7 Marketing Lessons Retailers Can Learn from Evo

  Evo is a leading online retailer of outdoor gear and fashion apparel. It is a ski and snowboard shop, a clothing store, a skate shop, an art gallery, a movie venue, a travel base and a gathering place for the community. Evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music and sports they love. Evo has a flagship store in Seattle. All other sales are generated from their online store. With a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and writing their own blog, they are a perfect example of how to use online marketing successfully. In this article, we will show you what can you learn for your online retail business. Here are 7 digital marketing tactics to learn from Evo:
  1. Categorize your online store by product, price, gender, color or brand to make your online store user friendly
  2. Use coupon codes for special offers in order to drive more sales
  3. Create a company blog to be seen as an expert in your field
  4. Write guides about how to use your products
  5. Use contests to promote new and popular products
  6. Interact with your customers on Facebook to get users’ opinions
  7. Create a personal board about your business to give your customers insider access
1. Categorize your online store by product, price, gender, color or brand to make your online store user friendly The Evo online browsing system is remarkably user friendly. If a customer is looking for a snowboard, they simply click on “Snowboards”, and they are able to feast their eyes on categories like Goggles, Helmets, Boots, Face Masks, etc. The products are also narrowed by gender, series, color and brand. The customer can look for low prices or the highest rated product within that product section as well. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Make the online shopping experience easy.
  • If your focus is on price conscious consumers, show your prices, and organize your online store to make your price conscious items simple to find.
  • Make the buying experience a good one, and keep your customers returning for more.
2. Use coupon codes for special offers in order to drive more sales When customers enter the website of Evo, the first thing they see in the header is a promotion announcement: “Extra 27% Off Snowboard Gear”. The deals are accessible, with codes in the cart before checkout, for a limited time. The deadline of the deal is shown on the left side of the banner. They post promotions and coupons frequently, with a quick call to action, a limited number and limited time frame. Coupons tend to work best for product-oriented businesses where customers can realize quick and easy savings. Whether you operate online or are a location-based business, be sure that your staff are trained and your operations can scale quickly and seamlessly to deal with the new foot traffic. Make sure you can afford the discount for the duration of its validity. Set your long term goals and see if you the special offer can benefit these. Do you have enough profitable business coming from other product lines? These are all components which need to be carefully considered. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Post promotions frequently, with a quick call to action, a limited number and limited time frame.
  • Look at your numbers and decide on the level of discount you can handle. How long should it run for and what changes you need to implement to support it.
  • If you can, focus on new customers, outside your current market or demographic.
  • Use special offers sparingly – you don’t want regular customers to think that they are being gouged when they see how much you are willing to discount to gain new customers.
  • By the way, Wishpond has created easy to use group offers to entice users to claim a coupon or special offer on a brand’s products and services. The app can run on a brand’s Facebook Pages, website and on mobile. All you have to do is add your branded marketing smarts!
3. Create a company blog to be seen as an expert in your field Evo uses blog posts to write about new product arrivals, their opinion on topics and specific content that is relevant for their business and customers. This is one of the key components of their personality and unique voice. For example they post about new product arrivals, special outdoor sport events that are coming up, Instagram accounts that are interesting to follow or videos about how to make your own beanie. Their blog posts are dynamic, interesting and enjoyable due to interactions through blog comments and shares. Blog posts may seem like a lot of work and resources expended. But there are several key reasons to be blogging:
  • It helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as Google loves new content
  • You can engage and understand your customers better.cle
  • You are seen as an expert in your field, a ” Thought Leader”
  • Great new content gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site.
  • Blogs are a much more trusted source than companies press releases and official company PR.
Most importantly it helps you improve your rank on search engines and assists in getting found, when people enter those important keywords in Google. The most important thing that brings visitors to a blog is the value of it. A blog needs to bring something useful or interesting to readers or there is no point in their visiting. Evo adds value by publishing posts that provide more than just news recaps or a list of links to other websites. What makes their blog successful as well is their frequently updates.                     It is also clearly organized. The blog includes a blog categories, which is relevant for the readers in order to be helpful to find relevant topics. What retailers can learn from this:
  • Writing blog posts in a personal tone, and on relevant topics you and your business are passionate about, will connect with your customer. Don’t write news releases, write personal, relatable stories.
  • Add value to readers’ lives for them to take the time to read what you have to say
  • Reflect the personality of your business. Write like you speak.
  • Don’t publish a blog post and then disappear for a week or two. Readers want to rely on you and read frequently posts. If they can’t, they’ll look elsewhere.
4. Write guides about how to use your products Evo provides a “Size and Buying Guide” tab on their website where users can read guides about “Ski Boots – How to Choose & Fit Guide; Wetsuits – How To Put On; Wetsuit – Repair and Care Guide; Climbing Skins – How to Cut”. If users click on the links, they can find a specific description. The purpose is to clearly express the benefits they provide to their customers. All the background they provide is focusing on that goal. They want to make their customers decisions easier.

