have been impressive. Metrics indicate that shoppers who are engaged across every single point of their journey have a 10X higher annual spend than those customers who only engage with one of the channels. Leveraging AgilOne’s technology to create a seamless cross-channel experience, lululemon also increased site visits by up to 50%, increased attendance to local events by 25% and achieved a 10-15% increase in baseline revenue from its digital marketing campaigns.