SurfStitch dives in with apps on the rise down under
Dane Patterson shares native mobile app launch learnings, in conversation with Tryzens for Apprising Fall 2021.
Contemporary coastal retailer, SurfStitch, was one of the first ecommerce pureplays in Australia some 12 years ago and has since grown to serve some 2 million customers.
After partnering with poq and poq Global Solutions Partner, Tryzens, last year to upgrade its mobile-optimized site to a fully native, downloadable app, it is now building on its success.
During a recent Apprising Fall 2021 event session entitled, ‘App on the rise, down under,’ Dane Patterson, General Manager, Brand and Ecommerce, SurfStitch discussed early learnings and future plans with Josh Panebianco, Lead Optimization Specialist, Tryzens.
Preferred channel for engagement
Patterson explained: “So, we call ourselves curators of coastal culture. Why? While we were born in the surf, we’ve evolved beyond that, because you can’t get to the size of business we are only selling the core surf brands or hardware. However, all of the brands in the apparel that we do sell have got a coastal skew.”
In adding that SurfStitch’s brand positioning is as a youth fashion ecommerce player, he outlined why it launched a full mobile app “I think it’s important in 2021, for an ecommerce player to have an app,” he said.
“Some of the things that influenced us into having our own app is having that additional channel for our customers to engage with us and a channel that might be a preference for them. Then there are marketing benefits of the free traffic that comes via the app.”
Maximizing strategic digital spend
Patterson also admitted that SurfStitch, like many other ecommerce players, had probably been overly reliant historically on paid performance channels. “The bigger percentage of your traffic that’s represented by those channels, the smaller the EBITDA outcome or profitability for your business,” he said.
Commenting on early performance, a few months after launch, Patterson reported positive app metrics in terms of sessions per user and conversion. “The conversion rate was in some instances, double what we were seeing on the mobile platform,” he said.
“For the percentage of revenue that was being generated through the app, that really high conversion was having a positive effect on total business conversion when we put it together with the web platform. It’s also done great things for frequency…, visits per user is again close to double on the app than what it was on the mobile web platform.”
Enhancing app with rich functionality
Looking ahead, SurfStitch wants to take the app to the “next level,” he said. “We want to put some exciting pieces of functionality in the app, which really do differentiate it from a web platform. There are things that you can do on the app that are lightyears in front of the web platform.”
The retailer is also focused on further growing frequency. “The app was a big part of that,” he said. “Once users are on the app, they shop more frequently. But additionally, we’re launching a loyalty programme. It’s called ‘Locals’ and is all about incentivizing frequency, and providing a seamless experience.
“In the app, for a loyalty member, you need to know who they are, know what tier they sit in, know what they need to do to hit the next tier, and know what the benefits are. That’s a big piece of work for us from a tech perspective, which we’re really close to launching.”
More exclusive app owner and expert content
Listen to the complete interview with Dane Patterson, check out the rest of the Apprising Fall 2021: Mobilizing Digital Growth agenda and register here to access all of the exclusive content on demand from poq and friends, including SurfStitch, as they share the latest insights on appcommerce technology, best practices, data and future-facing trends.