The best e-commerce websites have the potential to build a strong customer base and sell products that are constantly fresh and matched to wider consumer trends.
BaubleBar is a standout model of an ecommerce retailer appealing to a demographic that is comfortable with online shopping (women aged 20 – 40) and selling a product range that is constantly fresh with new product lines and trends on offer (i.e. jewelry as fashion accessories).
The BaubleBar home page has a crisp, uncluttered look. The initial section “above the fold” is dominated by a large slider image and two smaller promotional items.
Designers who have tracked eye movements of website viewers know the value of having a key call to action in that crucial piece of online real estate: the top right hand side of the page. This is the area where viewers’ eyes tend to drift on any webpage, and why you will see this area being used by many savvy ecommerce websites to collect email addresses via a signup area for newsletters.
BaubleBar has used this area to accentuate a time-limited offer that rewards viewers (who read it) for making a purchase when they first visit the website.
BaubleBar’s overall branding makes use of a fashion magazine’s glossy style. For example, their banner for a photo sharing section “The Download” looks like it would be at home as a section heading in Elle or Vogue.
Given its fashion focus and its need to appeal to a world of constantly updated trends, BaubleBar has a dynamic strategy to constantly introduce new sales content and product ranges.
On the initial header menu bar, the first option is “Just In”: a section devoted to new product items.
BaubleBar introduces new products five days a week, highlights a new trending product range every Monday, and has a guest curator picking out their favorite items every Thursday.
BaubleBar provides a number of product streams that can be personalized and customized to the buyers’ interests: monograms, mix-and-match, specific product choices. Offering customers a chance to create truly individual, personalized pieces has been an important sales strategy for BaubleBar.
After bringing serial entrepreneur Aleksey Korzun onboard at the start of the year as Engineering Lead, and former award-winning 360i interface designer Philip John Basile as Senior Software Engineer, BaubleBar is again currently looking to expand their in-house team in order to build their own scalable e-commerce platform. With venture capital backing and an inhouse software development team, BaubleBar is not restricted to modifying existing e-commerce platforms to create their online shopping experience. However, many of the techniques used by Bauble Bar can be replicated using many of the off-the-shelf and modular e-commerce platforms available.
One of the key elements of the BaubleBar e-commerce website is its focus on social engagement. The site encourages readers and shoppers to tweet and instagram pictures of themselves wearing BaubleBar’s jewelry, including suggestions for what hashtags to use when tweeting. One of the hashtags is a branded term which then feeds results directly into a widget that displays customers instagrammed photos. Co-founder of BaubleBar, Amy Jain, has previously shared online that their analytics revealed that women have more confidence buying jewelry online if they can see examples of women wearing items. BaubleBar has cleverly fostered user generated content to create this huge sale-generating asset.
Despite some of BaubleBar’s clever marketing strategies and approach to online retail, they also know a large audience of women shopping online are preparing for a wedding or attending one. Weddings are part of a regular client base for many e-commerce retailers with a market segment that includes women aged 20 – 45 years. BaubleBar has a specific section for weddings and regularly updated content to appeal to future brides, bridesmaids, hopeful singles, and wedding guests.
BaubleBar truly understands that a key driver for online shoppers is the process of research and discovery. This is a key type of interaction that drives interest in online shopping and is also what can make it fun and exciting. BaubleBar uses gamification-type strategies to reward website visitors for their ongoing engagement with the site. Shoppers can access a loyalty scheme to collect points for every dollar they spend online and are offered bonus points for introducing their friends to the site. Every week, two discount offers a hidden amongst the website pages to encourage shoppers to visit and scour the site, and new clues as to the discount whereabouts are released via newsletter, blog posts and on social media throughout the week. A sense of fun, reward and playful discovery is fostered that encourages customers to visit often and buy regularly.
Not everyone is aiming to be the next BaubleBar. Your e-commerce venture may have more modest goals than global takeover of the affordable jewelry industry. But many of the strategies being implemented by the BaubleBar team represent best practice for online retail and offer an inspirational look at what makes online shopping so dynamic and exciting for many shoppers. Make sure you offer a quality, interactive experience by following some of the advice from the BaubleBar website, and your e-commerce venture while be shining like a diamond in no time.
Mark Boyd is a freelance writer based in Barcelona, focusing on the ways we use technology to connect and interact. He writes regularly for Programmable Web
Tagged BaubleBar, best practice, branding, gamification, online retail, social proof
Your analysis is great and you’ve managed to list most of the online marketing ideas beneficial for e-commerce website in one post. Can add only videos – don’t forget about Youtube video reviews and tutorails – they have double power ans both attract new visitors and help existing to decide on the purchase easier
Awesome write up Mark, not only does it showcase how BaubleBar does an AMAZING job at marketing their products, it also teaches other eCommerce retailers how they can be (almost as) awesome. BaubleBar definitely has one of the best Sweet Tooth Rewards loyalty programs on Magento!
Thanks Steve for the feedback. One of the things i love most about the Bauble Bar approach is how they have built in engagement activities that are both regular and renewed: each week there are two new hidden discounts on their site, with tips published in their newsletters and blog posts to lead loyal customers along the way. It is a great way to re-energize the shopping experience and gives customers a sense of ‘knowing the game rules’ while still enjoying the joy of discovery.
Good article Mark!…We also love their site and reviewed them recently. Feel free to check out my other reviews and Badges of honor at ecommerceouttakes
Pingback: 10 Ways Your eCommerce Businesses Can Use APIs
Who built baublebar website?