With ecommerce aggressively on the rise, it’s natural for business owners in the space to take a look around and see which brands are succeeding. No matter what stage your ecommerce business is at, it’s always essential to hear from other entrepreneurs to see what’s been working for them.
When looking at other brands, it can give you inspiration to test some new strategies within your own business, but make sure to always be open to new ideas. Something you might think would sound crazy to even attempt might be working really well for someone else, so why not give it a try?
There’s a lot of brands out there that do a lot right, but they’re still always learning. One brand that’s pretty close to having it figured out though is Gymshark.
At a pre-Covid meetup, we met with Noel Mack, Gymshark’s Chief Brand Officer and one of the wisest direct to consumer marketers out there. While chatting with him, we asked him the big question, what’s worked for Gymshark?
While with Noel, we chatted about how businesses are different from each other, A/A testing and how it can help lower costs, along with influencer marketing and culture. Though we didn’t wiggle out all his secrets, we definitely learned what the popular ecommerce brand does to keep up.
Every Business Is Different
If you look at the top ten stores on Shopify, they're all set up for the user experience very differently. On top of this, their marketing efforts and strategies also come in a wide variety.
Why? Because there’s no limit to marketing and no limit to what you can do to improve your brand, it’s about innovation and creativity. So, it makes sense that teams across the globe would come up with different ways of doing things on all levels and keep it to themselves, until they discuss this with other brands to learn and share.
Noel told us that he’s spoken to some incredible teams with Shopify stores about their strategies and tactics. Sometimes though, when Noel hears about the way other brands do things which obviously works for them, it isn’t something they’d do at Gymshark, and vice versa. Sometimes these tactics just sound crazy, but at the end of the day there’s more than just one way to do anything.
As Noel continued, he shared with us something that he loves about young ecommerce businesses. It’s the scrappy, entrepreneurial thinking, because that’s where the real fun and genius comes from. This is something he believes every business can hold onto and since each business is different, when you keep that scrappy innovation intact you can constantly be coming up with incredible ideas.
Not convinced? Noel had a great example for us. Think about when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, this is when you’re forced to put your brains together and build some scrappy, innovative tactics. This is where we see low budgets and creativity meet and build something special.
That’s why one of his biggest tips is to hang onto this feeling and keep it there even when you’re a big.
A/A Testing: Why You Should Try It
You may have thought typing A/A was a typo, but it was not.
A/A testing has become something that many marketers have been exploring, but there’s also a number of marketers out there still scratching their head over it. We don’t blame you though if you are, because what’s the point of testing two identical pages or advertisements? Well, Noel says we’d all probably be surprised by the results.
What actually is A/A testing? Well, you’re still driving traffic to two different pages, but the key difference here from A/B testing is that both of them are identical. The main goal of an A/A test is to see no difference between the two results at all. Why would this make sense to do? Well companies have been using A/A testing to check the accuracy of an A/B testing tool, set a conversion rate baseline for future A/B tests and decide on a minimum sample size. Though a lot of marketers shake their head at this, it's a key way to know how long you should run an A/B test and other factors.
Noel told us that he unfortunately cannot share the “secret sauce” of what they do, but he did let us know that he thinks everyone should be at least trying A/A testing. He suggests, using the same audience and everything, from creative to copy and just run the campaign to see what happens. Whether it’s the same ad sets or same landing pages, it’s a great way to double check your data and see some interesting results.
You can even try A/A testing by simply duplicating an ad, and seeing if you get lower conversions.
Influencer Marketing & Company Culture
Let’s face it, influencer marketing is starting to get a bit of a bad reputation, but when we talked to Noel about it, he said that a lot of brands are looking at it one dimensionally. On LinkedIn specifically Noel, and many of us, have seen people muddying the influencer marketing world.
For this reason, many marketers for ecommerce brands are starting to think influencer marketing just flat out doesn’t work and that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. However, we need to go back to remembering here that every ecommerce brand does it a little differently though and you just need to find your groove. It’s not that influencer marketing doesn’t work, it could be simply because you’re not focused on the right goals or, more likely, the right influencers.
At Gymshark, they’ve focused much of their influencer marketing strategy on their own company culture. The thinking here is that although the influencers they work with aren’t technically engaging with the majority of the team on a daily basis, they’re still a huge representative and part of the Gymshark brand and they’re still considered a colleague. So, why wouldn’t company culture have a big part to play?
Since culture is such a huge focus at Gymshark, this easily plays into their selection of influencers. At the end of the day, Noel told us, if you bring in a new employee that harms or questions your company’s culture, you’re going to want to have a conversation with them.
This should be the same thinking we all have as marketers when it comes to influencers, since they are representing your brand on a massive scale.
If you find influencers who mesh well with your team, truly believe in and respect your brand ethos then they’ll be reaching the right people for your business and representing your brand properly. Not only this, but they’ll be able to put you in touch with other influencers who are also fitting, just like employee referrals.
From influencers to A/A testing, these things can take a lot of time. That’s why, with Gorgias, you can quickly free up that time you need with customer support automation to really look at how you can make your ecommerce business successful.