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The weekly dispatch: Brilliant Earth pushes in-store experiences, PayPal pivots to serving teenage audiences

Illustration of a person standing at a desk gesturing toward a monitor that shows a person’s face at the center of symbols and next to a storefront.

The challenging economic climate has revealed a common theme within the retail marketplace: customer retention as the new focus for sustainability and growth. Read on to uncover how jewelry brand Brilliant Earth, PayPal, FedEx and Cart.com are adjusting their positioning and services to optimize the customer experience.

An omnichannel approach drives repeat customers

Two women smiling and holding shopping bags.

Recent studies by the IBM Institute for Business Value report and McKinsey & Company have revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the retail landscape.1

More specifically, both studies found that consumers want the best of both shopping worlds, and expect the flexibility and convenience provided during the pandemic to continue. 27% of all consumers and 36% of Gen-Zers prefer a hybrid shopping experience, with the convenience of shopping online while still craving that in-store feel.2

An omnichannel retail strategy provides an optimal solution for both retailers and consumers alike. The Mckinsey & Company report noted that shoppers provided with an omnichannel experience purchased 70% more often and spends 34% more than consumers who shop primarily in-store.3

So, how can retailers implement an omnichannel approach?

  • Offer hybrid services like BOPIS (Buy online, pick-up in-store).
  • Ensuring a real-time visibility on inventory.
  • Creating a personalized customer experience.
  • Avoid shallow marketing tactics that provide little ROI. Invest in a strategy that focuses on the lifetime value of a customer that builds trust, customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

PayPal plans a new digital feature targeting teens

The PayPal logo on a window overlooking a garden.

PayPal is currently testing a potential teen account service that would be an add-on to their Venmo payment tool.4

The online payment provider reported a lackluster performance in revenue, earlier this year, and missed goals for user account acquisition. They cut sales expectations once in February and again in April, after announcing their 750 million new user goals wouldn’t be met by 2025.

These struggles have ignited a new focus on customer retention, leading to plans to test a new Venmo teen account to drive user engagement to their digital wallet.

PayPal also revealed additional plans for the digital wallet to enhance user capabilities, that include a tap-to-pay function, and a cash back incentive rewards program.

FedEx and Cart.com partner to enhance e-commerce fulfillment offerings

Boxes being sorted on a conveyor belt at a FedEx facility.

FedEx Dataworks and Cart.com have entered a strategic alliance to share data and enhance the e-commerce fulfillment experience for clients and customers.5

The partnership allows both parties greater insight into each other’s fulfillment workflow to improve efficiencies around inventory management, delivery service options, and shipping visibility. Cart.com’s pre-purchase data and FedEx Dataworks’ post-purchase data also allow for optimized forecasting models for more accurate pricing and volume predictions.

Jay B Sauceda, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Cart.com, said in an interview: “At the end of the day, everybody in the supply chain … is building uncertainty into their pricing, so the tighter the forecasting and the tighter the alliances there are with data, the more certainty you can build into your modeling. So, from a pure economic perspective for our customers, this is ultimately going to play out into a much tighter, fully integrated delivery process and supply chain.”

Luxury jewelry brand Brilliant Earth expands store count

Brilliant Earth laid over diamonds.

D2C jewelry brand Brilliant Earth, founded in 2005 and known for their commitment to ethically sourced natural and lab-grown diamonds and gemstones, have announced intentions to expand their brick-and-mortar store network across the country.6

The luxury jewelry category attracts consumers who want to see and feel the merchandise in-person before making such large investments, and Brilliant Earth seized the opportunity to expand to provide their customers with a more personalized shopping experience. 

In 2021, the jewelry industry reached sales of 47.1 billion and online sales make up only 18.2% of those dollars.7 To meet consumer demand, the digitally-native retailer has chosen to pivot to a more aggressive in-store expansion plan. 

Brilliant Earth has already doubled their physical showrooms this year with the opening of 20 sites, with two new locations opening in November in Palo Alto and Santa Monica.  

Kathryn Money, SVP of merchandising and retail expansion at Brilliant Earth said in a statement, “It really does provide our customers an opportunity to connect with the brand. It’s a really consultative process and we’re able to really tailor the experience to their individual needs and preferences when they’re coming into a showroom.”

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