Lessons Learned From the Lucy Online Store Launch

Lessons Learned From the Lucy Online Store

The Brief

Three years ago, in the throes of a worldwide pandemic, we launched a partnership that would take us past the woes of a country in complete lockdown into a learning experience about e-commerce.

Switch has a particular name for situations like the birth of Lucy’s online store.  

We call it being *RIKMAed.* This situation comes about when Rik drops a particularly impossible task in your lap with a seemingly insane deadline and tells you “we’ll do it ta, I have a plan!” 

And when he says we, he means we. 

With Lucy, we had 3 weeks to build and design the online store, organise a category system that made sense, load all the products (about 1000 to start with) with the correct tags and images, set up ads and accounts and design a launch campaign. 

Lucy Makeup Store

After the Launch

The numbers show us that the Lucy online store was a success.

But to us the success of this partnership isn’t in the growth or sales or profit, it’s in the lessons we learned and will keep learning.

When we started working on the Lucy online store, stores were shut nationwide, and all shopping was funnelled into online channels. As a result, the Lucy online store was an instant success. 

But the lockdown wouldn’t last forever. And we knew we needed to keep that same momentum going once the physical stores opened back up and life went back to semi-normal. 

The Lucy team helped a lot with how we went about pushing the online store as yet another avenue for their sales. 

Product photography for the Lucy Makeup Store

Working With your Client

One of the great things about the Lucy team is that the online store is seen as yet another store: it isn’t in competition with the brick-and-mortar outlets, but an opportunity to reach new customers and build new audiences. This means that we could look at all the sales channels as supporting each other, running promotions across all outlets, selling online tickets to live events and providing online support in-store. It all works seamlessly. 

From the start, the entire Lucy team recognised the value in changing people’s behaviour and buying patterns. 

Maltese people were not used to buying online. For the first year and a half in the life of the online store, we almost always had a special offer, discount or competition going. This kept people going back to the store to see what was coming next and it slowly changed buying patterns, even if the change was just slight enough to allow for more revenue in the online store.

Today, many people do their research online and then go in-store to purchase, or vice versa: the Lucy experience works seamlessly. Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, the Lucy experience is the same throughout, which has helped significantly and allowed us to pull back a little on offers and discounts to work on other ways of providing value to Lucy clients. 

So far,  we’ve introduced a loyalty club, seasonal subscription boxes, and a Diamond Club that rewards our best customers.

The look of the physical Lucy stores is replicated online

Lessons Learned

Even without the special offers, the Lucy store still reports strong numbers because our digital efforts are backed by a strong brand. The Lucy team knows who Lucy is: she’s practically a real person with a big personality and a very particular voice. When Lucy talks, she talks based on a very real set of values that is echoed by everyone on the team. 

It’s one of our most important lessons tactical communication is important, but not every piece of communication from a brand needs to be about sales. Use your comms to build community, to speak about who the brand is, what it likes and what it stands for. Lucy does a great job of mixing informational, tactical, and brand comms in a way that has created a fan base that is loyal to Lucy like she is a friend and not a brand.

There’s another important lesson we learned from working on Lucy.

 Plan everything ahead so that when you need to be spontaneous you have the space and time to dedicate to a fun, last-minute idea. 

At Lucy, we have monthly planning meetings in which we communicate any offers, new brands, product launches and sales efforts. These are put into a calendar and we structure communication and events around them. Then we brainstorm fun things like offers for lipstick day or decorating for Christmas or new Merch ideas. 

We plan so we can have fun.

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