What can retailers learn from this:
  • Keep it simple: You are the expert in the industry, but the basics may not be as clear to those reading your guides. Assume the reader has little to no understanding of your industry or product.
  • Make your customers decisions and life easier. Give them advice in the first place to prevent customer service calls and an overflow of emails.
5. Use contests to promote new and popular products In January, Evo ran a contest on their website, which they actively promoted through many of their social sites like Twitter and Facebook. The contest they ran was a vote-contest which engaged all their fans to participate in order to win some rad new gear just in time for the best part of the winter. Brilliantly, the gear they offered was one of their own products. The contest engaged their customer by asking contestants for their opinions on each brand.

They shared not just the winner in each category, but also the top runner-ups.

What can retailers learn from this?

  • Use your products as the prize. When showcased well, contests generate excitement for your product.
  • Promote your contest on multiple social platforms.
  • Keep it engaging. Ask your customer for their opinions. Show you value your customers’ views.
  • Did we mention: Wishpond has created many easy to use contest apps, such as photo caption contests, photo contests and sweepstakes. All you have to do is add your branded marketing smarts!
6. Interact with your customers on Facebook to get users’ opinions The Evo Facebook Page has 47,740 Likes. It is a very active community with comments and shares on every post. Evo uses their Facebook Page to connect with their consumer on a more personal level, to build loyalty, to create opportunities to generate sales and to get more options for touch points with their fans. Evo excellently shows how personal and relatable they are in posting content every day. They interact with their fans, asking questions and present their tricks and tips like “how to do a corked 360 on a snowboard”. If you know your brand’s online community well enough, you can easily get them interacting with you by asking their opinion and testing their knowledge on your products. In this example, Evo asks their fans if snowboarding has lost its edge, as stated in an article in the New York Times. Evo also posts new products and asks the users if they like them or not.

  Additionally, Evo uses an Instagram and Twitter tab on their Facebook Page so that the community can see the content without having to open the other social websites.

The more a consumer feels uniquely connected to Evo, and the more a fan sees Evo and its products, the more likely that consumer will buy a product from them. Create content that will keep your audience interested. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Social media sites like Facebook are about connecting with friends. Show your company with a personality, and let your fans feel like they are your friends.
  • When people like your page, they’re saying that they care about your business and want to know what’s going on. Posting relevant content is the most important thing you can do to keep them interested.
  • Create multiple touchpoints. The more options you have for your customer to choose to connect with you, the better.
How to write quality posts?
  • Make sure your posts are relevant to your audience and business
  • Be friendly and conversational
  • Share photos and videos because they tend to be more engaging
  • Ask questions or seek input
  • Give access to exclusive information and specials
  • Be timely by posting about current events, holidays or news
7. Create a personal board about your business to give your customers insider access Pinterest is a very visual site. For an outdoor gear retailer, Pinterest is an ideal locale. The Evo Pinterest page has around 300 followers, and 16 Boards. Boards include categories such as “Lady Summer Styles”, “Snowboarding”, “Skateboarding”, “Woman’s Spring Looks” and even “Snowboarding Method Madness”. One of the great benefits of pinning photos to Pinterest is that a link is automatically included back to the source of the pinned photo. So when the customer clicks on the pin and he likes what he sees, he will be forwarded to the online store where he can purchase the product right away. Evo also named a board “evo Store” and uploaded pictures of the flagship store in Seattle, a funny polaroid shot of the founder, and the staff of Evo. This is a great way to get your customers feel close and trustworthy to your business. Turn the customer into a personal friend and show him behind the scenes of your business.   Post uncommon pictures like the one below, where Evo presents their store in a winter wonderland. Storytelling is one of the most important things businesses can do as they seek to engage customers online. We all love a good story, but especially love it when we get an insider’s view of things. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Pinterest is a visual site. Use the best pictures of your product to showcase them in the best light, to obtain the most likes and repins.
  • Create multiple boards. Categorize your products. Make it easy for your customer to find the niche product they want.
  • Create a board about business insights. By giving your customers insider access, they’ll begin to appreciate what you do, and trust you as someone willing to share.
  • Link your pictures to specific landing pages on your website with clear call to actions.This works particularly well for online shopping stores. Your potential customer is interested in your product when they click on the picture – make it easy for them to get it!
  • You could even connect the picture to your Facebook social store, to increase traffic to your Facebook Page.
Wishpond has many products that can help you to be the best marketer you can be. We have easy to use apps for contests, group offers, social stores and more. And prices start at just $29/month.

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About the Author:

Nick is the Director of Marketing at Wishpond.

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