Our client, a European kitchenware retailer, was struggling to grow (and even maintain) their customer base as a result of new online competition. With sales decreasing year over year, the company’s CEO was searching for a solution that would help them stand out from their competitors, re-engage their customers, and develop a loyal online community. We created a user-centered solution that resulted in 50K new users and a 15% increase in sales within two months of launch.
With almost 20 physical locations, as well as an online store, our client enjoyed extensive growth through the first decade of operation. However, as more and more competitors entered the online market, the company found its overall sales and profits decreasing.
As the exclusive distributor for several premium brands, this retailer had previously dominated the high-end kitchenware market. But with the growing availability of online stores selling the same brands (and sometimes at a lower price), they were quickly losing customers and market share. The CEO knew that he needed to reframe the online store as a specific customer destination, not just another website competing on price. The question was, How could they best re-engage customers and find new ones?
One of the ways the company differed from their online competitors was that the entire team was truly passionate about cooking. For them, it was not just a means to a sale, but an authentic joy in food and food preparation. At the core of the business is a desire to support and develop their customers’ own passion for food, through kitchenware that is innovative, stylish, inspirational, and high-performance.
After several ideation sessions with the executive team, we decided to bring this passion for cooking front and center to the online store, and combine it with the company’s existing loyalty points program.
The result is a gamification platform that allows customers to provide their own recipes through our client’s online store. Anyone who submits a recipe receives points, which they can then use to purchase the company’s products.
We knew that user experience would be a big factor in encouraging platform use and growth. Recipes are searchable by multiple filters, including ingredients, cuisine style, level of difficulty, and preparation time. Users can click to select the ideal number of servings, and the ingredient amounts automatically change within the recipe. Those who try the recipes are able to leave comments and reviews, encouraging interaction and engagement.
In addition, we wanted to draw attention not just to our client’s premium products, but to their more-affordable options as well, to appeal to a wider range of budgets. We did this by adding a section underneath each recipe, listing the recipe’s recommended cookware with a link to purchase each item.
The new gamification recipe platform was an immediate success. Within two months of launch, the platform had over 50K new users and thousands of uploaded recipes, leading to a 15% increase in sales.
Now, instead of being forced to compete on price, our client has an organically-growing online community of enthusiastic users who share the company’s values, and who are excited to spread the word.