Hunkemoller fine tuning its targeting

Lingerie retailer Hunkemoller uses a data-driven approach to launching and promoting new products that both boosts conversion rates and reduces the levels of returns to industry-beating levels.

Speaking at the inaugural Customer First Live conference in London, Philip Mountford, CEO of Hunkemoller, detailed how the business initially sends out product imagery and prospective pricing levels to 50,000 customers to determine if the items would drive them into a store and whether they would ultimately buy.

“This enables us to see where to put the product and where to advertise it,” he said, adding that this information is then combined with the data held on these customers from within its member programme to help determine the company’s advertising campaigns. 

At the heart of this is the segmentation of the 5.1 million members who are tracked in order for Hunkemoller to see how they react to campaigns. Adding to the effectiveness of its media targeting is the detailed profile held on its customers.

“Every customer has a size but five years ago we added another layer, shape. Our competitors then followed us and so we added a third level, fit. These data points are our customer profile,” he explained.

This has helped it keep returns to a modest 34.8% compared with others like Zalando and Asos whose lingerie returns will be close to 70%, according to Mountford. “This data segmentation helps us to create specific communications. We never send bras to people whose data is not suited to it. We fine-tune our data management. We make sure customers see the products they want to see and not what we want them to see.”

An important part of the business’s targeted communications with customers is through social media and the use of influencers who are identified via social influencer locator tool Achoo.

They are used within a “defined seeding programme” that involves sending new products out to a mega influencer (6.1 million followers), six macro influencers (average one million followers each), and around 150 micro influencers. The latter are not paid but enjoy a raft of privileges.

The actions of these individuals then feeds into the social media activity of Hunkemoller and drives social commerce such as the ‘buy button’ on Instagram, which Mountford says is not enormous today but “will be a big driver in the future”.